Preparing Paleo BBQ Ribs

Whole30 BBQ Sauce for Paleo Ribs

This article goes over how I make my whole30 BBQ recipe without any sugar. It is sweetened with only fruit juice. In creating this recipe I wanted something that would compliment my healthy eating and my love of BBQ simutaneously.

Whole30 BBQ Sauce Recipe

By using fruit juice and cooking it down it makes this BBQ sauce sweet without using any sugar, honey, molasses or any other traditional sweetener. Lets start out with an ingredients list and then I’ll go over my process.

  • 2 6oz cans of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of apple juice
  • 10 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 2 generous tbsp of my BBQ rub
  • 2 tbsp of chili powder
  • 2-4 oz coffee
  • 1 cup water

You’ll also need:

  • wire mesh strainer

Ok so I start out with a medium pot with the apple sauce and pineapple and get it to simmer for a bit. Then I add the tomato paste my BBQ rub, the chili powder, coffee and enough water for it to stir fairly well. I stir every 5 minutes or so just making sure that its not sticking to the pot. I’ll cook it this way for quite a bit, I think it was about half an hour. Next is to get the chunkiness out, I put the sauce in a strainer to get the pineapple chunk out and push the sauce through. I’ll let that simmer also and add water or reduce it to get the consistancy I prefer.

If you don’t want to make your own or you prefer a different style check out these on Amazon.


Cooking Whole30 BBQ Ribs

You’ll also need:

  • aluminum foil
  • fruit juice (I prefer apple or pineapple)
  • sauce

Great so now you have a Paleo BBQ sauce, but what about the ribs? I’ve got a pretty good process and I need to make a video but never have yet since the whole thing takes so long I would have to do a bunch of editing and making sure to get it all in. I start with pulling the membrane of the ribs. I use a butter knife to slip under the membrane and with a paper towel on the other side to help grip, work it up until I can get a good hold and pull it until its all gone, or at least most of it. Its important to remove it or your rub won’t penetrate on the bottom side of the ribs.

Prep whole30 bbq ribs
removing the membrane in preparation for rib rub and cooking

I then generously spread my rub over the ribs on both sides and let it set and soak in the flavors while I get my fire started. I use a charcoal starter so I’m not getting ligher fluid fumes in my food, just a personal preferance. This gives the meat a good 15 or 20 minutes to grab the flavors. I’ll then put the racks over the direct heat on each side for 5 – 8 minutes. I set my grill up with a direct heat side and an indirect heat side. ¬†Once the ribs are seared on each side I will wrap them with a doulble layer of aluminum foil. I fold the foil up and leave one end open to pour in some apple or pineapple juice. There’s no need to put a whole lot, I would guess a half cup at most. I’ll close up the foil and wrap the second layer before putting it back on the indirect heat side of the grill.

Apply BBQ rub
Applying my bbq rub generously on each side of the ribs before placing them on the pit


I cook the ribs in the foil for another 2 – 2 1/2 hours on indirect heat. Keeping the temp consistant is difficult with my grill but I try to cook the ribs at about 350 F. After searing, then wrapping in foil I then unwrap each rack, be careful of the hot juice and rendered fat that the ribs have been cooking in. I carefully unwrap and pull the ribs out of the foil with tongs, and I throw the juice out most of the time. I will put the unwrapped ribs on the grill for another half hour and at that time I will begin to sauce them every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes. If you really want to go all out and put a shine on the ribs a spray of apple juice each time you sauce them will make them shine.


Again seriously get THE WHOLE30 BOOK and start eating clean, you’ll be glad you did.