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No Sugar Added Smoked Pork Ribs (Keto and Paleo Friendly)

Keto Ribs Recipe

Smoked ribs made with a savory and sweet dry rub that has zero added sugar, as well as an incredible BBQ sauce that is naturally sweetened with caramelized onions. It’s Keto and Paleo friendly and absolutely delicious! 
Course Entree
Cuisine American, BBQ, Barbecue
Keyword keto rib rub, keto ribs, keto ribs recipe, smoked pork ribs, sugar free bbq sauce, sugar free ribs
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 1499kcal
Cost $30.00


For the Ribs

  • 2 racks spare ribs St. Louis Cut
  • 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • cup sugar free dry rub
  • 4 tablespoons butter (2 per rack)

For the Spritz

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar, (placed into a food safe spray bottle)

Sugar Free Pork Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarse ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Sugar Free BBQ Sauce

  • 1 small white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce (with no sugar added)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ tablespoon sweet paprika
  • ½ tablespoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Optional add ins: 1/2 cup fruit (cherries, mango, pineapple), a few dashes of hot sauce, honey, maple syrup, molasses


  • Trim ribs of excess flap meat and pull off the silver skin membrane on the bone side. Add mustard to the ribs (side note for keto – Dijon has sugar, so we used old fashioned yellow deli mustard). Then apply your dry rub liberally, season overnight.
  • Preheat smoker to 250 degrees, we use local fruit woods like apple. Really depends on your preference.
  • Add the ribs to the smoker for about 90 minutes. After 90 minutes begin spritizing. We do it every 20 minutes or so to keep them moist. But get at least 3 good spritzes. After 3 hours total, you should see the bones protruding about ¼ inch, that is the sign to wrap.
  • Place foil on a sheet pan, grab each rib (one at a time) and place on the foil. Add butter (2 tablespoons per rib, cut up into smaller pieces to evenly disperse), a little sauce and/or little apple cider vinegar. Wrap tightly. Repeat for each rib.
  • Place back on smoker wrapped, likely for about two hours. However check after an hour and see if you get that texture you want when inserting the meat thermometer between the ribs.
  • That’s the time to unwrap, and then add more sauce. Adding the sauce to that perfectly tender rib for 30 to 60 minutes will firm up flavor.
  • Remove when you see the sauce firm up, and then get ready to slice and serve!!!

For the Sugar Free Dry Rub

  • Combine all dry rub ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 

For the Sugar Free BBQ Sauce

  • In a large pot set to medium heat melt 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil and the onions. Stir occasionally until the onions are soft (golden/starting to caramelize), and sweet to the taste (at least 20 minutes). * you may need to adjust the heat and turn it down if they are browning too fast.
  • Next add the garlic and stir together for 1 minute.  
  • Add the apple cider vinegar, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and mix. Add your dry seasonings, Worcestershire, and optional add ins. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Using a hand immersion blender, or countertop blender, blend your sauce until smooth and there are no chunks. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. If too thick add water or more apple cider vinegar. If you’re flexible on sweetness, add some sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, etc. to your taste preferences).



Calories: 1499kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 74g | Fat: 123g | Saturated Fat: 42g | Cholesterol: 394mg | Sodium: 4571mg | Potassium: 1613mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2911IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 7mg