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Barbecue Beef Ribs on the Grill

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Imagine this. A whole rack of  Barbecue Beef Ribs rubbed with dry ingredients, spices and seasonings, left to marinate overnight. Cover it in foil and bake for an hour to soften. Then finally grill over a high flame to give it a roasted brown appearance. And try to picture the savory garlicky scent of these tender, fall-off the bone ribs, with Filipino flavors floating all over the backyard. The summer breeze whirls with a robust, smoky aroma of the ribs grilling. And they’re your ribs cooking right in your own backyard.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend here in America. Memorial Day is a federal holiday all over the United States for remembering the people who died while serving the country’s armed forces. Every year this holiday is observed on the last Monday of May. Thus making this a 3-day holiday weekend. Many folks get on the road for vacations. It is also the unofficial start of summer here in America. So the beaches are a favorite destination for many. For our family, we prefer to make it a stay-cation, avoiding all the traffic and crowded resorts.  After all, there is nothing like grilling this huge rack of ribs, flavored with achuete oil which renders a slightly nutty flavor and a glorious, shiny sheen to the immense slab of beef. On top of that, the familiar flavors of sweet citrus calamansi, the Filipino lime mixed with soy sauce and plenty of garlic makes these ribs unbeatable any day. Once we put these on our grill, the inviting aromas shoot up with the winds and go past our backyard, upwards to the neighbors. Nobody can resist these. That’s why if you’re making these Barbecue Beef Ribs this weekend, make a double batch. You’ll be glad I warned you.


Barbecue Beef Ribs on the Grill

These Barbecue Beef Ribs are the best way to start the holiday weekend and the unofficial start of summer here in America. Marinate the whole rack with the achuete oil, seasonings, and the standard Filipino favorites of soy sauce and calamansi. Let the rack of ribs sit in the refrigerator for at least six hour or overnight if you can. You can use either beef or pork ribs. Either way, this will be the centerpiece of any family outdoor barbecue all summer long. This is an updated Asian in America recipe from a past blog post. The Achuete Oil recipe was inspired by Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan. Serves 4.
Prep Time1 day
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 day 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Filipino Barbecue Beef Ribs
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 59kcal
Author: Asian in America


  • 1 cup vegetable oil for achuete or annatto oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic for achuete oil, about 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 pieces bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon achuete (annatto) seeds for achuete oil
  • 4 to 5 pounds whole rack of beef or pork ribs bone-in
  • 3 Tablespoons calamansi or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 whole onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Make the achuete oil: Combine the vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, bay leaves and a tablespoon of the achuete (annatto) seeds in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes till oil becomes red. Remove from stove top and cool for one hour. Rub this oil on the ribs.
  • Marinate the ribs with the rest of the ingredients: calamansi juice, soy sauce, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Put the ribs in a non-reactive container and cover with plastic wrap. Keep refrigerated for 6 hours or overnight.
  • The next day, discard the liquids. Put the ribs in a large roasting pan, meat side down. Cover all over with aluminum foil. Bake at a preheated oven of 375 degrees for 1 hour to soften.
  • Preheat the outdoor grill on medium-high heat.
    Take ribs out of the oven and transfer to the grill. Cook this amount of beef on indirect heat for about 30 minutes till ribs turn a dark brown or are cooked all over.
  • Slice ribs individually. Serve warm with green salads and grilled corn.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1392mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.6mg

Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Guide to Grilling Times for Beef: For accurate grilling and cooking time for different beef cuts, whether on indirect or direct heat, I often refer to this guide from AllRecipes.com. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me when we’re grilling.

Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

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