Lamb Ribs

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5 from 14 votes
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These slow-roasted sticky lamb ribs are coated with a sweet and savory glaze and yield juicy and succulent meat every time. Grill, smoker, and air fryer options included.

Want more tasty lamb recipes? Try my lamb burgers, lamb lollipops, lamb kabobs, and lamb meatballs next.

lamb ribs.

As much as I love beef ribs or pork ribs, I reckon lamb ribs are one of the most underrated yet delicious cuts out there. If you need more convincing, my sticky lamb rib recipe is the dish to win you over. It’s so flavorful, and the meat pretty much melts off the bone.

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients Needed
  3. How to make glazed lamb ribs
  4. Alternative cooking methods
  5. Arman’s recipe tips
  6. Storage instructions
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. Serve this with
  9. Sticky Lamb Ribs (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Easy to cook. Slap on the marinade then throw the ribs in the oven. It’s THAT simple
  • Budget-friendly. Lamb spare ribs are one of the most affordable cuts of meat.
  • Crowd-pleaser. This is the kind of dish I make for every potluck, game night, or general entertaining.
  • Multiple cooking options. I typically oven-bake the ribs, but I’ve included grill, smoker, and air fryer options.
lamb short ribs.

Ingredients Needed

  • Lamb ribs. Sometimes referred to as lamb spare ribs, rack of lamb, or lamb riblets. I prefer getting mine from my local butcher, but any mainstream grocery store should have them stocked too.
  • Lamb seasoning. I use a mix of fennel seeds, garlic, smoked paprika, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  • Homemade glaze. We want the lamb to be sweet and sticky, so a combination of sauces AND a liquid sweetener is a must. For this recipe, I’m using maple syrup, ketchup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard.

How to make glazed lamb ribs

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Season the ribs. Rub the seasoning mixture to the ribs and place them in a single layer on a wire rack. Then, place the rack in a large baking tray filled with water.

lamb ribs seasoning.

Step 2- Slow bake. Cover the ribs with tin foil and bake them in a preheated oven for two hours.

covered ribs.

Step 3- Bake at a high temperature. Once the ribs are tender, increase the temperature to 200C/400F.

Step 4- Brush the glaze over the ribs.

glaze for lamb ribs.

Step 5- Finish cooking. Remove the foil and bake the ribs uncovered for a further half an hour. Baste them until sticky and caramelized. Garnish with parsley, rest the meat, and serve hot.

how to cook lamb ribs.

Alternative cooking methods

I prefer slow roasting the ribs because it’s an easy set-and-forget dish, but I’ve tested this on the grill, smoker, and air fryer, so you have some speedier options.

Grill method: Grease a charcoal grill, then turn it up to high heat. Add the seasoned ribs in a single layer on top and grill for 25-30 minutes, turning regularly and basting with the sauce throughout.

Air fryer method: Similar to my classic air fryer ribs, transfer the seasoned ribs in aluminum foil and place them in the air fryer basket. Air fry at 200C/400F for 35 minutes. Remove the ribs from the foil, douse them in the glaze, and air fry for another 10 minutes.

Smoker method: Preheat the smoker to 250F using mild flavored wood chips. Add the seasoned ribs and smoke for 3 hours. Remove from the smoker, brush with the glaze, and smoke for another 45 minutes.

Arman’s recipe tips

  • Pat dry the ribs with a paper towel to ensure there is no excess moisture before adding the seasoning.
  • Check for doneness. Since we’re slow-roasting the ribs, there isn’t a need to worry about undercooking the meat. However, if you use the grill or air fryer method, you can check for doneness using a meat thermometer and ensure the ribs reach at least 165F.
  • Don’t forget to cover the ribs. The water tray and the foil-covered ribs help to lock the moisture and prevent the ribs from drying out.
  • Use different sweeteners like honey, white sugar, or coconut sugar.
  • Use a different glaze. So long as the glaze has a little sugar that helps it caramelize, you can use any sauce, including my katsu sauce or eel sauce.

Storage instructions

To store. Keep the leftover ribs in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days.   

To reheat. Reheat in a microwave for a couple of minutes or in the oven until heated thoroughly. 

lamb spare ribs.

Frequently asked questions

Can I prepare lamb ribs in advance?

Rub the seasoning and refrigerate the ribs until you’re ready to cook. Because this recipe takes 2-3 hours to roast and is enjoyed fresh, I advise you to make it the same day.

Should I skim the fatty layer before cooking?

I prefer to leave the fatty layer on as it keeps the lamb juicy during the cook. If you prefer a less rich dish, peel it off before cooking.

Serve this with

lamb ribs recipe.

Sticky Lamb Ribs

5 from 14 votes
These slow-roasted sticky lamb ribs are coated with a sweet and savory glaze and yield juicy and succulent meat every time. Grill, smoker, and air fryer options included. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 5 minutes

Video

Ingredients  

  • 2 pounds lamb ribs
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup water

Glaze

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 150C/300F. Place a wire rack in a large baking tray or roasting pan.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the ribs and sprinkle with fennel seeds and smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Place the seasoned ribs on a single layer on the rack. 
  • Pour the water into the pan and cover with tin foil. Bake for 2 hours, until tender.
  • Whisk together the maple syrup, ketchup, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and Dijon mustard.
  • Remove the foil from the ribs and brush with the glaze.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, regularly basting them until sticky and caramelized.

Notes

TO STORE. Keep the leftover ribs in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.   
TO FREEZE. These decadent lamb ribs are best enjoyed fresh. I don’t recommend freezing the leftovers.
TO REHEAT. Reheat in a microwave for a couple of minutes or in the oven until heated thoroughly. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 415kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 18gFat: 32gSodium: 254mgPotassium: 295mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 155IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 13g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published July 2023, updated and republished May 2024

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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