Watermelon Barbeque Ribs

These barbeque ribs are tender and juicy and are perfect for your next gathering. The watermelon barbeque sauce adds a hint of sweetness and the chili powder adds a great smokey flavor. This will make for a prefect dish at your next barbeque. 

The first time I made these I brought them over to my mom’s house for Memorial Day a few years back. I got the weirdest look from my family and friends when I said the barbeque sauce was made from watermelons. Everyone was a little leery of them since watermelon for a barbeque sauce isn’t a common thing. Needless to say they were a hit and everyone enjoyed them. 

In this recipe

This is one of those recipes that has very little to it. I love recipes like these because when it comes time for a barbeque you want to hang out with everyone. The spices, especially the chili powder are the perfect complement to the watermelon barbeque sauce. While this recipe is made in the oven you can just as easily put these in the smoker or on a grill. 

Ingredients for watermelon barbeque ribs
  • Save

Making the rub

This recipe calls for garlic, salt, pepper, and chili powder as a base. One thing you will want to be aware of is the chili powder. The smokiness of the chili powder works really well with the watermelon. If you are like me and like to put chili powder on plain watermelon you already know. If you haven’t tried it you will thank me later. 

Top side of seasoned ribs on a foil lined sheet pan
  • Save
Underside of seasoned ribs on a foil lined sheet pan
  • Save
Cooked watermelon barbeque ribs on a foil lined sheet pan
  • Save

Broiling the ribs first

There are quite a few recipes that will boil ribs before cooking to help tenderized them. In this case I prefer to broil them. Since ribs can be pretty fatty this helps break down some of the fat on top of the ribs. It is also important to get both sides since it will help with the connective tissue attached to the bones. Plus for me personally a lot of the flavorful juices leave the meat when boiled. 

Sliced watermelon barbeque ribs on a parchment lined cutting board with a cup of extra sauce
  • Save

Making barbeque ribs

Low and slow is the name of the game for any cooking method you choose. If using an oven you want it to be at 300F or 150C. This gives time for the ribs to cook thoroughly and to keep them nice and tender. If you are cooking them wrapped in foil in the oven I like to add half of the sauce while cooking and turn the ribs upside down. This way they cook in their juices. If on the grill add the sauce closer to the end to prevent scorching.  

close up of watermelon barbeque ribs on parchment paper
  • Save

Looking for other barbeque ideas?

Sliced watermelon barbeque ribs with extra sauce on parchment paper
  • Save

Watermelon Barbeque Ribs

Pork ribs seasoned and cooked in watermelon barbeque sauce.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 638 kcal


  • Heavy duty foil
  • Sheet pan
  • Bowl



  • Set the oven to broil 500°F, 260°C, or grill.
  • Line a sheet pan with foil. Combine the salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder. Place the slab of ribs onto the lined sheet pan and cover both sides of the ribs in the spice blend.
  • Place in the oven meat side up and cook for 5 minutes flip over and cook for another 5.
  • Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 300°F, 150°C, or gas mark 2. While the oven is cooling down spread ½ of the watermelon barbeque sauce over the the ribs. Cover in several layers of foil to prevent the juices from leaking out. Cook for 2 hours.
  • Once the ribs are cooked brush with the remaining barbeque sauce. Allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing.


If using a grill wrap the ribs in foil and place in indirect heat. If using a gas grill keep the temperature at 300F or 150C. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 638kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 32gFat: 47gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 159mgSodium: 332mgPotassium: 640mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 594IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword Barbeque, Ribs, Watermelon
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
  • Save

3 thoughts on “Watermelon Barbeque Ribs”

  1. 5 stars
    I never even knew there was such thing as a watermelon bbq sauce but I’m glad I tried it! These ribs were truly delicious!

  2. This recipe is a keeper. Turned out perfect. I will definitely make these unique Watermelon ribs again. Yum!

5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Scroll to Top