Master the Art of Grilling Miami Ribs: A Flavorful Guide

· 9 min read

Miami ribs, often referred to as Miami-style spare ribs, are a culinary treasure waiting to be discovered. Originating from the vibrant and diverse city of Miami, these ribs bring a burst of flavor and a touch of tropical flair to your grilling repertoire.

Grilling Miami ribs isn't just about cooking; it's a culinary adventure that transports your taste buds to the sun-soaked streets of South Florida. As you embark on this flavor-filled journey, you'll discover the secrets to tender, juicy ribs infused with layers of savory, sweet, and tangy flavors.

In this guide, we'll unravel the magic of grilled Miami ribs, exploring their history, selecting the perfect cuts, and delving into marinades and grilling techniques that will leave you savoring every bite. Get ready to elevate your grilling game and bring a taste of Miami to your backyard barbecue.

Part 1: Why Choosing Miami Ribs for Grilling in a Barbecue

1. Flavor Explosion: Miami ribs are a palate-pleasing sensation, offering a blend of Latin American and Caribbean influences. They're characterized by a burst of flavors, where smoky, sweet, and spicy elements dance harmoniously on your taste buds

2. Cut and Texture: These ribs are usually cut from spare ribs, incorporating meaty sections and rib tips. This blend of textures results in a mouthwatering contrast between succulent meat and crispy, caramelized edges.

3. Marinades: What truly distinguishes Miami ribs are their marinades. These concoctions often feature citrus juices, tropical fruits, and a medley of spices, creating a tantalizing and unforgettable flavor profile.

4. Grilling Tradition: Miami ribs are traditionally grilled, allowing the smokiness of the grill to mingle with the robust marinades. This grilling technique transforms the ribs into a tender, smoky masterpiece.


Part 2: 4 Excellent Recipes for Grilling Miami Ribs

Recipe 1. Classic Miami Ribs with Mojo Marinade


  • 3 pounds spare ribs
  • 1 cup Mojo marinade (citrus juices, garlic, cumin)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Start by marinating the spare ribs. Place them in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.

Step 2: Pour the Mojo marinade over the ribs, ensuring they are well coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

Step 3: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

Step 4: Remove the ribs from the marinade and season with salt and pepper.

Step 5: Grill the ribs over direct heat for about 5-7 minutes per side, basting with more Mojo sauce as you grill.

Step 6: Move the ribs to indirect heat, cover, and grill for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until they are tender and have a nice char.

Step 7: Remove from the grill, let them rest for a few minutes, and then slice and serve.


Recipe 2. Pineapple-Glazed Miami Ribs


  1. 3 pounds spare ribs
  2. 1 cup pineapple juice
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  7. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Step 1: In a saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic, minced ginger, and red pepper flakes.

Step 2: Simmer the mixture over low heat until it thickens into a glaze, about 15-20 minutes. Let it cool.

Step 3: Marinate the spare ribs in half of the pineapple glaze for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Step 4: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

Step 5: Grill the ribs over direct heat, brushing with the remaining glaze and turning occasionally until caramelized and cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.


Recipe 3. Miami-Style BBQ Ribs


  1. 3 pounds spare ribs
  2. 1 cup BBQ sauce
  3. 1/2 cup orange juice
  4. 1/4 cup lime juice
  5. 1 tablespoon paprika
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Step 1: Mix the BBQ sauce, orange juice, lime juice, paprika, and cayenne pepper to create a marinade.

Step 2: Marinate the spare ribs in the mixture for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Step 3: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

Step 4: Grill the ribs over direct heat, brushing with the marinade and turning occasionally until charred and tender, about 25-35 minutes.


Recipe 4. Jerk-Spiced Miami Ribs


  1. 3 pounds spare ribs
  2. 1/4 cup jerk seasoning
  3. Juice of 2 limes
  4. 2 tablespoons honey
  5. 3 cloves garlic, minced


Step 1: Rub the spare ribs with jerk seasoning, minced garlic, lime juice, and honey.

Step 2: Marinate the ribs for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.

Step 3: Preheat your grill to medium heat.

Step 4: Grill the ribs over direct heat, turning occasionally until cooked through and smoky, about 30-40 minutes.


Part 3: 8 Best Sides and Accompaniments Pairing with Grilled Miami Ribs

Pairing the perfect sides and beverages with Miami ribs can elevate your barbecue experience. Here are some delectable accompaniments:

1. Caribbean Coleslaw: A refreshing coleslaw with a tropical twist. Mix shredded cabbage, carrots, and pineapple chunks with a zesty lime vinaigrette. It's a vibrant side that complements the bold flavors of grilled Miami ribs.

2. Black Beans and Rice: A classic Latin side dish. Prepare black beans with sautéed onions, garlic, and spices. Serve over fluffy white rice, and don't forget a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

3. Fried Plantains: Sweet and savory, fried plantains are a must. Slice ripe plantains and fry until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt for a delightful contrast to the ribs.

4. Tostones (Fried Green Plantains): For a twist on plantains, make tostones. Slice green plantains, fry until slightly crispy, then flatten and fry again. They're perfect for dipping in a garlic or cilantro sauce.

5. Grilled Corn on the Cob: Fire up the grill and cook corn on the cob with a smoky flavor. Brush with butter and sprinkle with chili powder for a spicy kick.

6. Tropical Fruit Salad: A mix of fresh tropical fruits like mango, papaya, and kiwi drizzled with a lime and honey dressing adds a refreshing contrast to the ribs.

7. Mojitos or Piña Coladas: For beverages, consider classic mojitos with fresh mint and lime or piña coladas with a blend of coconut and pineapple. Both are excellent choices to cool down the heat from the ribs.

8. Iced Tea or Tropical Fruit Punch: Non-alcoholic options like iced tea or a tropical fruit punch are also great choices to quench your thirst while complementing the meal.

These sides and beverages bring a burst of flavors and a touch of the Caribbean to your Miami ribs barbecue, creating a memorable and well-rounded feast.



Miami ribs are all about bold and zesty marinades that infuse your ribs with a burst of taste. Don't rush the marinade. Let those ribs soak in the flavors for hours or overnight. Grill over medium-high heat, turning and basting for that perfect balance of tenderness and smoky char. Pair your ribs with Caribbean coleslaw, fried plantains, and tropical drinks for the full Miami experience. Now, fire up the grill, gather your friends and family, and savor the taste of Miami ribs. Your culinary adventure awaits!


What are some alternative side dishes for Miami ribs?

While Caribbean coleslaw, black beans and rice, and fried plantains are popular sides, you can also consider options like yuca fries, grilled vegetables, or a simple green salad with citrus dressing to complement your Miami ribs.

Can I prepare Miami ribs in advance?

Yes, you can marinate Miami ribs in advance to save time on the day of grilling. Marinate the ribs, cover, and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours before grilling for the best flavor infusion.

What's the best way to marinate Miami ribs?

The best way to marinate Miami ribs is to use a flavorful marinade with ingredients like citrus juices, garlic, cumin, and spices. Marinate the ribs for at least 4 hours, or overnight, to infuse them with rich flavors.

Jon Champaigne

About Jon Champaigne

Jon Champaigne is a seasoned grillmaster and passionate food enthusiast. With over a decade of experience in the world of BBQ and grilling, Jon loves sharing knowledge is evident in his detailed step-by-step guides and insightful tips. Whether you're a novice or an experienced grill enthusiast, Jon's articles offer a wealth of information that empowers readers to create exceptional meals.

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