Incredible Gluten-Free Barbecue Boneless Pork Ribs

These barbecue pork ribs are so good that it’s shocking. My little sister has to stay on a gluten-free diet, and I love to cook for her. However, staying safely gluten-free is very limiting and difficult, and often times she has to sacrifice taste for the sake of her health.

close up of fruits in bowl
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I had a regular recipe for a low calorie, low sugar barbecue marinade that I used for a long time, but it contained soy sauce. Believe it or not, soy sauce usually contains gluten! I had to rethink the whole thing, and I just happened to have some fresh, mandarin oranges that day. Surprised is an understatement.

As I also wanted to keep the sugar content as low as possible, I made two different batches of ribs. The low sugar version (not gluten-free) will be posted soon.

Boneless Barbecue Pork Ribs



  • 8 Boneless Pork Ribs (4 Whole Ribs Cut in Half)
  • 6 Mandarin Oranges
  • 4 Tablespoons McCormick’s Applewood Seasoning
  • Kosher Salt (or Sea Salt)
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (make sure that your brand of Olive Oil is gluten-free)


  1. Marinate ribs overnight (or at minimum 3 hours):
    • Stab ribs all over with the tines of a fork. This insures that the marinade will really flavor the meat and not just the outside.  Place ribs in a pot or casserole dish large enough that they do not overlap or stack.
    • In a separate bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of McCormick’s Applewood Seasoning, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons of crushed black pepper. Rub seasoning mix all over each rib.
    • Peel mandarin oranges, and separate segments. Using a small orange press or garlic press, squeeze 2-3 segments at a time over the ribs, turning the ribs over 1/2 half of the way through, so that they are coated on both sides. Drop the remaining emptied segments on top of the ribs. Do not include the peel.
    • Cover with aluminum foil and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 3 hours (overnight is best – up to 10 hours).
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet.
  3. Slowly heat the ribs, fat side down, on medium heat. You want to render the fat and crisp it up a bit without burning it. Check the bottoms after 3 minutes. They should be golden and slightly brown, not black. This should only take about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the rest of the McCormick’s Applewood Seasoning and Salt and Pepper (to taste) over the top of the ribs, and then flip them over.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet, and pour in all of the marinade left in the dish (including deflated orange segments), turning the heat up to medium high, allowing the water to boil a bit. In 2-3 minutes, a thin reduction will form on top of the ribs as the water evaporates.
  6. Remove ribs from the skillet, and place them on a foil-lined cookie sheet, about 1/2 inch apart.
  7. Bake ribs at 350 degrees on the middle rack of a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

No additional barbecue sauce is needed. Serve with Roasted Corn.

If you are grilling your ribs, skip steps 3-7. Grill on medium for 4 minutes per side, adding seasoning to taste.



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food geek, nerd, mom, cancer survivor, weight loser, spaz, musician, writer, silly head, Jesus freak

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