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High Plains Bison

Smoky Bison Back Ribs

This is a simple and basic way to prepare perfectly tender bison back ribs. You can switch up this recipe with different spice rubs and glazing sauces, but the cooking process is always the same. From start to finish, dinner is on the table in about 3 hours.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 8


  • 4 lb bison back ribs (fresh or fully thawed)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon pepper for spice rub
  • 2 tbsp garlic salt for spice rub
  • 2 tsp cayenne for spice rub
  • 1 tsp ground rosemary for spice rub
  • .5 tsp ground thyme for spice rub
  • 2 cup chopped onions for glazing sauce
  • 1 clove minced garlic for glazing sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup for glazing sauce
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar for glazing sauce
  • 1 tsp salt for glazing sauce
  • 1/4 tsp coarse ground pepper for glazing sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar for glazing sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce for glazing sauce
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard for glazing sauce
  • Spice rub can be made in larger batches and kept in a sealed jar at room temperature for up to 6 months. Use dried spices only.


Glazing Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  • Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Note: Glaze can be made in larger batches ahead of time and refrigerated in a sealed container fridge for 2 days.

Back Ribs

  • Cook the bison back rib racks whole to retain meat juices. Carve into individual pieces to serve.
  • Combine all spices into a small bowl and blend well.
  • Generously season rib racks on both sides with the rub.
  • Grill on both sides under the broiler of your oven on high heat until crust forms (3-5 minutes a side).
  • Turn the oven down to 250°F.
  • Transfer bone side down to an oiled grate inside a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water.
  • Cover and cook for 1½ hour. Turn over and cook for another 45 minutes until meat is tender. Remove and let stand 10 minutes for the juices to settle.
  • Place the ribs bone side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or onto the oiled grill of the BBQ set to medium low heat.
  • Brush glazing sauce on the meat and cook for another 15 minutes until caramelized.