The Fort’s Smokehouse Buffalo BBQ Ribs Recipe: A Food Network Favorite

Summer is officially here, which means barbecue season is in full swing. Switch things up at your summer barbeques with our Smokehouse Buffalo BBQ Ribs recipe, which are some of Food Network star chef Bobby Flay’s favorite!

These ribs are a guest favorite at The Fort, so it was no surprise that Bobby Flay was also impressed by them. In fact, Flay declared them as the best he had eaten all year when visiting The Fort to film his television show.

Our former chef used his creativity to develop the recipe, which relies heavily on homemade bourbon-based BBQ sauce. Since buffalo ribs tend to be hard to find, you can substitute them with beef or pork baby back ribs.

BBQ Ribs

Smokehouse Buffalo BBQ Ribs (serves 4 to 6)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 c. Jack Daniels or your favorite bourbon
  • 1 c. molasses
  • ½ c. orange juice concentrate
  • ¼ c. whole cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ¼ c. fresh thyme sprigs or 1 tsp. dried leaf thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 c. water
  • 5 lbs. buffalo back ribs
  • Hickory weed smoking chips, or 2 to 3 hickory aluminum foil smoker bags
  • Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce (recipe below)


  • Combine Jack Daniels, molasses, orange juice concentrate, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, salt and water in a large saucepan. Bring to boil over a medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  • Place ribs in a large, shallow braising pan, and pour the braising liquid over them. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Braise in the oven at 200 degrees for 6 to 8 hours, until very tender.
  • Remove the ribs from liquid and allow to cool.
  • Pour the liquid, through a strainer, into a saucepan. Cook over medium/low heat, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve this liquid to add to the BBQ sauce.
  • Smoke the ribs over hickory chips on a grill, or in hickory aluminum foil smoker bags on the bottom rack of a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 1 hour.
  • On the grill, baste with Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce during the last 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If using smoker bags, baste with the sauce after smoking is complete.

Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce (makes 2 to 3 cups)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 c. Jack Daniels or bourbon
  • 1 c. molasses
  • ¾ c. chili sauce
  • ¾ c. orange juice concentrate
  • ½ c. A-1 sauce
  • ¼ c. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ c. water


  • In a large, non-reactive saucepan, combine Jack Daniels, molasses, chili sauce, orange juice concentrate, A-1 sauce, Worcestershire sauce and water.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer stirring for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce begins to thicken and is reduced to about 2 cups.
  • If desired, when preparing Smokehouse Buffalo Ribs, add the reduced rib braising liquid to the sauce for added flavor.