If you are a barbecue lover and also love Chinese take-out food, Char Sui Ribs will hit the spot at your campsite.
We’ve rated this recipe as EASY due it requiring very few steps at the campsite. Additionally, most of the ingredients can be combined at home before you leave on your trip.
Char Sui Ribs are a quick and easy meal we eat at home from time to time. While we’re at home, they are as simple as brushing on the sauce and popping them in the oven. At the campsite, they require a little more ingenuity.
A dutch oven cooks somewhat differently than a regular home oven. One difference is the proximity of the heat sources to the food.
With the heat sources being that close, one concern with Char Sui Ribs is that the sauce has a high sugar content. As it cooks, it will melt and drip into the bottom of the dutch oven and burn. We made up for this by lining the bottom of the dutch oven with foil, then raising the ribs off the bottom with a cast iron trivet.
Another challenge of making Char Suit Ribs in a dutch oven is how small the cooking space is. There is more airflow around the food in a home oven, which cuts down on the air’s moisture content. This extra airflow helps the barbecue sauce dry and become more sticky.
In a dutch oven, the high ambient humidity keeps the barbecue sauce moist and causes more of it to melt and drip down into the bottom of the oven. We made up for this by basting an additional time before serving.
You’ll need to keep in mind, when basting before serving, that if you don’t clean your basting brush, you are contaminating your food with raw pork.
You should either bring an extra basting brush or thoroughly clean your brush before the final baste. Additionally, don’t use a regular brush. Use a silicone brush. Silicone bristle brushes are far more sanitary and easy to clean.
Dutch Oven Char Sui Ribs
- Aluminum foil
- 1/2 rack St. Louis Style pork ribs – cut in half (between the bones, not through them)
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tsp. Morton's Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. Chinese five spice powder – get a link from amazon
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. corn starch
- 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbs. shaoxing wine
- 1 tbs. soy sauce
- 1 tbs. molasses
- 1/8 tsp. red food coloring
- 3 cloves garlic – finely minced
- 1 green onion, green part only – chopped (optional)
Before You Leave Home
- Thoroughly mix all ingredients except the corn starch and ribs. Add mixed ingredients to a resealable container or zip-top bag.
At Your Campsite
- Thoroughly mix the cornstarch into the marinade.
- Wash off the ribs then get them as dry as possible with paper towels. Thoroughly coat the ribs with 1/3 of the marinade, being careful not to contaminate the remaining marinade with the raw pork—marinade the ribs for at least 2 hours.
- Divide the remaining marinade in half.
- Prepare your dutch oven to bake at 400 degrees: 7 briquettes underneath and 21 on top. Add the half-slab of ribs, cover, and cook for 40 minutes.
- After the 40 minutes is complete, baste the ribs with 1/2 of the remaining marinade. Continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.
- Remove from your dutch oven and, using a clean basting brush, and the uncontaminated marinade, baste the ribs one last time. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Slice, then sprinkle with chopped green onions.