Can You Use Honey as a Binder for Ribs

Are you tired of dry and flavorless ribs? Using a binder is a great way to add and enhance natural flavor.

Binders help you stick the spice rub to the outer surface. But can you use delicious honey as a binder for ribs?

Or will you risk the sugars burning in the long cooking process?


Can You Use Honey as a Binder for Rib?

My short answer is yes, you can use honey as a binder for ribs!

The sweet flavor and sticky consistency are a few reasons to use honey. However,  you need to make sure you apply some cooking techniques in your process. Like balancing flavor, your cooking application and knowing the cooking time.

We will explore these a little more in-depth later…

Why You Should Use a Binder

It is common to cover meat with binder before applying the rub. It acts as a glue for dry seasonings that might fall off during cooking times.

There is a variety of binders to choose from. Each with complimentary factors based on what you are cooking.

Today we are discussing honey but there are other popular binders to use.

Note: You can also use honey as a binder for chicken.


Types of Binders That You Can Use

The binder you pick does depend on the recipe and personal preference.

Below are some alternatives types of binders you can use.

– Different types of mustard (Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, hot mustard)

– Olive oil or other types of vegetable oil

– Apple juice thickened with sugar

– Hot sauces

– Balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar


– Homemade barbecue sauce

– Other sweetening sauces like hoisin sauce

If your looking for binder ideas for turkey see here and here some of favorite binders to use on brisket.

Just remember your balance of salt and flavors!


The Benefits of Using a Bit of Honey as a Binder

Why should you use honey on a rack of ribs?

– The natural sweetness will enhance the flavor profile of the rib meat.

– The sticky consistency ensures kosher salt, spices, and herbs stick during cooking.

– Creates important chemical reactions and caramelization for texture.

– Helps keep the meat moist by sealing the proteins to reduce moisture evaporation.

The Disadvantages of Using Honey as a Binder

There is always a yin to the yang!

Below are some disadvantages of using honey in your rib recipe.

– Honey can burn at a high cooking temperature and direct heat.

– The sweeter flavor in honey might mess up the essential balance of flavors.

– The thicker honey can be hard to spread and give you an uneven coating.

Do the Types of Ribs Matter When Binding With Honey?

Pork ribs are my top choice when using honey for a binder.

The pork meat goes well with sweeter flavors.

Other varieties of ribs like beef or lamb will work but can ruin the distinct taste of the meat.

I like to use yellow mustard for binding the red rib meat with bold flavors.


Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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