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I smoke a lot of ribs probably 4 racks a weekend during football season. Your rub is classic to the mid south. I’m an Arkansan.
Most of us use a binder on the ribs before adding the rub it makes the rub stick better. For Pork the most common binder used is plain yellow mustard, cheaper the better. Rub a thin layer on the ribs and then sprinkle rub on. Mustard cookd away and leaves no flavor.
For beef the best binder is olive oil. You can use that on the pork if you are still a “fraidy cat” of the mustard. :)
Thanks for sharing the mustard tip! I’m with you, it’s a great “glue” and with all the other flavors going on, you really can’t pick up on it too much.
Made the BBQ spice rub, was awesome. Marinated pork side ribs for 2 days because I had something else that I need to cook right away. This was easy to put together. Once ready, I loaded the ribs up in the instant pot to be cooked, then took them out and broiled in the oven on each side for a few minutes. Turned out wonderfully, hubby gave 2 big thumbs up, will def use again and booked marked on my laptop for future reference. Thanks!
It’s just really good. A keeper!
Perfect recipe! Thanks from Brazil.
I didn’t eat these (I’m not a fan of ribs *I’m sorry*) but my husband loved them. I didn’t use all the rub but just realized this amount was meant for 2 racks so it’s a good thing I didn’t! I did spread a little bit of BBQ sauce around the top right before finishing them. Baked in the oven at 250 covered with foil for 3 hours then bumped up to 375 for about 20 minutes.
Best ribs ever
Does the dry mustard replace rubbing a thin layer of regular mustard all over the ribs and then apply the rub? During the cook when rotating the ribs, I spray it with apple juice. I smoke my meat/s with Pellets. I use PitBoss’s Competition Blend Pellets. Which is made of Hickory,Maple,and Cherry. My cooking process is different but my Rub is nearly the same. Oh. I said Nearly didn’t I. The last 30 minutes of the cook I put my favorite BBQ sauce on the racks. Thanx Hank and I will try your way of cooking next trip. Ed out Galveston way.
Hi Ed, I talked to Hank and this is what he said: “You can do either prepared mustard or dry. Doesn’t matter. Traditional Memphis is all dry ingredients in the rub.”
I did forget this tho. Try using 2 parts course ground pepper to 1 part salt. I use Koshers salt. No cayenne pepper. As far as the rub goes, I don’t put the brown sugar in with the rub. That’s later. After marinating overnight, set out to get room temp. You can sprinkle over the ribs then. I cook my ribs at 235*F, meat side UP for 2 hours. After 2 hours I take the ribs off the grill. Make your foil wrap then. Before placing ribs meat side DOWN, put 3 tabs of butter, a couple swipes of honey, and sprinkle more brown sugar on the foil. Apply a layer of BBQ sauce on ribs, place meat side down, spritz with apple juice, wrap, then place on the grill for another hour. Remove from grill and let rest for about 10 or so minutes. Enjoy
Do you use hickory wood chips?
You have made my love for pork to grow, this looks yummy and delicious, thank you for this recipe.
i’m from chicago, but my folks are from outside of memphis (in mississippi), and this is how i’ve always done my ribs, to the tee. i will say that living “up north” it’s not always fun or feasible to pull my weber out, so i have done ribs in the oven. you miss the smoke and the bark, but what you do get is a nice collection of very flavorful pork fat that you can use.
also, i actually prefer spare ribs to baby backs, because of the extra fat, although i do trim any excess fat when i’m taking off the tip and silverskin (st louis ribs are merely spare ribs with the “tip” portion removed).
finally, and this isn’t me being a “bbq snob”, never EVER boil ribs. if you want to take a shortcut, grill the ribs first to infuse with smoke, then wrap in foil and finish in the oven at 250-275.
Hank, is it possible to make them ahead in the morning and put in the fridge than reheat at dinner? If so how do you go about timing it? Thanks
Absolutely. Once the ribs are done, you can just reheat them in a low oven, say, 275 degrees for about 30 minutes or so.
Thank you Hank, I tried your Memphis pork Rub, when I knew my grandson Jayden was coming to visit on 11/05/2011, Ribs are a Favorite treat for him usually when we go out to dinner, But I saw your recipe and gave it a try, I used the slow low heat baking method in the oven, And cooked for about 5 hours, Let me tell you all, You do not need to make a gravy for those potatoes, Say good bye to (Outback) they were the best we all have ever ate, And the total cost was under $12.00 dollors to feed 3 people, Thank You so much again, Kevin and Family. :)
Okay – I passed this recipe on to my dad, who loves ribs and to cook on his smoker. We had them last night for a special birthday dinner. I couldn’t eat them (another story) but my brother said quietly to me that he thought they were underdone. Today, my mother handed me two huge baggies of the left over ribs. Do you see any reason why I couldn’t bundle them up in foil and cook them in a low/slow oven to get that meat to fall off the bone?
Nope. That will certainly finish them off, and they should already have some smoke on them from the barbecue, too, so I think you’ll be fine. ~Hank
These look wonderful. Living in Texas, I love dry rubs on ribs! I use a similar rub but I add in chipotle also. Oh my! It’s so good. I love chipotle.
Also, I make these in the oven! I put them on a baking sheet and and then cover them tightly with aluminum foil. I set the temp at 250 and let them bake most of the day. For the last 1/2 hour I remove the foil. They are literally falling of the bone.
All the best,
For OVEN: As Mary suggested, wrap in foil and bake in 250 F (or 125 C). I baked them for 6 hours and the ribs literally falled of the bone.
I do not know if its because of the oven, but I feel like the recipe has too much sugar and paprika. I will definately try this again with less of both. But in any case, all the ingredients in this recipe are a really nice.
As a lifelong Memphian, I can also tell you that it’s not uncommon to cheat time on wet ribs by parboiling them in a mixture of vinegar and water for a short time. the vinegar is tenderizing, and they won’t need to smoke as long. Most people use actual smokers rather than a conventional grill.
Hank, you say “Try to get St. Louis-cut ribs for this recipe, not baby back ribs. Regular spare ribs are fine, too.” Can you tell a newbie to rib cooking what the difference is so when I go to the butcher to ask, I’ll know what I’m asking for?
I have wanted to try grilling ribs for some time and appreciate this recipe.
Regular ribs have an extra “chine bone” attached to them that is sawed off in a St. Louis rib. A baby back rib is the uppermost 5-6 inches of the ribcage of the pig, sawed off neatly. Hope that helps! ~Hank
In answer to Susan’s question. I cooked baby backs on my Weber Kettle about two weeks ago. I used a candy thermometer stuck through one of the top vents. I laid unlit coals on one side & lit a few coals in the underside of the chimney. I placed a foil pan of water over the coals. The bottom vent was nearly closed and the top vent closed as far as I could with the thermometer in there. If I remember right, I maintained about 275 – 300 degrees. I pulled them off after 3 hours, though I certainly could have gone longer. I still had plenty of coals left.
Should you start with the bone side or the meat side on the grill? When you say rotate and turn every hour, do you mean flip the ribs over or just rotate them? The recipe sounds great. Thanks.
I tend to start bone side down, and yes, you flip them over. ~Hank
Wow these look awesome, I want to eat them right now. I don’t have a smoker can I make them in very low oven? I know I won’t be getting the smoky flavor…
You can, but it won’t be the same. Try cooking them at 225 degrees for a few hours and see. I’ve never done it, though. ~Hank
I live here in memphis…have all my life..if there’s one thing we can do it’s BBQ…I am a little bias though..lol
Just a small tip from my daddy:
(if you want to do them ahead a little bit)
Put them on the grill for a bit THEN the smoker to finish them. Just thought I’d share