Slow and Low Country Ribs

BBQGrillGluten-FreeRibs

BBQ Pork "Country Ribs" - cut from the shoulder, cooked slow and low, and glazed with the barbecue sauce of your choice! This country-style ribs recipe teaches you all you need to know.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

When it comes to the grill or barbecue, I defer to my colleague Hank, especially when it concerns meat. Here he shares his country style ribs recipe, or how to cook “country ribs,” slow and low. A favorite! ~Elise

Country Style Ribs Recipe

Country ribs. Big slabs of porky goodness cut from the shoulder of the hog. Sold boneless or bone-in, these are nothing like a rack of ribs. They are pork logs, laced with fat, and require slow, low-temperature cooking to become delicious.

That’s the downside: You can’t do a fast country style ribs recipe.

The upside is that country ribs are all meat, so you only need one to fill you up. In fact, I slice them in half because a full rib, which can weigh a pound, can be too much for some people.

How to Cook Country Ribs

The best way to cook country ribs is over a wood fire, but you can cook them on a charcoal or gas grill, or even in the oven. Just repeat after me: Slow and low.. slow and low…

You’ll want to sauce these country ribs with something. It can be as simple as cider vinegar, or you could use your favorite barbecue sauce. To accompany this country style ribs recipe, we chose a sweet and spicy Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce.

Slow and Low Country Ribs Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 4 country ribs, about 3 pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • The barbecue sauce of your choice

Method

1 Cut and salt the ribs: Country ribs are usually more than a foot long. We recommend slicing them in half before cooking, as they'll be easier to handle. Coat the ribs in oil and then salt them well.

Much of the fat will render away in cooking, leaving a crispy-salty-fatty bit you will be fighting over with your friends.

2 Slow cook the ribs for 90 min to start: To cook the ribs, you have several choices. You can bake them in a 250°F oven (line a baking pan with foil and cover the pan).

You can slow-roast them in a gas grill (covered) with half the burners turned off (put them on the side that is not over direct flame).

You can set up a large charcoal grill like a smoker and cook the country ribs on the cool side (again covered). But best of all would be to build a wood fire on one side of the grill and slowly barbecue these ribs over woodsmoke.

No matter what you do, let the ribs cook untouched for 90 minutes. At the 90-minute mark, turn them and paint them with your barbecue sauce – we like the sweet-spicy Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce for this, but you could also use a South Carolina mustard-based barbecue sauce, a Bourbon BBQ sauce, or a traditional Kansas City-style sauce.

3 Then, every 30 minutes or so, turn your ribs and paint them again with the sauce. How long to cook? Depends on how hot your fire is. At least 3 hours. Maybe as many as 5 hours. You really, really want to slow-cook these ribs because they are pretty fatty. The slower you cook them, the more fat renders out and the smoother your ribs will be. Take your time.

4 Move to hot side of grill or broil: When the meat begins to fall apart – you’ll notice this when you turn the rib – you’re ready for the final step. Paint the ribs one more time and then move them to the hot side of the grill. If you are using the oven method, move the ribs to the broiler.

Let the ribs cook a minute or two so the sauce can caramelize. Pay attention, and do not let the ribs get too blackened. A little char is good, but you don’t want a briquette.

Serve with coleslaw, potato salad, deviled eggs or whatever you’d like. Oh, and napkins. Lots of napkins.

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Hank Shaw

A former restaurant cook and journalist, Hank Shaw is the author of three wild game cookbooks as well as the James Beard Award-winning wild foods website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. His latest cookbook is Buck, Buck, Moose, a guide to working with venison. He hunts, fishes, forages and cooks near Sacramento, CA.

More from Hank

92 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Jim Hilario

    I used my gas grill, started at 250 degrees under the hood and not over direct flame for 1-1/2 hours. Then I used a commercial. BBQ sauce for 30 min. no change to temperature. After e30 minutes the meat was black . . . burnt to a crisp. I salvaged what was left . . . wait till the last minute for the BBQ sauce.

  2. Beth

    Should the crock pot be on low or high for 90 min.?

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  3. Mike

    Man these are looking great. Doing the oven method with Sweet Baby Ray’s. Dumped the juice after an hour, rookie mistake. I litterally know nothing about my broiler so I’m gonna toss on my grill for the last step

  4. Sandy

    I’m trying this for the first time. We will see. I’m used to cooking baby backs. Hopefully this won’t be too fatty. Sure does smell good. I use Old Fashion Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce

  5. Ron

    Too much lifting the lid you only need to paint them at the end and if you use a good rub they need no painting. Do them at 225 for 6 hours on a WSM. woot

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Country style Rib recipe - cooking country ribs slow and lowSlow and Low Country Ribs