Barbecued Pork Ribs
Yield: As much as your heart desires!
Cook Time: 3-5 hours
Tips: Make your side dishes the day before you barbecue.
Suggestion: Delicious with Horseradish Coleslaw, a potato salad, and a side of bread
  • 1 or more slabs of ribs (baby backs or loin backs)
  • Kansas City BBQ Sauce (follow link for recipe)
  • mesquite or hickory wood chips
  • charcoal briquettes (if you're using a charcoal barbecue)
  • Dry Rub (recipe follows)

  • Dry Rub (makes about 3 cups and stores well at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
Dry Rub
Whisk together all ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Preparing the Ribs
Rinse the ribs to remove any bone chips possibly left behind by the butcher. Once clean, remove the thin white membrane off the bone side of the ribs. Inserting a butter knife under the edge of a section of the membrane will help you get started. Using a paper towel to grab the slippery membrane will help. Once you have a hold of the membrane, slowly pull the rest off. Sometimes it comes off easily, and sometimes it takes a few extra stabs with the butter knife. If desired, trim off any large pieces of excess fat. Cutting the slabs in half makes it easier to move the ribs around on the grill, and will allow you to stack them during the cooking process, which helps them retain moisture. Evenly sprinkle the rub over both sides of the ribs.

Place charcoals on one side of your grill and light the coals, leaving the other side of the grill empty (with no coals). Allow to heat for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. After coals are hot, place an aluminum pan of water on the other side of the grill. Fill the aluminum pan with warm water. This makes a cooler area for your ribs so they won't burn, and will help them retain their moisture during the cooking process. When the temperature of your grill reaches 225°F, you're ready to start cooking. (It's okay if the temperature fluctuates between 225 and 250°, but 225° is best.)

Add a few wood chips to the coals (apple, hickory or maple, etc.). After about 1/2 hour of cooking, add a few more wood chips, then in another half hour add some more. After one hour, don't add any more wood chips, because you don't want to over-smoke your ribs.

Place the ribs with the meaty side up on the cool side of the barbecue. If you are cooking a few slabs, then be prepared to move them closer to or away from the hot coals as needed to ensure they all cook evenly. Cooking time can vary from 3-5 hours, depending on the amount, size and thickness of your ribs.

Depending on your preference, you can apply the barbecue sauce throughout the entire cooking process (about every 1/2 hour or so) or toward the end of the cooking process by placing the ribs over the hot coals so the sauce can caramelize. Tip: To keep your sauce warm, you can pour it into a small disposable aluminum pan and place the pan on the grill with the ribs (over the side without coals) if there is room.

When you think ribs might be done, lift them with some tongs and gently shake up and down. If they begin to tear or brake, they are done. (Your goal should be to have tender ribs, but the meat should not fall off the bone.)

If you have chosen to apply the barbeque sauce at the end of the cooking process, this is the time to apply it. Brush the sauce on to both sides of your ribs, and move them over the hot coals. This will caramelize the sauce. Turn the ribs over a few times, being careful to only caramelize the sauce, not burn it. Remove the ribs when the sauce reaches desired caramelization.

Leftover ribs microwave very nicely, usually in less than a minute.