Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Memphis Style Dry Ribs

I've had this one rack of loin back pork ribs in my freezer for a while, just taking up space. The reason it has hung around is
A) I don't normally cook just one rack of ribs and
B) I'm not a huge fan of back ribs, I prefer St. Louis style trimmed spare ribs.

I smoked it on the Big Green Egg last night for lunch today and I used Chris Lilly's Memphis Style Dry Ribs recipe. He shared this recipe on the Today Show but it is part of his book Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book, my favorite Q book this year. It's loaded with stories, recipes, techniques, and tips. If you need a last minute gift idea, I highly recommend it. It is appropriate for anyone from beginner to competitor.

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Memphis Style Dry Ribs

Chris Lilly

2 slabs St. Louis-cut pork spareribs
10 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup white vinegar

Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Combine the dry rub ingredients and mix well. Reserve 1/3 cup of the dry rub, then apply the remaining rub generously to the front and back of the ribs. Pat gently to ensure the rub adheres to the meat.

Build a fire (wood or combination of charcoal and wood) for indirect cooking by situating the coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. Preheat the charcoal grill to 250 F. Place the ribs meat side up on the grill and cook with indirect heat, with the grill closed, for 4 hours, or until the ribs are tender.

Mix the vinegar with 1 cup of water in a shallow baking pan. Remove the ribs from the grill and dip them into the vinegar water. Remove the ribs from the wash and place them on a cutting board. Season the ribs immediately with a heavy coat of the reserved dry rub. Cut and serve.

Doesn't he look lonely?

Membrane removed and rubbed on the back.

The only basting during the cook is from the ribs own juices. Cooked bone side down, I normally smoke mine bone side up. This went just shy of 5 hours at 250f. I used Kroger lump (which I would not buy again) and hickory chips.

Sliced and ready to be packed away for lunch the next day. I might have snuck one rib - for quality control purposes of course!

Not bad for loin back ribs.
One or two at the small end were fall off the bone (which is overcooked), but the rest were cooked right and pulled clean off with each bite.


  1. I haven't met a rib I didn't like. We usually cook baby back ribs and they are good. I am fond of spareribs but my husband doesn't get spareribs...too much work for too little meat ~snort~

  2. Those ribs look amazing!! I am a fan of Memphis dry rubs as they contain a lot of sugar and give you that amazing carmelization. Bravo!! I am jealous that you can still use your bbq. Mine is still under 2ft of snow.

  3. I'm drooling with these ribs to the Memphis style...never cooked on this way..the result is speechless: Superb :)

    Happy Holidays Chris!



  4. omg, they're so pretty! Your rub sounds fantastic...yum.

  5. Since I have had your ribs, I can only imagine how great these taste!

    I still think of those cherry rubbed ribs...wait are those Rudolph? Is that why I saw on the news he is missing? Rudolph the Red Ribbed Reindeer...oh the wrong song...

  6. GEEZ those sound and look good! My husband LOVES Memphis style ribs. His favorite is the Commissary. good stuff. Happy Holidays!

  7. what in life is prettier than a great rack of ribs

  8. Ribs look perfect! I used lump coal once- burns too quickly for my liking- good for a quick steak, but not low and slow 'Que..

  9. I'm a fan of dry ribs and yours look really good. I'll have to try the wash and additional rub at the end.

  10. Nice job Chris, those ribs look perfect.

  11. chris!! m first visit here and m speechless!! such a talent ye have!! drooling alreadyyy!! hehe!!
    hope ye had a wonderful Christmas and wish you a very happy new year 2010!! :)

  12. I didn't know that fall off the bone was considered over-cooked. Ribs look great!


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