Fall-Off-The-Bone Dry Rub Grilled Ribs

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These dry rub grilled ribs are finger-lickin’ good. For mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone pork ribs all you need is this homemade dry rub, a touch of BBQ sauce, and then just let ’em cook slow and steady on the grill.

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dry rub grilled ribs

Don’t be intimated to cook a rack of ribs on the grill. With this technique, the grill basically does all the work. Thus, leaving you more time to enjoy hanging out on the patio while dinner cooks.

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Types of Pork Ribs

When it comes to pork ribs there are different cuts:

  • Baby Back – part of the rib that is highest on the pig and connected to the backbone. They are a little leaner and more tender than spare ribs.
  • Spare Ribs – located on the pig where the baby backs left off. They go the entire way down the side of the pig and meet the breastbone. They are a popular cut of meat.
  • St. Louis Style Ribs – are the spareribs with the rib tips removed. The name originates from the fact that this cut came from the St. Louis meat packers that started preparing it in the mid-20th century. Typically St. Louis ribs are longer than baby backs and are shorter than full spare ribs.
  • Rib Tips – trimmed from spare ribs when creating St. Louis cut. Many people consider them to be the most tender part of the pig. They have a lot of fat and marbling.
  • Country Style Ribs – country style ribs aren’t truly ribs. Technically, they are bone-in pork chop cut from the front of baby back ribs near the shoulder.

How To Prep Pork Ribs

Ribs typically have a membrane on the back of the rack. So, before you do anything, you should remove it (if your butcher hasn’t already).

To remove the membrane:

  • On the back of the ribs, slide a dinner knife under the membrane and over the bone.
  • Then lift and loosen the membrane until it tears.
  • Next, grab the edge of the membrane and pull it off. The membrane may come off in one whole piece, or you may need to do it in small segments.

It’s OK to skip this step if it feels like more work than you want to do. Just know that your ribs will not be as fall-off-the-bone tender if you leave the membrane intact.

How To Make Dry Rub Grilled Ribs

In addition to some killer homemade dry rub seasoning and BBQ sauce, the key to this recipe is the grilling technique. Indirect heat and slow cooking time are vital.

  • Once you mix up and apply the dry rub to both sides of the ribs, split the rack in half. Wrap each rib half in aluminum foil. Then put them in the fridge to let the seasoning get into the meat.
  • Place the packets onto the grill and cook using indirect heat. Indirect heat allows the ribs to cook slowly without burning. Having the ribs in aluminum packets not only assists with the temperature but also allows them to baste themselves in their fat.
  • Have patience and let them cook for 1 hour. Rotate the packets, and then let them cook for another hour. Patience is a virtue. The long cooking time makes them tender.
  • Then the finger-lickin’ good part happens. Once the slow cooking time is up, add BBQ sauce and put the ribs on direct heat for just a few minutes. This will caramelize the sauce and give a blast of extra flavor.

Side Dishes To Go With Dry Rub Grilled Ribs

These ribs are definitely the star of any cookout. However, who doesn’t love a good side dish or salad? You might consider a few of these.

Chunk Tex Mex Vegetable Salad

Tomato & Cucumber Salad

Peach & Heirloom Tomato Salad

Dry Rub Grilled Pork Ribs

For mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone ribs all you need is this homemade dry rub, a touch of BBQ sauce, and then just let 'em cook slow and steady on the grill.
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs St. Louis Style Pork Ribs approx. 1 full rack of ribs

Dry Rub

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 dashes hot sauce

Instructions

  • Stir together all the dry rub seasonings in a small mixing bowl. Use a whish to break up any clumps.
  • Coat both sides of the rack of ribs with the dry rub. Rub the mixutre into the meat.
  • Split the rack in half and wrap each half in aluminum foil.
  • Place the dry-rubbed ribs in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes so the seasoning mixture can penetrate the meat.
  • Preheat your grill to 350°F. Set up the grill for indirect heat. For charcoal grills, bank the hot coals to one side. For gas grills, leave one area unlit.
  • Place the ribs on the indirect area of the grill (the one without the coals or the one that is unlit). This allows the ribs to cook slowly. Cover the grill and let the ribs cook for 1 hour.
  • While the ribs cook. Make the BBQ sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Set aside.
  • After 1 hour, rotate the foil packages so the opposite end faces towards the hot side of the grill. Cover the grill and allow the ribs to cook for 1 more hour. You want the internal temperature of the ribs to be between 180°-190°F.
  • Carefully unwrap the ribs. Lightly oil your grill grates. Coat the cooked ribs with your BBQ sauce and place them back on the oiled grill over the direct heat area to caramelize. Flip the ribs once to caramelize on both sides. (This should only take a few minutes per side.)
  • Now they are ready to enjoy! Serve any extra BBQ sauce on the side.

Notes

Ribs typically have a membrane on the back of the rack. Before you do anything, you should remove it if your butcher hasn’t already.
To remove the membrane:
  • On the back of the ribs slide a dinner knife under the membrane and over the bone.
  • Then lift and loosen the membrane until it tears.
  • Next, grab the edge of the membrane and pull it off. The membrane may come off in one whole piece, or you may need to do it in small segments.
It’s OK to skip this step if it feels like more work than you want to do. Just know that your ribs will not be as fall off the bone tender if you leave the membrane intact.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grill, pork

Photos by Renato Ghio

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