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Best BBQ Rib Recipes

Best BBQ Rib Recipes

BBQ Rib Shopping Tips

Most cattle are fed a diet of grass until they are sent to a feedlot – where they are finished on corn. When possible, choose beef from cattle that are “100% grass fed” - it will be more expensive, but better for your health.

BBQ Rib Cooking Tips

The method used to cook beef is dependent on the cut. Cuts that are more tender, like filet mignon, should be cooked for a relatively short amount of time over high heat by grilling or sautéing. While less tender cuts, like brisket and short ribs, should be cooked for a longer time with lower heat by braising or stewing.

6 Steps to the Best Barbecued Ribs

A backyard grill can easily produce the spicy, smoky slabs that for many are barbecue’s ultimate prize.

Let Texans brag about brisket and Carolinians extol pulled pork shoulder. For the rest of us, the ultimate emblem of barbecue — and test of a grill master’s mettle — is ribs.

Picture meaty slabs stung with spice, bronzed with smoke and slathered with sticky sweet barbecue sauce. The meat is tender, but not too tender, with a profound pork flavor enhanced by the pit master’s art.

You may have thought such alchemy possible only at the best barbecue joints. But great ribs are surprisingly easy to make at home, which is good news at a time when eating out can be fraught.

Ribs are barbecue at its most primal and unadorned indeed, that’s the crux of their appeal. It’s conceivable that you might eat brisket with a knife and fork, or more likely between two slices of white bread. Pork shoulder comes either shredded or chopped, and you always eat it on a bun.

Ribs, on the other hand, demand to be devoured caveman-style, ripped apart with bare hands and gnawed right off the bone.

I won’t say that cooking them is quick — if you want speed, grill a steak. But if ribs take two to three hours in all, the actual prep can be done in 30 minutes. True, the process as I’ve laid it out here requires a homemade spice rub and barbecue sauce, and turning your grill into a smoker. But the results are achievable by all, and eminently worth the effort.

Just follow these six steps, and the recipe I’ve provided. No special equipment is needed beyond the grill you probably already have in your backyard.

The Best Barbecue Ribs Recipe (Ever!)

It really wasn’t meant to be our intended dinner, it just happened. We were in Whole Foods, admiring the samples and sales, when we saw them – the gorgeous racks of ribs $1 off a pound. “Hey, we could grill these for dinner tomorrow,” my husband suggested.

Done! Don’t have to tell me twice!

The Best Barbecue Ribs Recipe Ever!

Barbecue ribs are one of our favoritefavorite dinners to make, and usually only made for super-special, one-of-a-kind special events or celebratory birthday dinners. This time, we simply couldn’t resist. It might not be a birthday, but it was AWESOME!

Here’s what you’ll need to get started to getchyo ribs on for the best barbecue ribs recipe ever! (Minus the fave barbecue sauce you’ll be using later.)

How to Make The Best Barbecue Ribs Recipe Ever!

To start, rinse your ribs, pat ’em dry, and season them well on both sides with fresh ground salt and pepper, along with garlic salt and barbecue seasoning (we use the Kirkland kind, but there are many others out there).

Massage and pat down the seasonings on both sides real good.

Next is the brown sugar. Sprinkle generously.

Pat the brown sugar into the meat, too.

At this point, let the seasonings sit on the meat for a few minutes while the oven heats up. Or, if preparing a day in advance, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for extra awesomeness!)

Once seasoned to perfection, break out the foil, it’s “go” time! Grab your apple juice, and pour about 1/4 cup or so underneath your ribs. This will help flavor and tenderize the meat while it cooks by being steamed in the pouch.

Pouch? Yes! Here’s how you properly fold this steamable pouch around ribs:

Got it? Easy-peasy. I simply had to include this image of my girls, preparing some corn on the cob for dinner while were busy with the ribs. Aren’t they cute?

Back to the ribs – after baking in the oven for some time (2-3 hours), they’re ready for grillin’! Here’s what it looks like when you first open that foil. Mmm!

Place them onto a cutting board or plate for the grill, just be careful! They’re so tender, they’re might be pulling off the bone (so be gentle).

We cut ours into smaller sections so it would be easier to handle on the grill. Look at that steam risin’!

Oh yeah, baby. They are seasoned to perfection and the meat is tasty already! When I meant “the best barbecue ribs recipe,” I really meant “the best barbecue ribs recipe!”

We chose two different sauces to work with for this go-around: Smokey Mesquite by Stubbs is perfection in a bottle, and the Sweet Heat was straight up AMAZING on my husband’s ribs, but too spicy for the little ones.

On an already hot grill, place your ribs on the grill racks, slathering your beloved barbecue sauce onto each piece with a baster brush, being quite generous with the sauce.

We simultaneously cooked the corn on top as we cooked the ribs on the bottom.

Flip them over about five-or-so minutes in. Here’s how ours looked before and after that first flip, mmm:

See that perfect char forming around the sauce, now getting caramelized to perfection? These ribs are already cooked, no need to grill ’em to death. All you’re doing here is getting the sauce nice and sticky with a slight char. No need to overdo it, a low heat and quick flip after a few minutes will do nicely. See?

Finger lickin’ good, friends. Better than restaurants, I promise.

Please, promise me that sometime this summer you’ll try these ribs? And maybe pair it with some grilled corn and cheesy potatoes, just like we did?

Look at that sumptuous bite, daaaang! So juicy, so meaty, so fall-off-the-bone amazing. I’m so sad we didn’t have any leftovers!

If you enjoy barbecue, check out these barbecue recipes!

Instant Pot Pulled Barbecue Chicken

Barbecue Pulled Chicken and Pork Nachos

Slow Cooker Barbecue Herbed Chicken Legs Recipe

Do you enjoy barbecue ribs? What favorite sauce will you use to make the best barbecue ribs recipe ever?

Our Favorite Recipes

Tips to Making Barbecue Ribs

  • For the best tasting ribs nothing works better than wood chips and charcoal work best, season the ribs the night before for awesome flavor
  • Trim the excess fat away from your meats this helps prevent fires
  • Grill ribs first with bone side down bones serve as conduit to help distribute heat
  • Use tongs to turn the meat a forks pierce will release juices and dry out ribs thus diminishing flavor
  • Turn ribs frequently throughout cooking and baste with a tenderizing marinade both techniques keep ribs from drying out
  • Slow cooking is best, cooking at higher temperatures will dry out your meat

If you follow all the simple tips we provided above you'll be well on your way to preparing barbecue ribs that will make you the envy of your friends and you will become the talk of the town.

Once you've mastered the art of preparing mouthwatering, lip smacking barbecue, get ready to be asked to cook at the family reunion.

Cooking BBQ Ribs

All the smoked BBQ ribs recipes below rely on indirect cooking, read my smoker instructions manual to guide you through the basics. You can still grill ribs, it’s not sacrilegious but if you’ve got the time then smoking is the way to go. Grilling ribs is a practical approach when constrained either by time or equipment so click here for grilled bbq ribs recipes.

My rule of thumb for bbq ribs recipes is 3-4 hours for baby backs and 5 hours for the St Louis or spare rib cut at 110°C or 225°F. This will differ depending on the number of rib racks you’re cooking, how much meat you have on the ribs and how you like them so this is where your own experience has to be added to the mix. I also like to use a water bath under the ribs.

Note: I cook on a Monolith kamado ceramic barbecue. For me ceramic barbecues give stability in temperature and juicy results without having to wrap the ribs.

Other than straight hot smoking, there's one other method worthy of mention.

3-2-1 Method

Put simply this is pretty much a fail-safe method where cooking is stripped back into 3 clear steps.

  • 3 hours hot smoking at 110°C (225°F)
  • 2 hours wrapped in foil with a little moisture such as apple juice in the packet (continue to cook)
  • 1 hour unwrapped to finish off. Use this last hour to add your mop

In short, step 1 gets the flavour bedded in, step 2 tenderizes and step 3 to finish off.

It certainly works and it is consistent but I find that the 2 hours wrapped can overdo the tenderness. This of course is personal opinion.

Ribs don’t have to fall off the bone to be cooked (or indeed ideal), I prefer my ribs to be tender but still have a little bite and tear in them, after all, that’s why I have a full set of teeth!

To test that your ribs are cooked simply pick up a side and try to pull two ribs apart. If cooked they should separate relatively easily but if you want "fall off the bone" tenderness then give the 3-2-1 method a go.

If using a BBQ thermometer then check for an internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat of 160°F (71°C).

Classic BBQ Ribs Recipes

Out of all the BBQ ribs recipes this is the one we serve time and time again when out catering and it never ceases to deliver awesome feedback.

The rub quantity in this bbq ribs recipe is about enough for two racks of ribs so multiply it out depending on how many you are cooking for.


For The Rub


  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

For The Sauce


For the rub, simply mix together all the ingredients and then rub all over the ribs and set aside for an hour (or overnight). For the sauce, mix everything together in a saucepan and bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes so that the sugar dissolves.

During the last 10 or 15 minutes of cooking, lift the lid on the smoker and apply the sauce. Don't take too long over this otherwise you'll lose all the heat out of the smoker.

When done, remove the ribs from the smoker and allow to stand for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Mix together the brown sugar, salt, mustard, paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper and garlic salt together in a small bowl. Be sure to break up any lumps with your fingers. Reserve 1 tablespoon of rub in a small bowl for serving.

Remove the silver skin from the underside of the ribs by sliding your fingers under the thin membrane and pulling it off. Repeat with the second rack. Rub the ribs with the seasoning on both sides. Place in a single layer in a large roasting pan and cover tightly with heavy-duty foil. Place the roasting pan into the oven and bake until the ribs are tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Preheat the grill to medium heat.

Grill the ribs on each side for 15 minutes, watching and flipping when necessary, for 30 minutes total. Baste with Jamie’s BBQ Sauce the last 10 minutes. (The sauce goes on at the end because it is sugar based and you don’t want to burn your ribs.)

Let the racks rest 5 minutes before slicing into individual ribs. Sprinkle the cut ribs with the reserved dry rub and serve along with extra sauce.

Jamie's BBQ Sauce

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir until softened. Add the vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cayenne pepper and some salt and black pepper to the saucepan and simmer on medium-low heat until thickened, about 35 minutes. Yield: About 4 cups.

Best BBQ Ribs

Spiced, smoked and slathered in sauce: These rib recipes represent the best of barbecue, as well as some international twists.

Related To:

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Food Network, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Leigh Beisch ©2011, Leigh Beisch

Photo By: Jennifer Whitney ©2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Ralph Alswang ©Ralph Alswang /

Neelys' Wet BBQ Ribs

Easy BBQ Short Ribs

Sunny makes short ribs a cinch: Simply pour her homemade BBQ sauce over the ribs, cover wth aluminum foil and roast until deliciously tender.

Smoked Ribs with Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce

Going to Carolina in your mind? Consider this recipe your ticket. Bobby layers on the flavor with a dry rub packed with ancho chile powder, a tangy vinegar-based "mop" for basting, and a BBQ sauce sweetened with brown sugar, molasses and honey.

Memphis Dry Rub Ribs

Don't slather sauce on your ribs before smoking if you aim to cook them in true Tennessee fashion. Here we apply a complex rub –– coriander, mustard powder, paprika, cayenne and more –– marinate them overnight and then cook them until the ribs develop a rich, dark crust.

Northern-Style Ribs

This rib recipe doesn't require any special seasonings before cooking the smoker and rich, red-colored bbq sauce add more than enough flavor.

Memphis-Style Dry Rub Ribs

Golden Gate Chili Ribs

Michael Chiarello's Babyback Ribs With Espresso Barbecue Sauce

Michael Chiarello's one-of-a-kind barbecue sauce separates itself from the crowd with soy sauce, ketchup and 2 cups of espresso.

The Ultimate Barbecued Ribs

Tyler's sticky rib sauce gets a smoky infusion from the most irresistible lardon: rendered bacon fat.

Tiffani Thiessen's Texas BBQ Ribs

Tiffani learned a thing or two about barbecue from her Texan husband. She marinates baby backs over night with a sweet and spicy rub and then slathers on her favorite homemade sauce.

Spicy Soy Ribs With Sweet and Sour Slaw

Barbecue Championship Ribs

The ribs that are prepared for the big cook-offs around the country are quite different than what you would normally cook at home or eat in a restaurant. Over years of cooking, the barbecue pros have learned that making your ribs a little bit too tender and a little bit too sweet can get you a good score when they are judged.

Cumin Scented Oven-Baked Ribs

Jan Birnbaum's New Orleans-Style Babyback Beer Ribs

Backyard Barbecue Ribs With Spicy Cola Barbecue Sauce

St. Louis-style ribs, aka Kansas City ribs, work best in this recipe they're a leaner cut of the sparerib that lays flat for ideal grilling. Slathered with a sweet and spicy sauce, they're simply irresistible.

Slow Cooker Asian BBQ Ribs

Slather baby back ribs with a spicy-sweet ginger chili sauce for a fun Asian-fusion twist. Slow cook them until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender, then throw the ribs under the broiler or on the grill for a crisp, caramelized finish.

Banging Baby's-Got-Back Ribs

Aarón Sánchez's strategy with ribs is simple: Load on the flavor. First, these baby backs get a spice massage. Then, while the pork is cooking, he whips up a sweet and tangy sauce to brush on the ribs just before they're done.

'Barbecued' Baby Back Ribs

Alton's Baby-Back Ribs

Miso-Marinated Ribs

Roger Mooking has a flair for the exotic, and his miso-marinated ribs — made with miso paste and orange zest and topped with toasted soy nuts — are no exception.

The Ribs Recipe Only Chefs Knew. Until Now

The pros know you can't just sauce them up, slap them on the grill, and call it a day the best barbecue ribs need to be coaxed into greatness. Here's how.

The pros know you can't just sauce them up, slap them on the grill, and call it a day &mdash the best barbecue ribs need to be coaxed into greatness. Here's how to make them.

Cooking time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

2 racks baby back pork ribs (5 lb total)

½ cup barbecue seasoning rub

1½ cups mild barbecue sauce

1. Prep. Heat oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil, for easier cleaning. If ribs have the silver skin attached, peel it off (see directions, right) and place ribs on baking sheet. Season all over with rub. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil.

2. Roast. Ribs will turn out tough if you cook them directly on the grill&mdashby roasting them first, you break down the tough fibers, resulting in super-tender meat. Roast in oven 1 hour. Uncover brush ribs with half of the barbecue sauce. Re-cover with foil and return to oven for 30 minutes, or until ribs are fork-tender. (If not being served immediately, cool ribs to room temperature. Refrigerate up to 2 days before grilling.)

3. Grill. If ribs have been refrigerated, bring them to room temperature. Heat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Grill ribs, brushing with sauce and turning several times, until slightly charred and glazed, 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Serve. Transfer ribs to a cutting board. Brush with any remaining sauce. Cut into single portions and serve.

&mdashRecipe by Barbara Chernetz

The silver skin, which you'll find on the bone side of the meat, prevents the rub from soaking into the meat. Slowly peel the thin, papery membrane from the backside of each rack. If it's slippery, use a paper towel to gain a secure grip.

The rub will impart flavor to the ribs while they slowly cook. Make sure you work it into all areas of the meat with your hands.

Tightly wrap the pan with aluminum foil before roasting. This keeps the ribs from drying out, so you get that tender goodness you find at restaurants.

Finish the already-cooked rack on the grill. You'll end up with the smoky char and glaze that defines great ribs, without any toughness.

We cooked up a few racks and tested popular grocery-store BBQ sauce brands. These came out on top:

Stubb's Original, $3.79 "The perfect balance of sweet, vinegar, and smoke," said a REDBOOK staffer.

D.L. Jardine's Killer, $5.50 We liked the thick texture and chipotle-ish Mexican flavor of this one.

Jack Daniel's Original No. 7 Recipe, $2.59 Perfect if you like a sauce with a lot of smokiness.

Save this article for later by pinning this image and follow Redbook on Pinterest for more ideas.


So delicious and foolproof. Any rub/sauce combo should work, but make sure you use the juices baked off in the oven - that is key!

This is my go to ribs recipe. Blows people away everytime. use the best BBQ sauce you can get your hands on, as it makes a huge difference.

I would really like to know how much kosher salt?? After reading most of the reviews, this seems to be an unanswered question! Is it really supposed to be 2 1/2T and if so, Diamond Crystal or Morton's. Morton's is almost twice as salty as Diamond Crystal. Please help!

I've made these 3 times now and they've always been a hit, both baby back and St. Louis style. You can easily substitute the rub with another, or even a pre-blended mix. Really great. (But the serving size is way off - a rack of ribs per person? Ha! Just make as many or few as youɽ like.)

The absolute BEST ribs I have ever made or eaten ! I followed the recipe prep, temp and timing but halved the ingredients for one rack of baby backs. Oh, yummy ,yum , yum, yum !

I made this recipe for Memorial Day family cookout and it was fabulous. I will use different variations for the rub and I always add whatever I'm in the mood for in the BBQ sauce. BUT, I did cook the ribs at 350 for 2 hours and then 300 for the last hour and refrigerated as suggested. When I got them on the grill, they were already falling apart because they were so tender. Everyone raved about how great they were! Will definitely use this method every time.

Meh. There are better rubs out there. 350*F? I don't think so. 250*F is more like it.

Made these ribs for Labor Day- amazing. Will make again. I followed the recipe exactly. except halved it as I only had one rack of bb ribs.

Have made ribs many times with this process. Change the rub and use your choice of bottled sauce. It's easy, very tender, and wonderful!

I have been making this for years now since Bon Appetit came out with this recipe. I think summer 2012. Anyway, the are fantastic and easy to do. I like the heat and that you can incorporate your own barbeque sauce later. Definately the only ribs I'm making. To those who thought they weren't flavorful or too salty. sounds like the preparers didn't do something correctly. The rest of us get how great this recipe is. Enjoy and you are welcome! You are gonna be the big hit at the barbeque for sure. This pairs nicely with state fair potato salad. Look it up. I've won awards with that potato salad.

Um, yuck. The prep (oven roasting) is standard for making tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs, so no complaints there. But - the rub was bland, and adding the rib 'juice' to purchased barbecue sauce (I used Stubbs - as recommended by others) made the sauce thin and tasteless. I don't understand the raves here. This was a disappointing Father's Day dinner for sure.

This is the best rib recipe. I have made this for about 10 bbq's and everytime its perfect. Its even better the next day (or later that evening during a midnight craving for more). Serve with blue cheese cole slaw and you will have nirvana. So good. Its so important to use baby backs on this one. Less is more.

I used the cooking method for these ribs and used "Cherry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce" instead (also on Epicurious). Fantastic! Such a winner! So tender, soft, and tasty! I baked the ribs for 2.5 hours with only salt, then I grilled them on the barbecue, turning and glazing repeatedly. So delicious.

Made these ribs and they were very tasty. However they were WAY to salty.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the shoyu, brown sugar, honey, pineapple juice, garlic, lemon, onion, salt, and pepper.

Place the pork ribs in a 9吉 baking dish and pour the marinade over the top. Cover and let marinate for 12-24 hours, flipping every so often. Preheat the oven to 320 degrees. Place the covered ribs into the oven and bake for an hour, basting every so often.

Remove from the oven and flip the ribs over. Cover and bake for another hour.

Remove from the oven and remove the foil. Brush a generous amount of barbecue sauce over the ribs and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.