Memphis Dry Ribs

A full sparerib is the whole rib including the brisket. Memphis barbecue often calls for St. Louis-style ribs, which are the spareribs with the brisket removed.

Memphis Dry Rub Ribs
Photo: Jacob Fox
Prep Time:
25 mins
Bake Time:
2 hrs
Grill Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 4 pound pork loin back ribs or meaty pork spareribs

  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika or sweet paprika

  • 1 ½ teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground pasilla or ancho chile pepper

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt

  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 cup hickory or oak wood chips*

  • ½ cup cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoon yellow mustard

  • Memphis Creamy Coleslaw (see recipe below) (optional)

Memphis Creamy Coleslaw

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoon dill or sweet pickle juice

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • ½ teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 4 cup packaged shredded cabbage with carrot (coleslaw mix)

  • ½ cup chopped red onion


  1. Trim fat from ribs. Place ribs in a shallow roasting pan. In a small bowl combine smoked paprika, brown sugar, pasilla pepper, salt, coriander, dry mustard, garlic powder, celery salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the rub mixture. Generously sprinkle remaining rub mixture over both sides of ribs; rub in with your fingers. Cover dish with foil.

  2. Bake ribs, covered, in a 350 degrees F oven for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until very tender. Drain off fat.

  3. At least 1 hour before grilling, soak wood chips in enough water to cover. Drain wood chips.

  4. For mop sauce, in a medium bowl whisk vinegar into yellow mustard; stir in the 1 teaspoon reserved rub mixture.

  5. Sprinkle wood chips over medium coals in a charcoal grill. Place ribs on the grill rack directly over the coals. Grill, covered, for 10 minutes or until ribs are browned, turning once, and brushing occasionally with mop sauce. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Add wood chips, according to manufacturer directions. Place ribs on grill rack. Grill as directed above.)

  6. If desired, serve with Memphis Creamy Coleslaw. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Memphis Creamy Coleslaw

  1. In a large bowl combine mayonnaise, dill or sweet pickle juice, sugar, lemon-pepper seasoning, and salt. Stir in coleslaw mix and chopped red onion. Toss to coat. Cover and chill 1 hour before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

  2. Nutrition Facts per serving of coleslaw: 235 cal., 22 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 10 mg chol., 420 mg sodium, 9 g carb., 2 g dietary fiber, 1 g protein.


For the most smoke production, soak wood chips in enough water to cover for at least 1 hour before grilling. Drain wood chips before using.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

1309 Calories
108g Fat
4g Carbs
74g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 1309
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 108g 138%
Saturated Fat 40g 200%
Cholesterol 367mg 122%
Sodium 819mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 74g
Vitamin C 2.4mg 12%
Calcium 161.5mg 12%
Iron 4.9mg 27%
Potassium 1165mg 25%
Folate, total 24.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 3.8mcg
Vitamin B-6 2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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