Smoked St. Louis-Style Ribs with Two Sauces

Smoked St. Louis-Style Ribs with Two Sauces
Photo: Andy Lyons
Prep Time:
30 mins
Stand Time:
25 mins
Grill Time:
2 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
10 servings with 2-1/3 cups barbecue sauce


  • ½ recipe Big Lou's BBQ Rub (see recipe below)

  • 1 recipe Sticky Sweet BBQ Sauce( see recipe below)

  • recipe Smoked Tomato BBQ Sauce (see recipe below)

  • 6 cup hickory or oak wood chips, soaked for 30 minutes

  • 4 slabs of pork ribs (St. Louis style), about 2 pounds each

Big Lou's BBQ Rub

  • ½ cup black pepper

  • ¼ cup sweet paprika

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 2 teaspoon chili powder or powdered ancho chiles

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Sticky-Sweet BBQ Sauce

  • 1 12 ounce bottle chili sauce

  • 1 12 ounce jar grape jelly

  • 2 tablespoon yellow mustard

  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Pinch granulated garlic or garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional)

Smoked Tomato BBQ Sauce

  • 2 ripe (but still firm) tomatoes

  • 2 shallots, cut in half

  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating tomatoes

  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika

  • ½ teaspoon fleur de sel or sea salt (optional)


  1. Prepare rub and both barbecue sauces.

  2. Build charcoal fire or preheat gas grill for indirect cooking. Place soaked wood chips directly on charcoal, or in smoking box of gas grill. Rub ribs with spice rub. Let sit, covered, for 15 minutes.

  3. Place ribs, bone-side down, in center of grill or in rib rack, making sure they are not over direct flame. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat (about 325 degrees F) for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until meat is tender and has pulled back from ends of bones (see tip below). Brush with some of the BBQ sauces 10 minutes before end of grilling.

  4. Remove ribs from grill and let rest 10 minutes. Cut into portions; pass remaining sauce. Makes 10 servings with 2-1/3 cups barbecue sauce.

Big Lou's BBQ Rub

  1. In a small bowl combine black pepper, paprika, brown sugar, salt, white pepper, onion powder, chili powder or powdered ancho chiles, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Use half of the rub on the ribs and store remaining in an airtight container, for up to 3 months.

Sticky-Sweet BBQ Sauce

  1. In saucepan combine chili sauce and jelly. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until jelly is melted; whisk together.

  2. When mixture is smooth and begins to bubble, add mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and garlic. Taste and adjust the seasoning if desired. If it is too sweet, add the vinegar; cool. The sauce will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator 1 week.

Smoked Tomato BBQ Sauce

  1. Place tomatoes and shallots in blender with pan juices. Pulse, half at a time, until liquefied. Add brown sugar, vinegar, the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, paprika, and, if desired, fleur de sel. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Remove from blender. Put through a food mill or fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and skins.

  2. Build charcoal fire or preheat gas grill for indirect cooking. Core tomatoes; coat tomatoes and shallots with olive oil. Season with salt. Place in disposable aluminum pan. Place in center of grill indirectly over medium heat; grill, covered, 30 minutes or until tomato skins are bursting and shallots are soft; remove.

  3. Place strained liquid in large saucepan. Simmer gently 5 minutes. Remove and use immediately or refrigerate in tightly covered container for up to 1 week.

Preventing burnt edges:

If the ribs start to burn on the edges before they are tender, stack them on top of one another in center of grill, away from the heat source. About 10 minutes before serving, unstack and brush with barbecue sauce.

Indirect grilling:

This method positions the fire to one side or both ends of grill. Food sits over the unlit part, and the grill is covered so the food cooks from all sides. This is best for thicker cuts that need longer cooking like roast and ribs.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

668 Calories
42g Fat
29g Carbs
43g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 668
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 42g 54%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 160mg 53%
Sodium 1560mg 68%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 43g
Vitamin C 5.9mg 30%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 3.2mg 18%
Potassium 723mg 15%
Folate, total 16.1mcg
Vitamin B-12 2.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.7mg

*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.

Related Articles