Saucy Kansas City-Style Ribs

Prep Time:
25 mins
Grill Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • Kansas City Dry Rub

  • 4 pound pork loin back ribs

  • 2 cup hickory wood chips

  • ½ cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • ¼ cup molasses

  • ¼ cup cider vinegar

  • ¼ cup water

  • 2 tablespoon packed brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • ½ teaspoon salt

Kansas City Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoon packed brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoon paprika

  • 2 teaspoon celery salt

  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


The day before:

  1. Generously sprinkle Kansas City Dry Rub evenly over both sides of ribs; rub in with your fingers. Place ribs in a large resealable plastic bag; seal bag and chill overnight. Soak wood chips in enough water to cover overnight.

  2. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot oil over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in ketchup, molasses, vinegar, the water, brown sugar, chili powder, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until desired consistency. Transfer to a storage container; cover and chill overnight.

Tailgate day:

  1. Tote ribs and sauce in an insulated cooler with ice packs. Drain wood chips; tote in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature.

  2. At the tailgating site, prepare grill (with a cover). For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above pan. Sprinkle wood chips over coals. Place ribs, bone side down, on grill rack over drip pan. (Or place ribs in a rib rack; place on grill rack.) Cover and grill for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours or until tender, turning once if becoming too brown. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking. Add wood chips according to manufacturer's directions. Place ribs in a roasting pan; place pan on grill rack over burner that is off. Grill as above.)

  3. Meanwhile, transfer sauce to a small disposable foil pan. After ribs have been grilling about 1 hour, add sauce to grill to reheat, stirring occasionally. Brush ribs frequently with sauce during the last 10 minutes of grilling. Cut ribs into serving-size pieces. Serve with the remaining sauce. Provide moist towelettes when serving.

Kansas City Dry Rub

  1. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 teaspoons celery salt, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Must-have equipment:

Insulated cooler with ice packsOn-site grill (with a cover)Drip panRib rack (optional)Roasting pan (optional)Small disposable foil panCutting board and sharp knifeMoist towelettes

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

672 Calories
42g Fat
35g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 672
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 42g 54%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 148mg 49%
Sodium 1374mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 11.2mg 56%
Calcium 121.2mg 9%
Iron 3.6mg 20%
Potassium 896mg 19%
Folate, total 20.2mcg
Vitamin B-12 1.4mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.9mg

*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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