BBQ babyback ribs and an Independence Day preview

That is what is meant by finger lickin' good

When it comes to barbecue nothing beats ribs and when it comes to ribs, pork always beats beef. Of course the best cut of ribs are baby back, but the larger spare ribs have more fat and can feed more people.

I have had a lot of requests to give a precise recipe for my dry rubs. Just this once I will give away a barbecue secret. I make my own chili powder, but a store brand will work fairly well. For how to smoke meat see here and here. This recipe makes enough for one rack of baby back ribs plus the mop sauce. It can easily be doubled and tripled depending on how many folks are eating.

But before I give away the barbecue store, I’d like to mention a few recipes we’ll be posting that are perfect to serve with ribs and celebrate Independence Day. We’ll have a light-on-the mayonnaise coleslaw, some hush-your-mouth corn bread and a patriotic parfait. Or if you’d rather, check out these side dishes: BBQ Boston baked beans, deviled eggs, grilled corn and mayo-free potato salads.

Let me also explain the significance of this all-American holiday. On this day in 1996, Will Smith and our greatest commander in chief, Bill Pullman, saved the planet from aliens, see moving speech below.

Dry Rub for Ribs

  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg grated
  • 2 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside 2 tbsp for mop sauce. Rub the rest into ribs and let sit for at least 2 hours or up to a day refrigerated. In a small pot combine reserved dry rub, 1 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon oil, dash of cayenne pepper sauce and a couple dashes Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and then set mop sauce aside.  Get the barbecue ready and smoke moping every 1/2 hour until done. Glaze with barbecue sauce in the last half hour of cooking and serve with more sauce.

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About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
This entry was posted in Dinner, Food, Grilling/Smoking, Pork, Recipes, Sides and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to BBQ babyback ribs and an Independence Day preview

  1. Hee hee! Still chuckling over the history lesson. These look amazing and am sincerely impressed that you make your own chilli powder. Happy Independence Day for 4th July! Looks like it´s going to be a great party…..!

  2. ....RaeDi says:

    Boy! I wonder how many of us are doing ribs, we are and doing with the Kansas City BBQ (my recipe! and I might share!) Sauce… I like your rub; it will be used another time. I hope that you and yours have a wonderful Independence Day and do not eat too much…. if I lived closer I might just hint for an invitation….RaeDi

  3. ChefMom says:

    This sounds so delicious! Got room for four more on the 4th? One of us eats like a mouse, so really it’s only like feeding three extra people. ;) Looking forward to the corn bread recipe. I LOVE corn bread!
    This was the first movie I saw in surround sound. Very cool.

  4. Kas says:

    Hahaha love the history lesson of such a great holiday! :-P And mmmmm ribs … Just bought mine – maybe I will try your rub and smoking technique, as I’m sure it is way more delicious than what I was originally planning!!

  5. Smoked baby backs! Can’t wait to get to the States!

  6. Holly says:

    These look right up my street. I’m looking forward to you independence day recipes too – and hopefully a bit more about where it came from… I do not believe the will smith story, even though, for a minute, I was like oh is that it?! ha. just kidding!

  7. Maureen says:

    I made ribs the night before last and I was in heaven. Nothing makes me feel more American than a big plate o ribs! Ear to ear sauce and a big smile on my face.

  8. Charles says:

    Damnit Greg – you post way too much awesome stuff, way too frequently!… and these ribs… omg! I’ve never seen baby back ribs in stores here before – only spare… but that’s unsurprising… France veritably sucks for certain things… can’t even get minced lamb or pork from butchers :(

  9. Sissi says:

    This is exactly what I see when I think of the Southern US (I once saw a tv program about a barbecue contest… and keep on dreaming since then). Looking at your wonderful spare ribs – moreover my favourite pork cut – makes me feel dizzy and so sad :-( I live in the centre of the city and have no chance to make properly grilled meat. Not to mention smoking… Maybe one day I could use at least your spice mixture…
    Thank you for the history lesson, it’s quite well known here, in Europe too ;-)

  10. gisellecagli says:

    Your recipe flashed back to Texas!!! Wow!!!. I really miss eating barbecue. Unfortunately, I have to make my own barbecue sauce from scratch in Italy in order to eat ribs!!! Your rub recipe looks really tasty. I am definitely gonna try it!!

  11. I will not be able to enjoy ribs again if they are not made exactly this way. You are truly amazing! Have a safe and happy 4th

  12. ChgoJohn says:

    Boy, if I could grill ribs that looked as good as yours, I’d move next to a pig farm to ensure a steady supply of ribs. No, it wouldn’t be pretty but I’d sure be happy.

  13. Hehehehe loved the history lesson :)
    I can’t wait for that corn bread recipe..I have bought corn flour a month ago and was searching for great recipes to use it

  14. egg me on says:

    Awesome looking ribs! Pork ribs *always* beat beef. Haha, that Independence Day clip is pretty awesome too.

  15. Wow! I have never seen ribs looks so amazing, so appetizing and so beautiful! we are obsessed with all things bbq, smoked, grilled, you name it at this house and don’t you worry ribs will be on our list to have this 4th weekend! I might just use your version too! I won’t tell my dad though- he is a stickler for his! LOL!

  16. spicegirlfla says:

    Nutmeg in your rub… interesting! About as interesting as that bit of history thrown in :) And the fact that you make your own chili powder. I’m so impressed. I always prefer the baby back ribs, maybe cuz I’m a girl and they’re petite ribs, not big, meaty and manly!

  17. Tiff says:

    I think movie made history; such a classic. How had I forgotten about it already???

  18. ROFL! That is amazing that you referenced “Independence Day”! That’s probably the only movie I enjoyed with Bill Pullman in as well. Great looking ribs!

  19. Your ribs look awesome! We are brining and smoking a pork loin today, so let’s all keep our fingers crossed it turns out great! And, nothing says USA more than a good Will Smith summer flick.

  20. sallybr says:

    Guess what I have in the fridge???? ;-)

    I am very impressed too by your chili powder… awesome!

  21. Amy says:

    I LOVE baby back ribs!!! I so wish I had a grill. But I do have a tasty recipe for braising them. Though it just isn’t the same…these look a.m.a.z.i.n.g

  22. Andrea says:

    You make your own chili powder? Share, share, share. Your rub looks yum!

  23. Ooooo this looks so good! We seriously cannot get enough of your awesome recipes!!!!! Thanks for sharing, again!

  24. JamieAnne says:

    So, the ribs would be our “victory dance”!
    Great recipes, impressive rub, I just watched that movie (Monday).
    Have a safe, happy, saucy 4th!

  25. You are too funny – that is a moving speech though. Ok – also these ribs are making my mouth water…guess I’ll run to the grocery and pick up some baby backs to chow down on after we drink those bastard bellinis.

  26. Andrea says:

    Think this would work with boneless ribs? My PICKY husband prefers them

  27. Caroline says:

    I want my baby-back, baby-back, baby-back, baby-back riiiiiibs. Sorry, I had to. Looks delicious, have a great 4th!!

  28. m.d.kitchen says:

    Cornbread, I can’t wait! And the ribs look great too.

    Also, I need to make those baked beans. We’re heading to a party on the 4th but I think dessert is our assignment, but maybe for my mom’s birthday later in the week we can enjoy Boston baked beans, in honor of the city of her birth.

  29. TasteFood says:

    I’m doing ribs, and always use the same recipe. Not anymore! Looking forward to giving this a whirl – the nutmeg is interesting!

  30. nancyc says:

    That sounds like a great rub, and those ribs look awesome!

  31. OMG I love ribs! These look SO good. I always make mine in the crock pot- I should try them a non-lazy way!

  32. Carolyn Chan says:

    You’re not wrong about finger licking good ! I want to reach into your photo and pick one up.

  33. SimpleP says:

    Ribs are definitely on our menu!

  34. Laura says:

    Looks amazing. I’ve never made my own chili powder but I want to try!

  35. Karen says:

    Your meal sounds like a real winner. Being from Texas originally, I serve the sauce on the side…it is just the way it’s usually done there. I know most people would prefer your way.

  36. rsmacaalay says:

    This is the type of food that you want to lick everything from the bones to your finger. That photo looks so tempting

  37. You have the best posts! : ) I am just glad that I can enjoy these through the computer. If I ate everything I saw here, which I so would if I could, there is no telling how that would affect my yoga time! : )

  38. I am obsessed with any kind of rib! I think I am making my fried-chicken for tomorrow =)

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