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Memphis Dry Ribs {Recipe}

Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

This Memphis Dry Ribs recipe is from the cookbook Grill It! Secrets to Delicious Flame-Kissed Food by Better Homes & Gardens.

The Better Homes and Gardens authors on Memphis Dry Ribs:

Mop sauces are thin, vinegary mixtures for basting ribs. Mops make ribs extra moist and succulent.

Dee {Cooks&Books&Recipes}:

We hadn’t cooked ribs in years. So I very quickly agreed on testing a ribs recipe. Simple decision. Except … this cookbook has 9 ribs recipes! Memphis, Kansas City, North Carolina, Caribbean, Alabama, Floribbean, South Carolina, Santa Maria, and Texas. So much for an easy decision. Eventually, after thinking about how much I had always loved the dry ribs at the Charlie Vergos Rendezvous restaurant in downtown Memphis, I made my choice. And a good choice it was. The authors were absolutely right about the mop sauce. Though we initially had our doubts about a thin, vinegary sauce for basting, these ribs turned out unbelievably tender and flavorful even as we cooked them just a bit longer on the grill to crisp up the dry-rub seasonings on the outside. 1 version down, 8 to go!

Memphis Dry Ribs on the grill - www.cooksandbooksandrecipes.com

Our Ribs Finishing on the Grill (photo: Cooks&Books&Recipes)

Looking for another recipe from the Grill It! cookbook? Check out Limoncello Sorbet with Grilled Strawberries.

Memphis Dry Ribs

Featured Recipe From: Grill It! Secrets to Delicious Flame-Kissed Food


Prep Time: 25 Minutes

Cook Time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Total Time: 2 Hours 35 Minutes


  • 4 pounds pork loin back ribs or meaty pork spareribs
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground pasilla or ancho chile pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 cups hickory or oak wood chips*


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Trim fat from ribs. Place ribs in a shallow roasting pan. For rub, in a small bowl stir together paprika, brown sugar, pasilla pepper, coriander, dry mustard, garlic powder, salt, celery salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the rub mixture. Sprinkle remaining rub evenly over both sides of ribs; rub in with your fingers. Cover pan with foil.

2. Bake ribs for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until very tender. Carefully drain off fat in roasting pan.

3. For mop sauce, in a medium bowl whisk together vinegar and mustard. Stir in the 1 teaspoon reserved rub mixture.

4. For a charcoal grill, sprinkle the wood chips over coals. Grill ribs on the rack of a covered grill directly over the coals for 10 to 15 minutes or until ribs are brown, turning once halfway through grilling and brushing occasionally with mop sauce. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Add wood chips according to manufacturer's directions. Place ribs on grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as directed.)

*NOTE: 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.

PER 1/6 RIBS: 526 cal., 39 g total fat (16 g sat fat), 148 mg chol., 446 mg sodium, 3 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 31 g pro.

© 2011 Meredith Corporation

Reprinted with permission from Grill It! Secrets to Delicious Flame-Kissed Food, by Better Homes and Gardens (Wiley)

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