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Nothing screams BBQ more than racks of tender and flavorful ribs.  From sweet and spicy sauces to dry rub, the flavors and techniques are endless.  Wanting to do something new, I decided to make Memphis style ribs.  The savory and spicy dry rub with a vinegar mopping process make for truly flavorful and fall off the bone ribs.  Best part, you avoid the messy and sticky saucy fingers. Smoked to perfection, this recipe is hard to beat. 

Step 1: It’s all in the seasoning.

Memphis style rib ingredients

It’s all about the dry rub when it comes to Memphis style ribs.  The sweet, savory and spicy mix is the perfect combo for the fatty pork goodness.

In a mixing bowl add paprika, dark brown sugar, kosher salt, celery salt, celery seed, garlic, onion, mustard and chili powder, dried thyme and oregano, cayenne pepper and ground black pepper.  Mix the spices together.

For the vinegar sauce, mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and water.  Add some of the dry rub and mix the ingredients together.

Dad’s Seasonings

Must have grillin seasonings!

Step 2: How to smoke the perfect Memphis style ribs.

Seasoned Memphis style ribs

Start with patting the baby back ribs dry and trim any loose fatty ends. Generously season all sides with the homemade dry rub.

Preheat the grill to 300 degrees and set for indirect heat.  Place the seasoned baby back ribs on the grates and let them slowly cook and tenderize.  Every 20 minutes, mop the ribs with the homemade vinegar sauce.  This keeps the meat from drying off and adding additional flavor throughout the cook.  

Total cook time is around 3 hours or until the internal temperature is 180 degrees. Memphis style ribs do not require the wrapping process, which is why mopping is so important. Smoke them open until done.

Vinegar mop.

Let the ribs rest for 10-15 minutes, slice and enjoy!

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to remove the membrane?

The short answer is no. But it’s really a personal preference. I never remove the membrane off ribs and I’ve never had issues with the texture of my ribs. Score them before seasoning and let them smoke.

Can I make this in the oven or stove top?

All my recipes can be replicated in the oven, stove top or gas grill. You do not need a big green egg or weber grill to replicate any of my recipes.

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Printer friendly recipe below:

5 from 1 vote

Memphis Style Ribs

Smoked to perfection, these Memphis Style Ribs are coated in a savory and spicy dry rub that make for a truly flavorful recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Servings: 6 People

Ingredients 

  • 2 racks Baby back ribs
  • 2 tbsp Yellow mustard

Dry Rub Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Paprika
  • 1/3 cup Dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1` tbsp Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp Celery salt
  • 2 tsp Onion powder
  • 2 tsp Mustard powder
  • 2 tsp Dried thyme
  • 2 tsp Dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper

Vinegar Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Homemade Memphis dry rub

Instructions 

  • In a mixing bowl add paprika, dark brown sugar, kosher salt, celery salt, celery seed, garlic, onion, mustard and chili powder, dried thyme and oregano, cayenne pepper and ground black pepper.  Mix the spices together.
  • For the vinegar mopping sauce, mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and water.  Add 1/4 cup of the dry rub and mix the ingredients together.
  • Start with patting the baby back ribs dry and trim any loose fatty ends. Generously season all sides with the homemade dry rub.
  • Preheat the grill to 250 degrees and set for indirect heat.  Place the seasoned baby back ribs on the grates and let them slowly cook and tenderize.  Every 20 minutes, mop the ribs with the homemade vinegar sauce.
  • Total cook time is around 3 hours or until the internal temperature is 180 degrees.
  • Remove from the grill and let them rest for 10-15 minutes.
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About Maciek

I make easy meals that anyone can replicate at home. I’m not a professionally trained chef, just your average guy that likes to fire up the grill. So follow along and see what’s cooking today!

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