Arkansas Black Barbecued Ribs

Arkansas Black Barbecue Ribs

I kind of like the "blackened" appearance

These Arkansas Black barbecued ribs are one of the few rib recipes that I use the oven to cook. I got the recipe from the book Pig, by James Villas. I followed his recipe to the letter the first time around before taking it to the grill. Yet, they came out so well, I didn’t want to change a thing. One of these days, I’ll chance it.

According to James, when Arkansans refer to “black ribs, they’re speaking of spare or back ribs that are literally covered with a relatively sweet sauce that has been reduced almost to a glaze, added after the ribs have baked, and cooked to blackened finish. The trick is to produce ribs that have an intense flavor without tasting at all burnt-which explains why they’re not basted with the sauce throughout the entire cooking process.



  • 4 pounds baby back ribs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder



  1. Prepare your ribs by removing the membrane from the inner portion of the ribs. Trim off any excess fat. See the sidebar if you need to review how that is done.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F
  3. Arrange the ribs in a large roasting pan or baking dish. Drizzle the lemon juice over the top, season with salt and pepper and cover loosely with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the ribs over and cover. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until tender. About 30 minutes longer.
  4. Meanwhile, combine all the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened and almost syrupy while stirring frequently. About 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the ribs from the oven and spoon sauce evenly over the top. Return to oven, uncovered and continue baking. Cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes while basting frequently. Ribs should be very tender and almost blackened.

Enjoy your ribs and always remember…admire the fire!


How Ya Be Cookin’ Dem Barbecued Ribs?

We here at TopRibs prefer the Low-n-Slow method of cooking our barbecue ribs, but understand that method may not be suitable all the time. Great ribs can be had from the oven as well. A quick sear on the grill can also produce a decent rack of barbecued ribs. If you want to cook your pork ribs different than the recipe above calls out for, then see your other options here.

Low and Slow

Low and Slow



On The Grill



In the Oven

Also Good

Hey!…it could happen!

A man was driving down the road in the country. He looked over and saw a baby pig in the field. He stopped and picked up the pig. A short while later he is driving around town with the pig in the car and a cop sees him and pulls him over. The Cop says, “Hey, what are you doing with that pig in the car?” The driver says, “Well, I just found the pig beside the road in the field.”
The cop says, “I don’t care, I want you to take that pig to the zoo!” The driver agrees and drives off.
The next day the cop sees the guy driving around again and pulls him over. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU TO TAKE THAT PIG TO THE ZOO!!”. The driver replies, “Well I did take the pig to the zoo. We had such a good time we are going to the ball game now.”


What Ya Be Fixin’ Wit Dem Barbecued Ribs?

Man can’t survive by meat alone…OK, maybe we could, but your barbecue ribs sure taste better with a side dish or two. Here’s some good ideas:

Grilled Cornbread

Click to get the recipe

The Lazy Man's Way

Bacon & Shrimp

Click to get the recipe

A Great Appetizer!

Grilled Peaches

Click to get the recipe

Good For Any Course

What’d Ya think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts…good or bad. Leave a comment below and don’t forget, you can stalk me at Twitter or Facebook.


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