Memphis Style Ribs
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
Traditionally, the folks from Memphis rarely put barbecue sauce on their pork ribs. The flavorful meat rubs they use was enough to produce a great tasting rib without the addition of a sauce
  • 2 slabs pork ribs
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup non-iodized salt
  • ¼ cup Hungarian paprika
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • olive oil
  • a couple of cups of hickory wood chips
  1. Prepare Your Ribs. Remove the membrane from the inner portion of the ribs. This membrane will inhibit the flavors of the meat rub and the smoke from penetrating the meat. Trim off any excess fat. See the sidebar if you need to review how that is done.
  2. Add the herbs and spices in a mixing bowl and whisk until well blended.
  3. Lightly brush the ribs with olive oil. This helps keep the meat moist while at the same time giving something for the rub to adhere to. "Rub" is a misnomer, we really don't rub it, just sprinkle it on liberally and evenly. If using a coarse rub, such as dried herbs, pat it a little to help it stick to the meat. Allow the rub to do its magic for about an hour. Reserve some of the rub for later.
  4. Preheat the grill for indirect cooking over a medium heat. About 225 to 275-degrees F.
  5. Add the wood chips. Once the chips begin to smoke, it's time to put on the ribs. Place the ribs on the grill away from the fire and close the lid. Allow the ribs to cook for 2 hours. Keep an eye on the temperature and adjust the vents as needed.
  6. Uncover the grill and flip the ribs. Apply an additional sprinkling of rub to both sides. Close grill and cook an additional 2 hours or until the ribs are tender. This is a good time to add more charcoal and wood chips.
  7. Remove ribs from grill and apply any remaining rub. Some pit masters will place their ribs directly over the fire at this point. After a few minutes the ribs will develop a slight crispiness on the outside. This is what pit masters refer to as the "bark".
  8. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce on the side, if desired.
  9. Pig out and enjoy your Memphis style ribs.
Recipe by Top Ribs at