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Author Notes: Memphis dry rub ribs are all about the dry rub- freshly ground spice blends of paprika, black pepper, and cayenne, with just a touch of brown sugar for sweetness. The rub is applied three different ways while cooking. First, the rub is massaged into the meat the night before grilling. Secondly, the rub is incorporated into a wet mop (a vinegar based sauce) and brushed every 15-20 minutes while grilling. Lastly, we generous sprinkle the ribs with the rub at the end of cooking.This triple application of spices creates incredible character and depth of flavor, while at the same time preserving the taste of the pork. An important note here is these ribs aren’t done in the traditional low and slow style you typically think of rendering the fat and breaking down connective tissue in this type of cut. Instead, these ribs rely on more medium heat, about 2-3 feet away from direct charcoal.
You can choose any type of rib for this recipe: baby back ribs, long ends, short ends, rib tips—you name it. Cooking times are approximate. The ribs are done when the ends of the bones protrude and the meat is tender enough to pull apart with your fingers. We like to eat these ribs dry, in the style of Memphis’s most famous barbeque joint, the Rendezvous, but you can also serve them with barbeque sauce. Rendezvous is known for inventing this style of cooking ribs- incorporating his Greek heritage by using oregano and garlic with traditional Cajun spices like paprika and chili powder. —RawSpiceBar
- RawSpiceBar’s Memphis Dry Rub
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 piece rack baby back ribs or St. Louis Cut Spare Ribs
- Whisk together vinegar, water, sugar, salt and RawSpiceBar’s Memphis Dry Rub in a small bowl. Set aside. Brush ribs liberally with mop just before putting on the grill.
- Turn grill to 325°F and place ribs over indirect heat. Cook ribs about 1 1/2 hours for baby backs and 2 hours for St. Louis-cut ribs, brushing liberally with vinegar mop every 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer ribs to cutting board and brush once more with vinegar mop. Liberally coat ribs with RawSpiceBar’s Memphis dry rub and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice ribs and serve immediately.