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Amazing Memphis BBQ Dry Ribs

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Adjust Servings:
1 rack Pork Ribs
2 tbsp BBQ Rub
25ml Red Wine Vinegar
25ml Apple Juice
2-4 tbsp Honey

Amazing Memphis BBQ Dry Ribs

Another go at my favourite BBQ Ribs Recipe


    A dry Memphis-style BBQ Rub, perfect for ribs, slow cooked on the grill.

    • Serves 2
    • Medium




    Memphis BBQ Ribs… Again!

    I’m sure we aren’t the only ones who, stuck at home, are BBQing a bit more than usual. Especially with the weather we’ve had recently! Memphis BBQ ribs are one of my favourite things to cook up but I don’t do them very often because I like to spend a lot of time on them.

    Give these ribs the time and effort they deserve

    This recipe calls for a dry rub that I’ve used before. In fact, this recipe is exactly the same as it was when I originally wrote it up. The only difference is that I didn’t have any maple syrup or cider vinegar. Not wanting to risk the shops for these ingredient, we opted to use honey as the glaze and red wine vinegar in the mop. It worked a treat and it doesn’t have to be perfect. If you serve these Memphis BBQ ribs to anyone (except, perhaps someone from Tennessee) they won’t be complaining!

    This is a tried and tested rub recipe. Punchy, sweet with a little bit of heat.

    Use the rub in THIS RECIPE. Two tablespoons per rack is the perfect amount. Seeing as there are only two of us isolating together, one rack is enough for us. We had plenty of other food going anyway. We also had a Sausage Catherine Wheel cooking, chicken tikka kebabs, aubergines and sweetcorn (recipes to follow!).

    Wet or Dry BBQ Ribs


    Traditionally, Memphis BBQ is pork ribs or shoulder and they are pit cooked slowly. They can be wet or dry. Wet ribs are mopped in sauce several times during and after cooking. This is a “dry rib” recipe so there is no sauce, even though we are mopping with juice and glazing at the end of the cook. If you have a good BBQ sauce, by all means! Use it at the glaze stage and add a bit more for wrapping. If you add more sauce once they’re cooked, be sure to heat it up.

    Wrapping Memphis Ribs in Foil

    For the final part of the cook, the ribs are wrapped in foil . This can be done for as little as 20 minutes. But my dad does it for hours, he just wraps a little earlier. BBQ cooks wrap their ribs for three main reasons:

    1. Colour
    2. Moisture
    3. Flavour
    Ribs are wrapped towards the end of cooking to protect the colour, flavour and juiciness.

    The purpose of the foil wrap is to stop the ribs taking on anymore colour or burning. Also, you can keep the ribs cooking whilst keeping them moist, as the foil kept them from drying out. A final reason for wrapping the ribs is to limit the smoke flavour. Today we were just using charcoal, but if we had any woodchips in the fire to help flavour the meat, then we might want to limit the amount of smoke penetrating the racks.

    You can’t argue with a clean bite like that.

    I hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s one I’ve done a good few times now and I keep going back to it!

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    Well in advance of cooking, remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs with a sharp knife and piece of kitchen roll. This isn't completely necessary but it will make for a nicer eat. Rub your ribs with the Memphis BBQ Dry Rub and leave to sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours but preferably over night.


    Fire up the BBQ and get it ready for indirect cooking. Place the ribs on the grill, off the heat and close it up. You want a cooking temperature of around 130 degrees. Cook for 2 hours. Combine the juice and vinegar in a cup. Every 30 minutes, "mop" the ribs with the vinegar/juice mix.


    At the 1 hour 45 minute mark, glaze the ribs with the honey. And cook for another 15 minutes until sticky and starting to caramelise.


    Take two pieces of kitchen foil and double wrap your rack of ribs with a final mop and more glaze if you like. Wrap and close up the grill for the final 30 minutes.


    Slice the ribs up individually or in twos and serve.

    Mark T

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