Memphis Dry Rub Ribs

Don't slather sauce on your ribs before smoking if you aim to cook them in true Tennessee fashion. To make our Memphis Dry Rub Ribs recipe, apply a complex rub - coriander, mustard powder, paprika, cayenne and more - marinate overnight and then cook until the ribs develop a rich, dark crust. Barbecue sauce is optional, but our sweet-tangy apple cider vinegar and sugar forms a perfect glaze to seal in the ribs' flavor.

Recipe courtesy Santos Loo for Cooking Channel
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: 3 hr
Cook: 2 hr 45 min
YIELD: 2 racks
LEVEL: Intermediate


  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 racks St. Louis-style pork ribs (about 2 1/2 pounds per rack)
  • 1 cup apple cider
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For the rub: Mix together the brown sugar, salt, coriander, mustard powder, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne.

Remove the thin membrane on the back of each rib by placing the ribs on the counter with the underside facing up. Slip a small knife between the bone and the membrane. Once enough membrane is released, gently pull it free from the bones. Use a dish towel to get a secure grip.
Place the ribs on a foil-lined baking sheet and rub both sides of the ribs with the dry rub. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bring the ribs to room temperature and place bone-side up on the baking sheet. Pour the apple cider around the ribs and place another piece of foil over top, forming a packet. Crimp the ends of the two pieces of foil tightly together to seal completely. Place in the oven and cook for 2 hours. Remove the top foil and turn the ribs over. Raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and cook until the ribs develop a rich dark bark, the edges are crisp and the meat is fork tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

In a small saucepan, add the apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer until a loose glaze forms, about 3 minutes. Glaze your ribs with this when they come out of the oven. Transfer to a cutting board, cut and serve.



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