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Sweet and Spicy Dry Rub Ribs

By June 1, 2010February 1st, 2013BBQ, Food, Holidays, Main Courses, Neil, Recipes, Weekend

Grill Shot

I have been wanting to do a rack of ribs for a long time. Having never prepared my own, the idea of really tasty ribs for our barbecue this weekend seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a try. Don’t let the prospect of doing your own ribs (without a smoker even!) scare you, this was really easy, and very tasty.

To begin, you first need to acquire a good set of ribs. Most larger cities will have a butcher, and this is your best bet as they are likely to have organic and free-range selection, which is optimal.


Washing the Ribs

You’ll want to wash and clean the meat thoroughly.

Next, prepare your dry rub! Here is the recipe I used as it looked like a great basic rub with a little heat, and a little sweet. Add or omit cayenne pepper if you want to spice it up, or if you want yours a little more tame. *note: I doubled this recipe for my rub*

  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and apply it to your ribs. If you are applying it later, refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. I recommend applying the rub to your ribs 24-48 hours prior to cooking. This allows the flavor in the rub to be fully absorbed.

Applying rub

Time to grill!

  • Wrap your rubbed ribs into foil and place on the grill (not directly over flame, indirect heat only!) for 1 hour, turning every 20 minutes.
  • After an hour, remove ribs from heat  and let cool slightly so they are manageable without burning yourself. Remove the foil.
  • Place back on the grill under indirect heat for 20-30 minutes flipping and basting them with your favorite BBQ sauce every 10 minutes. Be Careful not to rub the dry rub off! Use a basting mop or a soft brush to apply the BBQ sauce.
  • Remove from grill and enjoy!


These were a hit with our guests. Jessica had never had ribs before (!!), and enjoyed these saying we’d definitely have to make them again. I can’t wait, is next week too soon? Did you use the holiday weekend as an excuse to try any new recipes?


  • Zac says:

    Those ribs look awesome! I bet that rub was a hit.

    One thing I learned recently when smoking some ribs, you should remove the membrane from the one side of the ribs to get better results. It’s that thin layer of white stuff on one side of the ribs. I’m told it is the lining to the stomach, but I may have mis-remembered that.

    Still, the rub recipe looks pretty sweet.

  • Neil says:


    I heard that too. Since I had never done this before I was unsure if that was the membrane I was seeing or not. I started to remove some of it, and it seemed like it was not coming off very easy so I stopped in fear of ruining a $13 rack of ribs.

    Its good to know that it indeed was the membrane they were talking about, next time I will forge ahead and remove!


  • Zac says:

    Yeah, the guy I learned it from had some trouble removing the membrane on our ribs, but he worked it to the point he could just pull it right off eventually.

  • Sam says:

    Hey man you did a good job for your first time but let a Texas boy tell ya, those aren’t dry rub ribs. Now, let me also tell you Im from a state that would have me killed for saying this but I also like a little BBQ sauce. Too cook these suckers you can’t do it on the grill for an hour, it’s gotta be low and slow, if you dont have a real smoker just stay away from the grill with your ribs. Rub them up the same way you did and put them on a rack over a cookie sheet- covered, in the oven at 275F until they slightly pull away from the bone (4-6 hours), NOT completely falling off. Then add your favorite BBQ sauce put back in the oven at 300F for 30 minutes uncovered and you will be one happy camper

  • Neil says:


    Thanks for the tips! I will try your suggestions. Expect an oven version of these posted in the near future!

  • We were thinking about doing ribs for the 4th – your ribs look great!

  • Patrick says:

    smoked some ribs last week with this rub they turned out great used dark brown sugar instead of light brown,I’m going to smoke a Boston butt this weekend with this rub.

  • jules rosen says:

    I’ve only done turkeys so far , but what I have learned is to soak your wood chips for 1/2 hour first , This lets them truly smoke for a long while , instead of flaming up .