Do your ribs fall off the bone? Ours do! We’re making this recipe for our 4th of July celebration, along with grilled corn and the classic side dish: All American potato salad. Keep reading to find out how to make delicious ribs that fall off the bone. You won’t be sorry!

Smoking Ribs: Rub, Barbecue Sauce & Grill Required

We used the 3-2-1 technique when smoking these ribs.

We used the 3-2-1 technique when smoking these ribs.

We cooked these delicious ribs in the Big Green Egg and got a little creative: we used the spice rub from one recipe, the barbecue sauce from a second recipe and the 3-2-1 technique from a third recipe. Not sure what the 3-2-1 technique refers to?

  • 3 hours using smoke
  • 2 hours in braising liquid
  • 1 hour using a high temperature grill to caramelize the sauce

It’s also worth nothing that we used St. Louis-style ribs. See below the recipe for more details about this style.

Barbecue Spice Rub Recipe

A good rub can make all the difference.

A good rub can make all the difference.

This spice rub was modified from a Bobby Flay recipe.

  • 1/2 cup ancho chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle
  • A pinch of habanero/caribbean powder
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Mix together and rub the ribs with the mixture. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour (up to 6 hours).

Barbecue Sauce Recipe

This barbecue sauce was delicious!

This barbecue sauce was delicious!

This recipe originally came from Pati’s Mexican Table.

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 4 Tablespoons sauce from chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 3 chipotle chiles from chipotles in adobo sauce, minced, seeded optional, or more to taste
  • 10 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Maggi or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.

Cooking the Ribs

Braising the ribs takes about 2 hours.

Braising the ribs takes about 2 hours.

So how do you actually make the ribs?

  1. Rubbing the ribs with the Barbecue Spice Rub is your first step.
  2. Smoking ribs at 250 degrees for 3 hours (we used our Big Green Egg) is a good amount of time.
  3. Braising the ribs (also at 250 degrees) takes about 2 hours. Do this by wrapping them tightly in aluminum foil with a bottle of your favorite beer and half an onion. We used an Artisan Beer: Frambozen (Raspberry Brown) from New Belgium Brewery.
  4. Grilling them for 1 hour will give them a nice char. Place them on a high-temperature grill and apply the barbecue sauce.
  5. Enjoy!

Download and print the recipe here.

About St. Louis-Style Ribs

When smoking ribs, it’s important to think about the style of meat you buy. We used St. Louis-style ribs, which means the outer membrane covering the ribs was removed. These ribs come in a rectangular-shaped rack and the sternum bone, cartilage and rib tips have been removed. This style is typically meatier than baby back ribs.

Unless you purchase the ribs at a large warehouse outlet or a restaurant supply store, your local butcher at higher end store can assist you with prepping your meat for the grill.

Have you had any success smoking ribs? What rubs, sauces and technique worked well for you?

Mary Hathaway, Owner of Dinner Diva, has been a personal chef since 2002. She cooks regularly for clients who have special dietary needs, value healthy cooking by using organic products where possible and those who want healthy family meals but have no time to cook. Whether it’s a dinner for 4, a holiday party for 20, or a set of meals for the week, all of the recipes are customized to her client’s needs or lifestyle. Go to: for more info.