Dirty Dick's Grilled Baby Back Ribs

Dirty Dick's Grilled Baby Back Ribs
Ardie A. Davis and Paul Kirk


For Dirty Dick's barbecue spice

  • 6 Tablespoons  kosher salt
  • 6 Tablespoons  light brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup  paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons  chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon  garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon  lemon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon  dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon  dried tarragon, crushed
  • 1 Teaspoon  onion powder
  • 1 Teaspoon  ground cumin

For the ribs

  • slabs baby back ribs, membrane removed, trimmed (about 3 pounds)
  •   Apple juice, for spraying
  • 2 Cups  Dirty Dick’s Barbecue sauce or your favorite barbecue sauce

We credit Richard Westhaver with being an innovator in helping promote New England competition barbecue into a rapidly growing network of contenders who continue to show up on the awards stage at major contests everywhere. Competing as Dirty Dick and the Legless Wonders, Westhaver's team has garnered its share of awards. With this recipe, Westhaver demonstrates an easy way to barbecue baby backs that are high on flavor.

Click here to see 9 Mouthwatering Rib Recipes.


For Dirty Dick's barbecue spice

In a bowl, mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly and sift through a strainer twice. Transfer to an airtight container. This will keep stored away from heat, light, and moisture for up to 6 months.

For the ribs

Rub each side of the ribs with 1 tablespoon of the barbecue spice. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, before placing the ribs on the grill, reseason them. Place about 50 briquettes on one side of a charcoal grill and light them.

Once the coals are ready, throw on 2 handfuls of wood chips. Place the grate over the fire and put the ribs on the side opposite the fire. Close the lid. Open the top and bottom vents on the grill about two-thirds of the way. Place a candy thermometer in the top vent to monitor the temperature. (The ideal temperature for cooking the ribs is 350 degrees.)

After 1 hour, open the upper and lower vents to maintain the temperature. Turn the ribs and spray with apple juice. When the ribs are done, they will be flexible and the end of the bone will be exposed ½-inch or so, about 2 hours.

Remove the ribs from the grill and coat both sides with barbecue sauce, about ½ cup per side. Then wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and seal tightly. Place in a warm spot for 30 minutes, then unwrap and apply more sauce before serving, if desired.


Calories per serving:

751 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Oil Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 234g 360%
  • Carbs 343g 114%
  • Saturated 81g 403%
  • Fiber 31g 123%
  • Trans 2g
  • Sugars 253g
  • Monounsaturated 96g
  • Polyunsaturated 41g
  • Protein 277g 554%
  • Cholesterol 939mg 313%
  • Sodium 17,543mg 731%
  • Calcium 1,041mg 104%
  • Magnesium 454mg 113%
  • Potassium 6,391mg 183%
  • Iron 33mg 185%
  • Zinc 39mg 259%
  • Phosphorus 2,487mg 355%
  • Vitamin A 1,189µg 132%
  • Vitamin C 8mg 13%
  • Thiamin (B1) 7mg 441%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 5mg 301%
  • Niacin (B3) 102mg 509%
  • Vitamin B6 8mg 384%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 63µg 16%
  • Vitamin B12 8µg 127%
  • Vitamin D 15µg 4%
  • Vitamin E 25mg 124%
  • Vitamin K 136µg 170%
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