4 Rivers Smokehouse
Barbecue is part of the canonical gospels of Southern cuisine. Dry rubs, marinades, cuts of meat, and sauces all vary by location; however, there is one consistent offering you will find on almost every true barbecue menu whether it is the local specialty or not: ribs.
Barbecue, with its slow, smoky, controlled process, can make even the toughest meats tender, rendering otherwise sinewy and fatty ribs more ideal for the smoker than for the stovetop. Of course, if you don’t have access to a outdoor grill or smoker, there are many recipes that will produce a similar smoked meat flavor indoors.
The locals in each barbecue region fiercely defend their styles and specialties under the greater barbecue umbrella, from North Carolina’s vinegary sauces slathered onto buns filled with chopped pork and coleslaw to Kansas City’s tomato-based sauce and burnt ends. However, for the purposes of this article, we are only concerned with ribs: baby backs, beef ribs, St. Louis-style, and spareribs.
These grilled baby back ribs are basically foolproof. Using a brown-sugar and Cajun-spice seasoning, cook them until tender, and serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.
The ribs that are prepared for the big cook-offs around the country are quite different from what you would normally cook at home or eat in a restaurant. Over the years of cooking, the barbecue pros have learned that making your ribs a little bit too tender and a little bit too sweet can get you a good score when they are judged. — Ray Lampe
A delicious sorghum glaze coats these tender beef ribs, which are a great barbecue alternative for those who don't want to eat pork. They're perfect for the Fourth of July or pretty much anytime the mood strikes during the summer. — David Guas
Talk about delicious. These flavorful ribs are seasoned with a dry rub before they’re grilled, basted with a beer sauce as they cook, and finished with a coating of sweet and smoky barbecue sauce. — Kristie Collado
Chinese spareribs, also known as Cantonese BBQ or char siu, are spareribs that are marinated in hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and spices and barbecued or roasted. This is easily one of our best spareribs recipes due to its ability to deliver the taste and texture of ribs you can typically only find at your local Chinatown. It doesn’t require you to buy esoteric ingredients for the marinade or pork. Either Kansas City-style or St. Louis-style spareribs can be used. — Soni Satpathy
Peden + Munk
This go-to recipe for classic barbecued ribs will render tender and delicious ribs without hours spent manning a smoker. Make these ribs in just three simple steps (season, bake, and then grill). — Kristie Collado
These ribs bring sweet heat to your kitchen! This recipe is one of our favorites from our collection of the best country-style ribs recipes because it’s so easy and delicious! It uses common kitchen staples to produce a well-balanced, kicky sauce to dress luscious slabs of boneless ribs. If you're looking to add more spice to the dish, you can always increase your chili powder in increments of 1/2 teaspoons. — Soni Satpathy
You’ll need lots of spices to dry-rub these ribs, but you’ll be rewarded with big flavor. Mix up a large batch of this dry rub and keep it on hand for easy ribs all summer long. — Kristie Collado
You’d better make a double batch of these sweet and sticky ribs.. They’re cooked in cherry cola and then covered in an irresistible and easy-to-make sauce that’s spiked with Jägermeister. The result? A rack of fall-off-the-bone, finger-licking good ribs. — Kristie Collado
Clint Cantwell, grillocracy.com
These ribs are smoked, and then brushed with sugar water and torched to create a sweet and sticky brûléed crust.
A Homemade rub with smoked paprika and a pile of applewood chips in the grill infuse these tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs with a thick, smoky flavor. — David Guas, author of Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro.
These delicious beef ribs, from blogger and grilling expert Chris Grove, have a bold, fresh flavor thanks to the herbaceous chimichurri marinade. Don’t forget to save some of the delicious chimichurri to use as a condiment for the finished ribs . — Chris Grove
Bitter cocoa nibs add the perfect savory — yet chocolaty — flavor to the rub for these ribs. Amp the chocolate flavor up even more by incorporating chopped, chile-spiked chocolate to the scratch-made barbecue sauce as well. — Kristie Collado
National Pork Board
Canned peaches and brown sugar add an incredible amount of sweetness to these smoky country-style pork ribs. Brush the ribs with a scratch-made peach and jalapeño sauce as they cook for lots of delicious flavor. — National Pork Board
These smoky, savory ribs get lots of flavor from a dry rub made with blended curry spices. If you don’t have curry at home, grilling expert Robyn Lindars of Grill Girl suggests making your own version by combining cardamom, turmeric, cumin, coriander, dry mustard, and ground chipotle chiles. — Kristie Collado
Courtesy of Clint Cantwell, Grillocracy.com
St. Louis spareribs have never tasted so good. Serve these individually portioned bacon-wrapped spareribs with a mustard-style barbecue sauce.
Make your own Korean barbecue at home with these marinated beef short ribs. You only need a few ingredients to make the marinade, and you’ll be rewarded with lots of authentic flavor. — Kristie Collado
I suppose you might call these barbecued spareribs, but they’re a long way from true barbecue cooked long and slow over hickory coals. No matter. These ribs are succulent and full of flavor. The perfect accompaniments? Coleslaw and fresh-baked corn bread. — Jean Anderson
Ribs are a grilling favorite and these have a double dose of spice. Tabasco is used in the rub and marinade to make these ribs extra spicy and fall-off-the-bone tender. — Anne Dolce
If you can’t babysit the ribs on the grill, then cook them in the oven and finish them on the grill to add a little smoky perfume. Even though baby back or county-style ribs look meatier, we prefer spareribs for succulent pork that is finger-lickin’, lip-smackin' good. — Canal House
These smoky, paprika-rubbed baby back ribs are baked in the oven, so they’re easy to make all year round. Finish them in the broiler to add color and a little bit of char. — Kristie Collado
These tasty Korean short ribs are marinated in honey, garlic, tamari, sesame, and ginger for a sweet and savory flavor. Wrap them in buttery bib lettuce leaves and serve them with rice, kimchi, and kochujang. — Kristie Collado
National Pork Board
Memphis is not only the pork barbecue capital of the world; it’s home to dry-rubbed ribs. Here with her take on the Bluff City classic is Kingsford Invitational judge and owner of Memphis Barbecue Co., Melissa Cookston. Make the dry rub (and add it to your rack of ribs) a day in advance for maximum flavor. — Melissa Cookston
All you need to make these delicious baby back ribs is brown sugar, salt, and a few dried spices. Rub the ribs with the spice blend and then let them marinate for a few hours before steaming and grilling. — Kristie Collado
The great thing about these flavorful baby back ribs (aside from the sweet and savory peanut butter glaze) is that they’re ready in less than an hour, making a delicious summer meal that much easier. — Kristie Collado
You’ll be surprised at how much flavor you can pack into these ribs with just a handful of ingredients. The secret is the Chinese five-spice powder. If you can’t find it, substitute a blend of equal parts ground star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, and fennel seeds. — Kristie Collado
Even the pros know that you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make really delicious ribs. These flavorful, fall-off-the-bone beef ribs from Clint Cantwell, editor of Grillocacy and Kingsford only use a handful of ingredients but they’re so good we guarantee you’ll be grilling these up all summer long.
Like other Vietnamese restaurants Nam Phuong in Atlanta serves phờ, but its ribs, are the best thing on the menu. The meat is tender with a crackly exterior. Nam Phuong uses flanken, or crosscut ribs, which are like little rib nuggets, each with a bone inside. You can order different sauces, but my favorite is the chile and lemongrass. To bring you those flavors and textures, I steam-bake the ribs until tender and then broil and baste them with a purée of lemongrass, chiles, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and sugar. A little riceon the side is perfect. — Kevin Gillespie, author of Pure Pork Awesomeness