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Big Billy's Barbecue Country-Style Ribs


Big Billy's Barbecue Country-Style Ribs

Here's Billy Rodgers' version of a favorite backyard barbecue dish from his childhood. He dedicates it to his mother, Anna G. He cherishes memories of going with her to visit his grandmother in the summertime. Billy said, "Grandmother lived in a small town where everyone still sits on the front porch and waves at you as you drive by, whether they know you or not. Word would get out around town whenever my mother came home to visit. When people found out that she was cooking dinner, the house would fill. Anyone and everyone would come by to get a plate and sit a spell to enjoy each other's company."

"I would really get excited when I saw my uncle put his stereo speakers in the backyard, the adults setting the tables with red gingham check tablecloths on them and placing a big galvanized tub filled with ice and such between the tables. Yes! It was cookout time! I used to love to watch everyone try to get that old cast-iron grill fi red up to cook homemade oversized burgers, pork chops, and chicken. Mmm, mmm, mmm — I can still smell it as I reminisce. Here is a recipe that takes me back to those wonderful summer days in my grandmother's backyard. I hope that you enjoy it!"

— Billy Rodgers, Big Billy's BB

Click here to see 9 Mouthwatering Rib Recipes.


*Note: Select ribs with a light marbling of fat throughout. This lean meat has a tendency to dry over a long period of smoking, producing a dry product. You should still trim any excess or unwanted fat from the outside.


For the rub

  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons seasoned salt
  • 2 Tablespoons paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 2 Teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 Teaspoon monosodium glutamate (MSG) (optional)

For the sauce

  • 3/4 Cups ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 Cup bourbon
  • 2 Tablespoons clover honey
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 Teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/8 Teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon garlic powder

For the ribs

  • 5 Pounds country-style pork ribs*
  • Vegetable oil, for the grill


For the rub

Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Using a funnel, place the rub into a shaker. Set aside.

For the sauce

Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and leave at room temperature as this is a cold mix sauce and does not require any cooking.

For the ribs

Heat the smoker to 275 degrees, or if you are using a grill, set it up for indirect cooking by banking the charcoal to one side.

Season the ribs liberally on both sides with the rub at least 30 minutes before placing them on the grill. Use a wire brush and clean your grates, then lightly oil them.

Place the meat in the smoker, or if you are using a grill, on the opposite side of the coals for indirect cooking. Cook until the internal temperature registers 195 degrees on a meat thermometer, about 3 ½-4 hours. (You can brush with sauce during the last 10 minutes of cooking or serve it in a small bowl on the side. The finished product will have the texture of a tender steak.)

Remove the ribs from the cooker and let them rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.