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Sweet 'n' Smokey Kansas City Ribs


"Tender and juicy, these ribs are packed with a big smoky punch. You won't believe how quick they are from grill to plate!"

— Gloria Warczak, Cedarburg, Wis.

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For the ribs

  • 1/3 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 Teaspoons paprika
  • 2 Teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 Teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon minced basil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon minced rosemary
  • 1/2 Teaspoon minced sage
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground celery seed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  • 2 racks baby back ribs, about 5 pounds
  • 2 Cups soaked wood chips (optional)

For the sauce

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon minced basil, crushed
  • 1 Teaspoon minced marjoram, crushed
  • 1 Teaspoon minced rosemary, crushed
  • 1 Teaspoon minced dill
  • 1 Teaspoon minced sage
  • 1 Teaspoon minced cilantro
  • 1 Teaspoon minced chives
  • One 18-ounce bottle barbecue sauce


For the ribs

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, bouillon, seasonings, and herbs and rub all over the ribs. Let stand for 15 minutes. 

Prepare an outdoor grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Add 1 cup of soaked wood chips if desired. Place ribs in a disposable foil pan. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove ribs from pan and place on grill rack over drip pan. Add remaining wood chips. Grill 30 minutes longer, turning occasionally. 

For the sauce

In a small saucepan, sauté the onion in oil and butter until tender. Stir in the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the barbecue sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Baste the ribs with sauce and grill for 10-15 minutes or until meat is tender, turning and basting occasionally.