Recipe: Barbecue Ribs, Missouri-Style

Note: In our summer barbecue issue, we called this recipe the ultimate home-made rib. Because the ribs start off with a rub and a slow bake, the meat does not shrink from the bone. What you get are crisp, chewy and satisfyingly spicy ribs. If you like a saucier rib, you can simply brush the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce just before you serve them. This recipe is from “The Thrill of the Grill,” by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby (Morrow: 1990).




2 tablespoons ground cumin

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chili powder

4 tablespoons paprika

2 (3 pounds each) full racks pork spareribs

1 3/4 cups white vinegar

2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce

Combine 2 tablespoons salt, 4 tablespoons sugar, cumin, 2 tablespoons pepper, chili powder and paprika in bowl and stir well. Rub dry rub mixture over ribs.


Place ribs on baking sheets and bake at 180 degrees 3 hours.

Remove ribs from oven. (Ribs can be done up to 2 days ahead to this point and then refrigerated.)

Over very low charcoal fire, with rack set as high as possible, grill ribs until light crust forms on outside, up to 30 minutes per side. Turn ribs over and repeat.

Combine vinegar, hot pepper sauce, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon pepper and baste ribs with mixture just before removing from grill. (If “dry” ribs are desired, sauce can be served on side.) Makes 6 servings.


Each serving contains about:769 calories; 3,787 mg sodium; 186 mg cholesterol; 58 grams fat; 21 grams carbohydrates; 42 grams protein; 1.65 grams fiber.