Ultimate Spice-Rubbed Grilled Ribs

These are dry-rubbed ribs, with lots of flavor and a bit of kick from the assortments of spices. If you can let them sit in the fridge with the rub on them, they will really absorb the seasonings well. These aren’t the saucy ribs some of us are used to, but they are no less flavorful. The fact that there is not a molasses- or honey- or brown sugar-drenched sauce coating them makes them great for cooking all the way through on an outdoor grill, since the reason most barbecued foods tend to char is due to the high sugar content in the sauce.

If you want to add an extra layer of sauciness, go right ahead. Just baste them once or twice with either homemade or store-bought sauce during the last 20 minutes cooking (saucing them up too early may cause the cause to burn.)

Serve these with potato salad or a baked potato, corn muffins, and some simply sautéed greens, put out a big bowl for the polished-off ribs.

Ultimate Spice-Rubbed Grilled Ribs

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    1/3 cup packed brown sugar 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 tablespoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon dried oregano 2 racks (about 4 pounds) baby back ribs


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    • 1

      In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, chili powder, salt and pepper.

    • 2

      Rub the spice mixture all over the ribs, covering them really well. Place them on a platter, cover them loosely with foil, and let sit in the fridge overnight, or for at least 4 hours (if you don’t have time for the step, it’s ok. The ribs will be less deeply flavored, but still delicious).

    • 3

      When you are ready to cook the ribs, preheat the grill to low. Grill the ribs for 1 ½ hours, until pretty well cooked, turning them frequently, watching for flare-ups and managing the heat so that they don’t start to brown too quickly. When the ribs are almost done (slice between a couple of the ribs to check) turn up the heat on the grill and give them about 10 minutes of medium heat on each side, monitoring them closely.

    • 4

      Let sit for 5 minutes, and slice and serve.

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