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Jun 9, 2009 01:32 PM

Help! Want to grill Ribs Without BBQ Sauce

I want to grill up some Baby Back Ribs this weekend, but I am sick and tired of all red BBQ sauces.

I know that in Argentina they use Chimichurri sauce, and in Europe sauerkraut and a slow braise is common. After that, I am lost.

Anybody have any good recipes for ribs that do not include a red BBQ sauce? Any other favorite ways to serve ribs?


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  1. reportedly, james beard's favorite spare ribs were done with only salt and pepper.

    there is an active tradition of sauceless ribs. many such ribs are cooked with a spicey dry rub. if you're simply tired of red gooey sauce, consider a change-up to a thinner mustard/vinegar sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: silverhawk

      I frequently prepare ribs following that recipe. I sometimes modify it by using salt and toasted Sichuan pepper. Also, I have found that cooking the ribs for a long time in a slow oven enhances their flavor. The taste of pork is the highlight, not the taste of sauce.

    2. Whenever we grill ribs we use a spice rub and put wood chips on top of the charcoal and let cook on low heat for 4 hours. There are tons of different ways to make a rub depending on what you like, we like it spicy so use some combo of (depending on whats in the pantry) paprika, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, ground chili, ground mustard seed, salt, and pepper.

      2 Replies
      1. re: thegirlwholovestoeat

        It will be hard to improve on these two prior suggestions. I like both ideas very much, but preference is a dry rub myself........but you cannot go wrong with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

        1. re: thegirlwholovestoeat

          I make a dry rub with five spice powder and slow smoke them with cherry or apple wood. Char siu mix works well also.

        2. This is my own recipe. They consistently come out so well, I had to name them -


          5 lbs. pork baby back ribs, about 4 racks

          Dry Rub:
          4 tbsp. spicy montreal steak seasoning
          2 tbsp coarse salt
          Fresh ground pepper
          ½ cup brown sugar

          1 cup apple juice
          ½ cup apple cider

          Cattlemen’s Authentic smokehouse BBQ sauce

          Rinse and pat dry ribs. Sprinkle dry rub on both sides of all racks. Refrigerate, covered for 1-24 hours.

          Put convection oven on 300 degrees. Mix together apple juice & cider. Put racks in deep roasting pan. Pour in the juice. Tightly cover with foil and cook for 1 ½ - 2 hours, or until ribs are tender.

          Preheat grill to medium high heat. Slather racks with bbq sauce and grill, covered, for 15-20 minutes, turning and basting frequently.

          Note: Do not have to have a convection oven. Just keep the temp low and the time slow. And skip the cattlemen's - that just happens to be my DH's favorite sauce. I also like to glaze with a mixture of olive oil, honey, fresh oj, garlic & minced jalapeno. Enjoy!

          1. Dry rub is the way to go. Many commercial rubs are quite good if you don't make your own. I like both Stubb's and Prudhomme's dry rubs. Rich taste and not too salty. If you have guests that want wet you can always paint theirs with a little sauce and throw them back on the grill for a few minutes.

            1. Thanks Guys! I think I am going to try James Beard's recipe, slow cooked on the grill.