HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Country style pork ribs??

I have about 4 lbs of country style pork ribs. I was thinking about putting them on the grill but not sure how long to grill them. I would appreciate any input on this and/or any other tasty ways to cook them tonight. I have four boys and they like relatively simple foods... Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. These are usually sliced shoulder, no? Not really ribs. They are for low slow cooking. "Grilling" is fine, but it should be at a low temp.

    7 Replies
    1. re: gordeaux

      True enough country style "ribs" are from the shoulder and not really ribs at all. I still really enjoy country ribs. Plenty of meat and you can't beat the price.

      1. re: Fritter

        So I'm trying to narrow this down. Do these non-ribs have bones in them?

        1. re: c oliver

          no, though sometimes a little bit of a bone will be in a piece. they don't even look like what you'd call "ribs."

          1. re: alkapal

            Thanks. This little thread has taught me things - as usual

            1. re: c oliver

              ""Description: Country-style ribs are cut from the sirloin or rib end of the pork loin. The meatiest variety of ribs, country-style ribs are sold either as “slabs” or in individual servings. These pork ribs are perfect for those who want to use a knife and fork. ""

              maybe this chart and photos will give you a better idea: http://www.theotherwhitemeat.com/aspx...

              1. re: c oliver

                No bones at least not rib bones. I enjoy country style ribs grilled but I don't take them past medium. It's just not necissary to cook all pork until it's falling apart tender.

              2. re: alkapal

                Bone-in country style ribs simmering in beer. Cook in a covered skillet on the stove 2 or 3 hours until tender. Adding addl beer as necessary. When they are tender I cook the beer down to a nice thick syrup and then add the BBQ sauce and let simmer until falling apart.

        2. Just made some last nite; here's what we did: A spice rub of salt, pepper, cumin, dried oregano, chili powder, cayenne and a pinch of sugar. Into the fridge uncovered on a rack for three-four hrs. Then let sit @ room temp for an hour or so. Did a 2 level fire on the gas grill; one side on low the other turned off (after preheating both sides) Threw in a foil packet of soaked mesquite chips and cooked the ribs on the cool side of the grill for about 90 min. They were 165-170 when finished. The last 15 min. we basted them w/ a little homemade bbq sauce. They were super good!! Got 'em on sale @ Safeway for 99 cents a pound!! adam

          2 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              They were very tender and juicy! adam

          1. I always brown in skillet, then add water and some BBQ sauce and braise until tender.

            Usually I refrigerate overnight, remove solidified fat, reheat and douse with BBQ sauce.

            Very tender, very good. Not grilled however

            6 Replies
            1. re: laliz

              I like the cumin, chili powder, oregano idea. Has anyone heard of cooking them in the oven a bit, and then putting them on the grill for to finish cooking and to get a little of that flavor and a little char? I think I want that grill taste, but am afraid of not getting them done....

              1. re: suites

                I do them in the oven as well as baby back and pork ribs. I like to seasoning well with a rub over night or and least a few hours put in the fridge and cover. Then the next night I I put in the oven 325 - 350 and cook. I like to add 1 can of beer to the pan depending on how many ribs. I can is usually the right amount and sliced onions. Cover and cook 2 hours maybe 2 1/2. Check at 2 hours and then remove to the grill. If you didn't want to grill remove and drain the liquid. Move back to the pan after draining the liquid and sauce on. Turn oven to 400 and cook until well covered on both sides. Cook an additional 10-20 minutes. Perfect tender fall apart.

                I do this with my baby backs all the time.

                1. re: kchurchill5

                  Hey K - I bake or braise mine too, before putting on the grill. I think they're juicier than ribs that are just grilled, and much more tender. Will try the beer and onion thing.

                  1. re: bayoucook

                    They are pretty darn tasty. Cooking time depends on the amount of ribs but the beer and onion just gives great moist and juicy ribs. I am having some this weekend and can't wait. It is a favorite no matter what type of rib.

                2. re: suites

                  I normally cook them in the oven, covered, at 300 for 3 hours. Use whatever seasoning I feel like. I once broiled them at the end to get them crispy and they got pretty tough, so I'm not sure about throwing them on the grill at the end. I'd sure like to know if you try it and it works, though!

                  1. re: GretchenS

                    When you take them out, make sure they are tender. Not falling apart but tender. Put on the grill but only a few minutes to dry on each side, 2-3 minutes and then sauce. Just a couple of minutes on each side should be plenty. until the sauce is warmed and gets stuck to the ribs and then serve. Cook longer on the grill or oven and then will be dry.

              2. Agreed don't grill. Brown and then slow braise or brown and then crock if no time. Grilling would not be my choice at all. Sometimes I will cook in the crock until almost done on low. When I come how I transfer to the grill with BBQ. Or you can just do a BBQ sauce in the crock.

                Or, Braise in the oven slow and then remove to the grill and sauce or honestly you can do it right in the oven if you want. Just depends how much time you have and what you have available to cook with ect, grill.

                I had some a few weeks ago. I did mine in the crock cuz I was working all day. Had 4 friends over so I added some seasoning, sliced onions and some beer, BBQ sauce and came home to saucy fresh ribs. Made some simple mashed potatoes in the microwave in 5 minutes which were creamy with sour cream, chives and seasoning, Corn on the cob, and a fresh salad. Couldn't be easier. Simple fresh food.

                2 Replies
                1. re: kchurchill5

                  Ok - I'm going to season well, cover and cook on low oven for a couple of hours, and then take off and hit the grill w/ some sauce just for few minutes. Hubby has some homemade sausage he wants to put on the grill, so I might has well utilize it too. Sweet potatoes and smothered okra and tomatoes, maybe some cornbread, and we're set! Thanks, ya'll!

                  1. re: suites

                    I think a perfect plan. Just make sure the ribs are soft tender but not falling off the bone and keep on the grill a little time, no long. Low to medium heat just to dry a bit and then sauce and that is it. Cover and let set as you do the sausage. Always works great.

                2. You could make carnitas. I put them on a pan, sprinkle with s&p, and top with sliced onions and sliced fresh jalapenos. Cover w/foil and bake at about 300-350 for about 2 -2 1/2 hours. Take them out, turn your oven up to about 450, heat a cast iron pan smoking hot, add a little bit of oil or lard to the pan, and roughly shred/pull the meat apart into chunks. Toss into the pan, and put back in the oven for about five minutes. (They should still be VERY juicy when you are "chunking" them, so don't worry too much about drying them out.)

                  Serve with tortillas, refried beans, rice, guac, whatever floats your boat.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: shanagain

                    sounds marvelous! I will have to try this (but will do the last bit with the cast iron pan on the grill so I don't smoke up the kitchen.)

                  2. i grill them. they are good on the grill, imo.
                    do a dry rub (like everglades seasoning, or whatever spice "direction" you want, or marinate overnight (like teriyaki, e.g.). grill over medium heat till pink-ish, then remove, let 'em rest, then serve up. don't overcook.

                    great sliced on a grill-toasted crusty roll with some mustardy-aioli sauce! also with some roasted red peppers!

                    1. I buy these in the summer and cook them low on the grill. I like to use Stubbs pork marinade; most grocery stores carry it. Throw the ribs in a plastic bag with the marinade overnight, or even just for a few hours. They come out tender and really delicious. Here's what the marinade looks like, just in case you haven't seen it before.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: mschow

                        The Stubbs pork marinade is good stuff!

                        1. re: Fritter

                          I like Stubbs marinade so much I used to call it Mr. Stubbs (that must be the guy on the bottle, right?) to show my deep love and respect for the man!

                      2. I know its not haute cuisine... but the crock pot is simple and easy and the slow-cooking breaks them down into nice tender bits... I throw 4-5 in with a sliced onion, and a bottle of my favorite BBQ sauce (or my own homemade BBQ sauce - don't use one with lots of junk like corn syrup in it, you want lots of tomato [or mustard] flavor and the corn syrup will just melt into the pot and not add flavor)
                        Set on low heat and when ready, the meat will fall off the bone, then I loosely shred it with two forks, put it on a nice potato bun, and slather it with a bit more BBQ sauce for a pulled-pork esque sandwich.

                        We also like to do them on the grill, but you have to slow cook them in the oven first, if you stick them straight on the grill, not only do they tense up and get chewy, but they take forever! (We put a dry rub of pepper, paprika, oregano, garlic, brown sugar, and chili flakes on them, then bake them in the oven at a very low temp for a few hours, then slap them on the grill. You can slather them with your fave bbq sauce if you want crisps up nicely in the flames.)

                        1. This, too, is simple but tasty stuff. I prefer Woodie's or Stubb's BBQ sauce to anything else.
                          Put them in a casserole dish and coat with sauce. Turn and rub it in, too. Cover with foil and bake at 250 for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. You can turn them if you like after one hour and check on tenderness. Lastly, take off foil and let them cook off some of the moisture and dry out a little. Serve some warmed fresh Q sauce with them.
                          If you grill them do it at a low temp. I disagree that they take forever. Slathering them too soon at too high a heat with sauce can easily lead to a burnt and not so tasty exterior! The sugarey sauces burn easily.You can finish the oven baked ones on the grill, too, as noted.

                          1. Country style pork ribs are perfect for making meat sauce. Brown them with some onions and maybe sausages, or whatever else you feel like, then add canned tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes break up and the sauce reduces. Add fresh herbs near the end, or thyme at the beginning.

                            15 Replies
                            1. re: danieljdwyer

                              Talk to me more about that please. Do you chop the meat up first? I NEED DETAILS :)

                              1. re: c oliver

                                I don't chop the meat. The bigger the pieces the better really, so that you can brown the meat without cooking the inside at all. They'll break up some when you stir the sauce, or you can break them up very easily once they're cooked. I like to end up with good sized pieces, about a half to a third the size of the original "ribs".
                                I usually use the country style ribs the way they're cut and packaged by the grocery store, which I think is basically 2 inches in width and thickness, and maybe 8 inches in length. Just salt and pepper on them and into olive oil that's just about smoking. It's important not to let the meat cook much as it browns, as that will make it tough. It's a basic braise, but with no lid on the pot.
                                I usually just use canned whole tomatoes to provide the braising liquid. If you want it to go faster can either crush them or just buy cans of crushed tomatoes. You can even just use a good basic canned or jarred tomato sauce for something even quicker and smoother. I like nice chunks of tomato though. It's done when the tomatoes have mostly broken up, it's not watery at all, and the bone separates from the meat easily.
                                That's the basic formula, but the variations are endless. I've never had a recipe for it, but I learned the basic idea through my brother-in-law (Long Island Italian). This is his family's basic sauce. They always use sausage, but it can be sweet or hot depending on which family member is making it - and there is a great deal of variation on how or if to cut the sausage up. Some use onions. Some use garlic. Some use both. They all use basil. Some also use oregano. The ones that use the sweet sausage add cayenne pepper, and so do some of the ones that use the hot sausage.
                                I've tried adding bell peppers, or roasted bell peppers, but they just get lost. Paprika - any kind, but I like it smoked - works nicely. I find thyme works much better than basil - this idea courtesy of Mario Batali - as it stands up to long cooking times. If you add basil at the end, it won't permeate the sauce. If you add basil at the beginning, a lot of the flavor is lost to the long cooking. Adding it at both the beginning and end does work nicely.
                                Braising the pork first in white wine, then adding the tomatoes works nicely. Or you can sear the pork in a cast iron pan, remove them to a sauce pot, deglaze the pan with white wine, reduce, and add to the sauce pot. I've toyed with the idea of using red wine, but most of the reds I think would work well cost at least twice as much as the white I use.
                                I've also done it as a whole pork butt for large family meals. In that case, I use a dutch oven and do the braising in the oven, though obviously the searing is still a stove top production. I like to use whole roasted onions when I do this, because it makes for a nice presentation. It's sort of like a roast, but you can pull chunks off with a fork. It's really great with polenta. Sort of an Italian American spin on pulled pork and grits. I guess you could take that idea one step further and also serve some kale and white beans so your plate looks like the Bizarro World version of a plate of pulled pork, grits, collards, and black eyed peas.
                                Hopefully that's enough detail. I've never been good with specifics. If I left anything unclear, ask away.

                                1. re: danieljdwyer

                                  If I don't put the lid on the pot, then what temp should I use please? Picked some up today.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    An oven temperature of about 275 will maintain a nice slow simmer. Just make sure it's at that perfect simmer before you put it in the oven.

                                  2. re: danieljdwyer

                                    I got sort of mixed up :) I used the "ribs" but did them in the oven. Upon rereading I've now moved them to the stovetop to finish up. But I've already tasted and they're simply wonderful. I have a silly question. You call this "meat sauce." What does that mean exactly? I'm still thinking about serving with polenta and something. The meat IS still whole. I have a feeling it's a regional term, yes? Thanks for a real keeper of a dish.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      I think you're right that it's a regional term. In the Philadelphia to Boston Red Sauce Belt, meat sauce just means Italian-American style tomato sauce with meat in it. The meat is usually in larger pieces, and it's usually pork.
                                      I usually eat it the way I grew up with it in red sauce joints, which is the meat and the sauce together over pasta. My wife likes to eat the meat by itself and sop up the sauce with some toasted ciabatta. In Italy, they'd take the meat out of the sauce, use the sauce for pasta for the first course, and eat the meat separately as a second course.There's no wrong way.

                                      1. re: danieljdwyer

                                        We're having this tomorrow night when a couple come over --- unless we nibble it all away before then :) I'm considering polenta and *something green*. And definitely bread for sopping. Daniel, this is seriously good eatin' and I thank you again.
                                        PS: It was helpful to read this thread and find out that these aren't even ribs so why treat them that way?

                                        1. re: danieljdwyer

                                          Post-mortem: These were a real hit with the two men duelling forks over the last piece :) A little sauce over the polenta was great also. AND a real plus is there's enough sauce to serve over a side dish of pasta with dinner tonight. I've already bought another pack of those non-ribs to keep in the freezer. Thanks again, djd.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            They frequently go on sale here for about .79 a pound, or BOGO free at $1.29 a lb, and I stock up everytime. I just made the carnitas I'd mentioned above, and forgot to add the crucial ingredient - a few squeezes of lime over the meat - and that it may be one of the best things I forget to cook more often.

                                        2. re: c oliver

                                          Typically, "Meat Sauce" in pasta terms would be the Bolognese, as opposed to Marinara. It's apparently not so much a regional term in the U.S. if they call spaghetti sauce with meat a meat sauce in Boston, as here in the South it has always been called that as well...unless of course it was prepared meatless, to accommodate meat balls etc...

                                          Technically, however, an Italian "Meat Sauce" of any kind, especially those with a tomato base are called a : Ragu
                                          Thanks for a great thread...

                                    2. re: danieljdwyer

                                      Generally, I only use Country Style Ribs for Red Sauce when I make my Sunday Gravy....with meatballs, sausage and braciole. Traditionally, I would use either back ribs or spare ribs, but Country Style ribs often go on sale, and when they do, it's always half price of spare ribs and a third price of back ribs($1.49). It does make a great Ragu sauce.....and it saves me about ten bucks per pot.

                                      Good call djd...

                                      1. re: fourunder

                                        Please tell me more. This sounds delicious

                                        1. re: suites

                                          I would probably have to type for hours to be specific in preparation, so please forgive me for cheating a little and supplying a link to Lidia's recipe, which is pretty much basic for all recipes. My version was taught to me by my Sister-in-Law's paternal Grandmother some 30 years ago. Her secret was to add a whole chicken to the pot as well, but I only do this when my SIL is over for dinner.The sauce calls for browning the meats separately, but I cheat by browning some or all of the meats in the oven....it's much less messy and time consuming.

                                          The braciole is always made with pork, never beef. It has Provolone and Parmigiano Reggiano sticks with garlic, pignoli nuts, Italian parsley wrapped in Prosciutto. then rolled into the pork. My family does not care for the hard boiled eggs or raisins.

                                          Both Hot and Sweet Sausages

                                          Meatballs are made with day old bread soaked in milk, sometimes with ricotta cheese, but always lots of Parmigiano Reggiano, Italian Parsley and eggs. Three meats....veal. pork and beef.....sometimes only veal and pork.

                                          Traditionally I will use back ribs first, spare ribs second and the Country Ribs when on sale. The back ribs and spare ribs would be cut into two bone portions. Spare ribs would be trimmed like St. Louis Ribs, but the tips would also be used in the sauce.

                                          I only cook the meatballs and sausages for about an hour to 1.25 hr. The braciole and ribs until tender.....usually 2.5 to 3 hours on low to medium flame total cooking time.....depending on time of year....longer in the colder months. You can cook the meatballs and sausages in the beginning and remove or add in the middle. I prefer the beginning myself. I add them back at the end to warm.

                                          My secret is to grate an onion....not chop so I do not have to hear from the peanut gallery it isn't a true meat sauce. I like the flavor of the onion in the sauce. I use crushed plums or San Marzano......but I find California tomatoes make a nice sauce just as well. .....Contadina Brand number ten cans purchased at Costco.

                                          Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and herb seasonings to taste.....garlic naturally.


                                    3. I use them to make char siu. I put them under high heat in the oven and turn them often and let them cook for a long time until they are sticky crispy and tender on the inside. Serve with white rice. Leftovers... limitless uses.

                                      I also grill them.

                                      1. I forgot to mention that I made the French style pork stew from this cut. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6356... See Kattyeyes pictures just above my post. I cut the meat off the bone and separated fat from the meat, but put bones and fat in the bottom of the pot.

                                        1. this tasty recipe from the "pork" site has these cooking instructions for their east carolina style marinated ribs:
                                          ""Prepare medium-hot fire; grill ribs over indirect heat for 50 to 60 minutes or until pork is tender and the internal temperature reaches 160º F. Baste ribs twice with reserved sauce mixture during last 15 minutes of grilling. "

                                          11 Replies
                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            I find the idea of their being tender at 160 to be questionable. But easy enough to go longer if not.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              when grilled, they never get as "tender" as the meat on regular ribs that have, e.g., been over-smoked (cooked too long) and "fall off the bone."

                                              they're good in wintertime, braised with sauerkraut, applejack, juniper berries..

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                My husband does something with sauerkraut and brown mustard. I'm going to suggest he play around with *your* ingredients.

                                                I never mind a little *chaw* on ribs!

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  braising will make them break up, and the longer the braise, the more broken the pieces of rib. overbraising will turn them into mush.

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    I think alot of people make that mistake. You can go from tender but still full of flavor to falling apart, poor texture and loss of flavor.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      c -- exactamente, the texture is lost, and the flavor is gone, gone, gone.

                                                      the "lost" flavor might be discernible as flavor *added* to the braising liquid, but then eating the meat is like biting on a bit of cardboard. you ask yourself, "why am i eating this?" (or to quote the talking heads, "how did i get here?").

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        That's why after making chicken stock, the *dead* chicken gets fed to the dogs.

                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                If you go past 160 then they will need to cook a long time to get tender again. You have two options. Grill or cook rapidly until they are just done and they will be reasonably tender (like a pork chop) or cook them much longer until they become tender again.

                                              3. re: alkapal

                                                Perhaps to elaborate on burning; what I was referring to was direct heat on a grill can result in burned ribs or backbone if wet sauced. I have taken to cooking mine over a pan of water at lower heat (250-350). You still get the smoke immersion. You can then slather them with anything, as much as you want, and never burn them. The "indirect heat" is the critical element in this style of cooking.

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  Just checked out this recipe and like the looks of it ALOT. I hate thick sauces with a ketchup base. This is going to be plenty vinegary/hot and not cloying. I basically don't *DO* barbeque. I grill meat with a light brushing of something. I never *slather*. It's all about the meat for me. Getting back to NoCal tomorrow. This will be tryed. Thanks for sharing, ap.

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    "I hate thick sauces with a ketchup base."

                                                    You should like this then, as eastern NC bbq sauce is the polar opposite of that. The vinegar helps the meat stay moist, and you don't have to worry about caramelization and burning like you do with thick, tomato based bbq sauces.

                                                2. Going against the grain a bit, I usually cook them over direct heat. They make for a nice, quick lunch that way, especially if I already have some coals going, and a bit of char and some good sauce gives them plenty of flavor.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Naco

                                                    yes, i've never had a problem with cooking them directly over medium coals.

                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                      I like the bit of char a grill gives them, and then again, that is why I cook them to begin with in the oven... then I don't have to worry about adding the BBQ sauce too early or late.... they get done in the oven, then "crisped" on the grill... good ol' caramelization... NOM! Makes me want them now....

                                                  2. I just tried this using boneless pork country-style spare ribs. Was amazed at how good they are. A very fatty cut, but so tender when slow-cooked. Here's what I did, and also what I plan to do next time:

                                                    Rubbed with spice/salt/pepper (could be any spices you like.) Braised in olive oil till nicely browned. Added 1 sliced onion. Saute those until they start to carmelize. Add 1 can chopped tomatoes (plum is best, crush with your hands if whole.) Add as much BBQ sauce as you like to taste. (I added very little, not a big BBQ fan.) Add some bouillon paste for extra flavor and garlic powder (or fresh chopped garlic.) Add about 1/2 c water. Cover and cook 1.5 hours in 350 oven. At 1.5 hours, add spicy italian sausage links and 1 can baked beans. Cover and cook another 30 minutes in oven (or 20 minutes on stove top.)

                                                    My husband liked it quite a bit, but as we're not huge BBQ fans, I think this cut of meat could also be wonderfully prepared a bit similar to a French cassoulet. So next time, I'll try the above, but will add carrots, turnips (maybe), and potatoes along after the onions and with the crushed tomatoes/bouillon. Then add sausages (sweet Italian, not spicy) and cannellini beans (no BBQ or baked beans) and cook per previous recipe.

                                                    This gives you a sweet and savory version of the spare ribs, depending on whether you like a sweetish or salty sauce. A great, economical cut of meat and fun change of pace.