Cook pork ribs
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Cook Pork Ribs
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Pork / Cook Pork Ribs

Rib recipes are the highly guarded secret of backyard and world renowned chefs everywhere. The recipes you can find for pork ribs are as widely varied as the areas they come from. Ribs in Louisiana can be very different from ribs in Virginia but all in all they are all excellent if you prepare and cook your pork ribs correctly.

Purchasing a quality rack of ribs is very important no matter how you decide to prepare and cook your ribs.

After acquiring a quality rack of ribs wash and blot dry with a paper towel. With a knife and some brut force, pull off the membrane on the back of the rack. This is how you do it; Cut the edge of the membrane to get it started and use your fingers and a damp kitchen towel to get a secure grip and remove.

Rack of ribs reporting for duty.

BBQ Rib Rubs

Rubs, wet rubs and dry rubs, are used to initially season pork ribs. Knox's Chipotle BBQ dry rub is recommended for ribs for obvious reasons. A BBQ rib rub can be simple as salt and pepper or complex secret recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. Knox's dry rubs are family recipes created exactly as we use them in our homes, No preservatives, additives or anti-clotting agents. It is also worth mentioning that our dry rub has a low salt ratio and what little salt we use is flaked sea salt and excellent on BBQ food.

Sprinkle BBQ rub on ribs
Rub into surface
Fully rubbed ribs
Sprinkle dry rub
Rub into surface of ribs
Rubbed ribs

If you add olive oil to a dry rub you will have a wet rub. Some people prefer one over the other but depending on your mood both are excellent. Dry rubs are applied to pork ribs before cooking. You can apply the rub just before grilling or hours earlier letting the pork ribs sit in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.

You may also use citrus juice (orange or lime) to make wet rubs for your pork ribs. This is also excellent on chicken.


A mop is a sauce used to flavor and retain moisture in the ribs as they slowly cook. A special tool called a mop is used to apply the mop sauce while cooking. A brush can be used but with a gentle touch. You want to apply the mop sauce not push it around. Mops are applied to pork ribs while they are cooking. Usually every 20 minutes or so after the first 1/2 hour. BBQ cooking at higher temperatures should be mopped near the end of the cook time to prevent burning.

barbecue dry rubbed and mopped ribs
Half mopped oven baked ribs.

All natural chipotle dry rub seasoning. BBQ seasoning for chicken, beef and pork.
Chipotle BBQ

BBQ mop recipes

1 Cup tomato paste
1 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 medium onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves crushed and chopped
1 Tablespoon yellow Mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Knox's BBQ dry rub

Heat ingredients in a saucepan until warm and well blended.

Smoking Pork Ribs

Pork ribs in our opinion are best when smoked. In a smoker heated to 225 degrees F., place rubbed or seasoned pork ribs meat side up. Smoke for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours (sometimes longer) mopping as directed above. Wrap the ribs in foil for the last hour. This will retain the moisture in the ribs and make them more succulent. Allow to rest foiled for 15 minutes or so. Pork ribs will fall off the bone and be moist and tasty if attention and care if given while smoking.

Some mistake that are made when cooking ribs would be to use of briquettes instead of lump or chunk natural charcoal. Briquettes have other ingredients, sometimes glue, that impart undesirable flavor into grilled and barbecued meat. We always recommend a hardwood lump charcoal. Also using to many soaked wood chips. The use of a quality lump charcoal will impart a nice smoky flavor. If you feel additional smoke is required we would not recommend using more than a large handful of soaked chips about half way through the cooking process.

Baking Pork Ribs

You can also bake pork ribs in you oven in almost the same fashion as described above. Preheat your oven to 225 degrees F. place rubbed or seasoned pork ribs, meat side up. on a baking rack in a baking pan with 1/2 inch of water in the bottom. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Brush on mop sauce and continue baking until done mopping every 20 minutes. You can foil for the last hour or 40 minutes to hold in moisture. Allow to rest foiled for 15 minutes or so.

Whether you decide to smoke or bake your pork ribs you should let them rest before serving to allow the temperature and moisture to distribute evenly. Serve with cold beer and a lot of napkins.

Boiling Pork Ribs

Although I have seen recipes where individuals boil pork ribs before cooking, this is not recommended. When you boil pork ribs you are cooking them and then browning them in the oven or on the grill. They will never be as tender and tasty as when you slow smoke, grill or bake them following the basic preparations on this page.


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