Tennessee Dry Rub Ribs

Tennessee Dry Rub Ribs Print this recipe

Yields: 4 servings
Cook time: 3 3/4 hours Prep time: 20 minutes


First Stage Dry Rub

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons garlic salt
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup paprika
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon white pepper


  • 1¾ cups apple juice
  • ¼ cup vinegar

  • 2 slabs St. Louis cut spare ribs

Third Stage Dry Rub

  • ¼ cup first-stage rub
  • ⅛ cup brown sugar


  1. Place slab of ribs bone-side down on table. Slide knife under the membrane and against the end bone to separate the two. With a dry paper towel or rag, grasp the edge of the thin membrane and pull. The entire membrane should separate from the rib.
  2. Combine first-stage rub and mix well. Reserve ¼ cup for third-stage dry rub. Generously apply rub onto the front and back sides of ribs. Gently pat to ensure that rub will adhere.
  3. Build a charcoal fire on one side of grill, such that the coals are situated on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side void. This will create an area for lower temperature indirect cooking away from the coals. Preheat charcoal cooker to 250°F. Place ribs meat-side up on the grill and cook with indirect heat for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  4. Remove ribs from grill. Place each rib meat-side down on its own doubled aluminum foil square. Foil should be large enough to completely wrap rib. Mix the marinade ingredients. Pour 1 cup of marinade over each rib. At the same time, wrap and seal each rib tightly with aluminum foil. Place back on grill for 1 hour.


  1. Chris Lilly
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