Deep South Barbecue Ribs


This just might be the best BBQ ribs recipe for summer out there.

Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
6 serves

These tender, oven-roasted ribs are basted with our Melting Pot Barbecue Sauce, a sweet and tangy mix of several regional Southern sauces. The recipe includes tomatoes, light brown sugar, vinegar, and yellow mustard. It may not be for pit-loving purists, but it's undeniably good. Bring it out at your next barbecue and impress your friends and family.

Deep South Barbecue Ribs
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: MindI Shapiro Levine; Food Styling: Torie Cox



  • 2 (2 1/2- to 3-lb.) slabs St. Louis-style pork ribs (about 10 bones each)

Southern BBQ Dry Rub

  • cup kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Melting Pot BBQ Sauce

  • 1 ½ pounds cherry tomatoes

  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (about 2 medium onions)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tsp.)

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 ½ cup white vinegar

  • ¼ cup yellow mustard

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


Make Southern BBQ Dry Rub

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl or large zip-top plastic bag. (You will have about 1 ¼ cups dry rub.)

Start Ribs

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pat both sides of slabs dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, remove thin membrane from back of each slab by slicing into it and pulling it off with a paper towel.

  2. Divide Southern Barbecue Dry Rub evenly between slabs, rubbing on both sides of each. Press gently to adhere. Place slabs, meaty side up, on a wire rack on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

  3. Bake in preheated oven until meat begins to pull away from bones but is not yet tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Make Melting Pot BBQ Sauce

  1. While the ribs are baking, make the Melting Pot BBQ Sauce. Heat a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring often, until skins begin to split and char, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add butter to pan, and cook until melted, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar; stir until combined. Cook, without stirring, until edges start to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until tomatoes completely break down and mixture is slightly thickened, about 45 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat, and carefully transfer to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); process on high until almost smooth, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. (You will have about 1 quart of sauce.)

Finish Ribs

  1. After the initial 1 hour and 30 minutes in the oven, increase oven temperature to 450°F. (Do not remove ribs from oven.) Brush both sides of ribs with 1 cup Melting Pot BBQ Sauce. Bake until ribs are very tender and caramelized, 35 to 45 minutes, brushing with another cup barbecue sauce halfway through baking. Remove from oven, and let stand at least 10 minutes. Serve with remaining 2 cups barbecue sauce.


The recipe instructions have been updated to clarify how long the ribs bake once the oven temperature is increased to 450°F.

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