Small meatpackers in St. Louis, Missouri, introduced St. Louis-style ribs in the 1930s. They were created by cutting pork spare ribs into a more rectangular shape, which included more meat and removed cartilage from the ribs’ sides. This new cut became known as St. Louis-style ribs, and it has since become a favorite at barbecue joints across the United States.
For this St. Louis-style ribs recipe, I set my Memphis Grill to 225°F and add a blend of hickory and cherry wood pellets for smoking and heat. I place the ribs on the grill and close the lid, letting them smoke for about 4 to 6 hours. As the ribs cook, I prepare the St. Louis Red Sauce, mixing together ingredients like tomato puree, dark corn syrup, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, orange juice, steak sauce, fermented pepper hot sauce, ground allspice and many other flavorful ingredients in a saucepan.
Finally, about 20 minutes before the ribs are done, I brush them with the St. Louis Red Sauce and let them cook until the meat has shrunk about ¾ to 1 inch from the bones. Once the ribs are done, I remove them from the grill and let them rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving them to my guests.
This recipe for St. Louis-style barbecued ribs is delicious because it combines a flavorful dry rub with a tangy, sweet St. Louis Red Sauce that is brushed on the ribs as they smoke on the grill. As a result, you’ll have a tender, juicy rack of ribs that’s bursting with flavor and ideal for any backyard barbecue.
- 2 racks Pork spare ribs, St. Louis cut (membrane removed)
- ¼ cup - Brown sugar
- 3 tbsp - Kosher or coarse sea salt
- 1 tbsp - Paprika
- 1 tsp - Chili powder
- 1 tsp - Dried oregano
- 1 tsp - Garlic powder
- 1 tsp - Onion powder
- 1 tsp - Ground black pepper
- ½ tsp - Cayenne pepper
St. Louis Red Sauce
- 2 cup - Tomato puree
- ½ cup - Dark corn syrup
- ½ cup - Distilled white vinegar
- 6 tbsp - Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup - Molasses
- ¼ cup - Orange juice
- 1 Lemon, juice and zest
- 4 tsp - Soy sauce
- 4 tsp - Steak sauce such as A.1.
- 2 tsp - Fermented pepper hot sauce such as Tabasco or Frank’s
- 2 tsp - Garlic powder
- 2 tsp - Onion powder
- 1 ½ tsp - Kosher or coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp - Ground black pepper
- ½ tsp - Ground allspice
- Set your Memphis Grill to 225°F in indirect flame with the indirect insert. We recommend using a blend of hickory and cherry wood pellets.
- Combine all dry rub ingredients in a bowl. Generously season the ribs on both sides with the dry rub.
- Mix all St. Louis Red Sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Set aside.
- Place ribs on the grill and close the lid. Cook until the meat has shrunk ¾ to 1 inch from the bones, about 4 to 6 hours. Brush ribs with St. Louis Red Sauce about 20 minutes before removing from the grill.
- Let the ribs rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.