St. Louis Style Ribs

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Nothing says summer like digging in to a huge pile of messy ribs.  St. Louis Style pork ribs are a personal favorite for this time of year.  Interestingly, the “St. Louis Style” doesn’t refer to the recipe preparation but rather to the way the ribs are cut.    

St. Louis Style spareribs come from underneath the belly of the pig and are trimmed down into a rectangular shape with the breast bone and cartilage cut away.  This gives you a meaty, tender rib perfect for preparing in the oven or on the grill.

The most important thing to remember is that tender ribs require slow cooking.  That fall-off-the-bone tenderness is a result of low to medium temperature and a little tender loving care.  Basting and turning the rib slab on the grill is vital to even cooking and tenderness.  In the oven, the tenderness comes from sealing in the moisture and braising the ribs in the BBQ sauce.

Now, for the big question: what sauce are you going to use?  There are so many choices here.  You can make your own sauce or use your favorite jarred BBQ sauce.  Memphis? Carolina? Texas? Kansas City? Any style will do.  Just don’t forget the napkins!


  • 2 packages Firsthand Foods Spare Ribs (approx. 4 lbs total)
  • 1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce

For the rub:

  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1 tsp. Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. celery salt
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper


To Prepare in the Oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  2. Remove the membrane from the bone side of each slab.
  3. Mix the ingredient for the rub together in a bowl.
  4. Rub the mixture into both sides of the ribs slabs and place them in a roasting pan.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  6. Allow the ribs to cool for 10 minutes.  Cut rib slabs into individual ribs and place back in the roasting pan.
  7. Pour ¾ of a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce over the ribs. Cover and place back in the oven for 1 ½  hours.

To Prepare on the Grill:

  1. Preheat your grill, clean the grate and then place on medium heat or use a two-zone method on a charcoal grill.  A temperature of 250-300℉ is desired.
  2. Follow steps 2-4 above but place the ribs on a platter or sheet pan.
  3. Place the ribs bone side down on the grate for 30 minutes. Turn the slabs and continue grilling for 30 more minutes.
  4. Baste the rib slab with BBQ sauce that has been thinned with water for 20 minutes, basting twice.
  5. Turn the rib slab over and repeat step 4.
  6. Place the ribs bone side down on the grate and grill for 10 minutes, basting once.
  7. Place the ribs with the meat side down and grill for 10 minutes basting once.
  8. Ribs are done when the internal temperature is 175℉ and the meat has pulled away from the bones.
  9. Cut into individual ribs and serve.