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Recipes: Memphis-Style Barbequed Ribs

A true rack of Memphis-Style Barbecued Ribs is a rather time-consuming technique, accomplished by a master-smoker, using personally tried-and-true rubs and mopping sauces. However, with the following recipes, hints,and methods, even a novice can achieve marvelous Memphis-Style Barbecued Ribs.


  • Coat ribs with a thick layer of rub
  • Mop thinner sauce on meat every 30 minutes while it smokes
  • Make sure not to disturb the rub while mopping
  • Best done over an open pit, but home smokers work as well
  • Well trimmed of excess fat, even beef ribs can be used

Memphis-Style Barbecued Ribs

Total time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Cooking time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Preparation time: 1 hour

Servings: 2-3

Note: Experiment with lots of different herbs, spices, salts, sugars, and seasonings to achieve a good dry rub. Remember to write down every ingredient used and how much for later reference.


1 rack of St. Louis-cut spareribs, cleaned and broken (Ask butcher to break the ribs.)


Cling wrap to cover ribs

Homemade Rub Ingredients:

4 tablespoons garlic powder

4 tablespoons onion powder

3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon cumin

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons mild paprika

1/3 cup dark-roast espresso powder

Homemade Mopping Sauce:

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup ketchup

2 teaspoon hot sauce

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


Combine ingredients for dark coffee rub in a bowl, stir to break up clumps, and combine well.

Place the meat on a large baking sheet; massage the rub into the meat, using a lot of rub.

Cover tightly with 2-3 layers of cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The moisture from the meat will leach into the rub, creating a paste-like appearance. For best results, do not allow to sit for more than 8 hours.

Retrieve ribs from refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

Bring smoker to a temperature of 270-280F.

Take the cling wrap off the ribs and place on rack inside smoker. Allow to smoke inside closed smoker for at least 1 hour.

Open smoker and mop ribs with prepared homemade mopping sauce. Close smoker and cook for another 30 minutes. Repeat this step for 2 hours.

Take ribs out of smoker and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Slice along every 3rd bone, allowing 9 bones per serving.

Imagine serving these home-smoked ribs using homemade dry rub and homemade mopping sauce, everything made by the in-home chef! What a hoot!

Do not miss a chance to pig-out on these great-tasting and authentically prepared ribs.