Introduction: No-Sauce Ribs

About: I like to make old things new again, mostly furniture and lamps. Always on the lookout for new ideas, solutions to problems, and unique creations. Plus I play with building blocks a lot too.

Welcome to the best tasting barbecue ribs you will ever eat that absolutely require no sauce. I have modified and tweaked this recipe for many years to current version I am going to share today. The entire process can take from three to 12 hours depending on how long you want to cook the ribs.


2 slabs of ribs (any style)
2 cups Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 C Smokey Paprika
1/4 C Salt
1/4 C Pepper
2 T Garlic Powder
Aluminum foil
Oven, grill, or BBQ smoker
Lots of paper towels

Step 1:

The good stuff: The first step I do is to mix the rib rub up in a large glass bowl. The brown sugar may have clumps from moisture so I break those up with a fork, removing any “pebbles “ or really hard pieces. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Be sure to wear gloves because the paprika will turn your hands orange.

Step 2:

The meat: For the meat, I start by shopping for ribs at a really good price. No more than $3.00 a pound. First you drain all of the excess blood from the packaging and wipe off the ribs so that they are mostly dry. I put some aluminum foil on some cookie baking pans and then lay the ribs out, meat side up, on the foil.

Step 3:

Putting on the good stuff: Once the rub is completely mixed, I spread it out over the ribs evenly. Then I proceed to rub it into the meat making sure everything is covered. I only do the top side of the ribs because that is where the meat is.

Step 4:

Let this marinate for three to twelve hours for the best flavor but they can be cooked immediately if you need . I always refrigerate the meat while it is marinating.

Step 5:

Where to cook: Lately I have been cooking these in the oven, my apologies to the purists out there, because it is easier to control the temperature and I can sit in the air conditioning while the cook.

How to cook: Take off the top layer of foil and put the pan in a preheated oven, smoker, or on the grill. I cook the ribs for one hour at 350 F degrees and then drop the temperature down to 250 F for two more hours. The ribs are ready to eat at this point but I like to turn the oven off and let them sit in there until it’s time to eat. Your stomach will probably convince that the ribs are ready to eat long before you sit down for dinner.

Step 6:

How to eat: Separate the ribs out into singles (caution the bones will fall out). Serve them up on a plate with corn-on-the-cob, beans, and a salad. Have lots of paper towels on hand to clean up hands and faces. Under no circumstances should you allow anyone to put sauce on these ribs, they don’t need them. I have a list of people banned from my house when we serve ribs because they have ruined them with some cheap commercial barbecue sauce.

Step 7:

Always have a good helper around in case you need an extra hand or paw.

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