Memphis-Style Dry Ribs (3-2-1 Method)



Ready In

6 hrs 20 mins


Not that many

Good for


About this recipe

These Memphis-style dry rub ribs are awesome. 3-2-1 them in the smoker and you’ve got a great plate of food. With or without the barbecue sauce, these are real Badboy ribs.

Nutrition Facts

  • Total Fat 23.3g 30%
  • Saturated Fat 5.4g 27%
  • Cholesterol 61mg 43%
  • Sodium 1333mg 58%
  • Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
  • Potassium 450mg 10%
  • Total Carbohydrate 43.4g 16%
  • Dietary Fiber 4.8g 17%
  • Total Sugars 28.9g 0%
  • Protein 19.3g 40%
  • Calcium 67mg 5%
  • Iron 3mg 10%


Memphis-Style Dry Ribs
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 20 mins
What You Need
Memphis Rub
  • 4 tbsp. Sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. celery salt
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL cumin
Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 cups tomato passata tinned tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. celery salt
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp mustard
What You Do
Prep the smoker/Grill
  1. Light your charcoal in the starter (see below).
  2. Soak you wood (cherry or apple) in water
The Rub & ribs
    The Rub
    1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Make sure they are evenly mixed.
    The Ribs
    1. Trim off any loose fat and meat.
    2. Remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs.
    3. Cover the ribs with the rub and rub it into the meat. Make sure it completely covers the ribs.
    4. Season with salt & pepper. Cook on one side for a couple of minutes or until it is golden brown/charred on one side.
    The Smoker/Grill
    1. Place your water pan on one side of your grill and fill with water.
    2. Pour your coals on the other side. You will need a mixture of hot and cold coals, so you get a slow and steady burn. Experiment with you grill and see what is best. With mine, I place them in a row and they slowly burn down the row.
    3. Lay 2-3 pieces wood down the line of the hot and cold coals to ensure that you get a steady slow burn of smoke for the first few hours.
    The Smoking (3-2-1 Method)
    1. Place the ribs on the grill above the water tray and smoke for three hours. Make sure you rub them with butter every hour to keep them moist.
    2. After three hours, remove the ribs, wrap them in a couple of pieces of foil and return them to the grill for two more hours. This will ensure that they fall off the bone.
    3. Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan, bring to boil and then simmer until reduced by half.
    4. After two hours in the foil, remove the foil, return to the grill. 

    5. Serve hot with the remaining sauce and some awesome sides.

    Equipment used in this recipe

    Grab the equipment you need for this recipe by clicking on the Amazon affiliate links below.

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