Kansas City Style Pork Ribs

There's something about eating with your hands that I find comforting. I'm talking about eating the finger-licking type foods that take away the prim and proper behavior at the table. Ribs are one such food that only tastes good if eaten with your hands. Do you agree? There are so many ways to make ribs and various techniques that are involved, especially if you're a rib connoisseur. But I do know what I like and I happened to try out this recipe for Kansas City Style Pork Ribs the other day. It was definitely finger-licking and lip-smacking good. Spices are rubbed on pork spare ribs and chilled overnight to allow for the flavors to develop into the ribs. Then depending on what you prefer, the ribs are cooked over the grill or in an oven. Low and slow is the key here and to put them over the top, a homemade bbq sauce is glazed over the ribs for additional flavor...

My family loves having ribs in any which way... grilled, baked, it doesn't matter. I especially liked these ribs because they had a very nice balance of sweet and heat that the brown sugar and spices used in the rub. The BBQ sauce adds a nice glaze to the pork ribs as well as seals in the juices to provide truly tender, fall off the bone ribs. You definitely need some patience for these ribs to cook... it's worth the wait, I promise!

Kansas City Style Pork Ribs
recipe from The Neely's

2 slabs pork spare ribs, 3 pounds each
Kansas City Barbeque Sauce, recipe follows

Dry Rub:
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup dry mustard
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Remove the thin white membrane off of the bone-side of the ribs. Mix together the brown sugar, dry mustard, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Massage the rub into the ribs and let sit for 1 hour or up to overnight.

If cooking on the grill, place the ribs meat-side down next to medium-hot coals that are about 225 degrees F. The indirect heat will cook them slower, making them tender. Allow to cook for 1 hour. Turn ribs every half hour and baste with the Kansas City Barbeque Sauce. Cook until the ribs are tender, about 3 to 4 hours.

If cooking indoors, place in a roasting pan with a rack. Slather the ribs with the Kansas City Barbeque Sauce and tent a piece of aluminum foil over them. In a preheated 350 degrees F. oven, place the ribs, basting with the sauce every 30 minutes and removing the foil for the last 30 minutes and cooking until fork tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Kansas City Barbeque Sauce:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (about 2/3 cup)small onion, finely diced
3 cups water
1 cup (2 (6-ounce) cans) tomato paste
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a small sauce pot on medium-high heat, heat the oil and add the onion, cooking until translucent.

Add the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. Add to sauce pan and let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Use to baste the pork spare ribs.

Yield: 3 cups


  1. My son Jack goes crazy for ribs. Even though he is 7, and a really small 7, he can eat an adult portion all by himself! He would love these ribs. They look fantastic Joelen!

  2. nice posting. thanks for sharing

  3. This looks really good. I like to try this on pork chop, it must be yummy. I like all meat, no bone. :)