Slaughterhouse Five Ribs

Barbecue Ribs
Marianna Massey/Getty Images
Prep: 2 hrs
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 8 hrs
Servings: 4 servings

This delicious rib recipe is done in Kansas City barbecue style and comes from our friends at Oklahoma Joe's Barbecue and Catering (3002 West 47th Street, Kansas City, KS). Good ribs take a long time to cook at low heat to get that tender, pull off the bone experience but it's worth the wait.

Drink suggestion: A wheat beer such as Boulevard Wheat Beer (Kansas City, MO).

Reprinted with permission from America's Best BBQ by Ardie A. Davis and Chef Paul Kirk (Andrews McMeel, 2009).


  • 2 tablespoons white cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 2 (2 1/2-pound) slabs spareribs

Steps to Make It

  1. In a small bowl, combine the sugars, paprika, seasoned salt, chili powder, cumin, onion, white pepper, and black pepper and blend well. You can do this ahead of time, cover, and store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

  2. To prepare the ribs, remove the membrane from the back of the slab and trim any excess fat. Season the slabs all over with all of the rub. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  3. Cook the ribs using the indirect method at 275 F (indirect means not directly over flames or coals. Push the hot coals to one side or turn off the gas on one side of the grill. Put the meat on the 'off' side and close the lid). Jeff says that cooking the ribs at the higher temperature does two things: it renders the fat better, and you get more flavorful ribs.

  4. Cook the ribs for 5 to 6 hours, turning them every 2 hours. The ribs are done when you can easily tear or pull two ribs apart.


  • Natural wood chips and chunks can be added to a fire to impart a smoky flavor to food as it cooks. Alder, apple, cherry, hickory, maple, mesquite, oak, and pecan are commonly used. The chips are soaked in water, drained well, and added to a fire just before putting food on the grill. In kettle grills or gas grills, water-soaked wood chips or dry smoke pellets work best. Large cookers with a firebox on the side take well to wood logs or chunks.
  • We encourage the use of the hardwoods available locally. In the Pacific Northwest, that would be alder wood. In the Midwest and South, hickory, pecan, and oak. In the Southwest, mesquite. In the Northeast, maple. Also check for availability in your area of fruit woods such as apple, peach, cherry, and pear. If you’re partial to a certain wood that isn’t local—say, you’re a Texan living in Maine—no problem. Barbecue woods of any variety can be shipped worldwide from a variety of suppliers. Call your local barbecue supply store or search online.

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