How to Season Pork Ribs

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Things You'll Need

  • DRY RUB:

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Onion powder

  • Chili powder

  • Dry mustard

  • Cayenne

  • Cinnamon

  • Brown sugar

  • Garlic, granulated

  • Large bag

  • Spoon or shaker

  • Plastic wrap


  • 8 to 10 lbs. pork ribs

  • Purple onion, large

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

  • 3 cups olive oil

  • ¾ cup brown sugar

  • 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

  • 4 tbsp. cayenne pepper

  • 4 tbsp. red chili powder


  • Barbecue sauce

  • Beer

  • Chili powder

  • Hot sauce

  • Cooks mop or brush

  • Clean brush

Develop your own recipe for seasoning ribs just the way you like them.

Seasoning pork ribs is done in three ways – liquid marinade, dry seasoning rub and basting barbecue sauce – and some backyard cooks prefer to use one, two or all three methods for maximum effect. Liquid marinades generally require 8 to 12 hours for the ribs to soak and be absorbed into the meat. Dry seasoning rub is applied ahead of time to allow the seasoning to permeate the meat or even immediately before grilling. Basting barbecue sauce is brushed on before, during and after grilling. Make certain, if more than one method is used, that they have the same flavor characteristics so the seasonings do not clash with one another.


Pork Rib Seasoning Rub

Step 1

Make the seasoning mix for approximately 8 to 10 lbs. of ribs by combining 2 tsp. each of salt and pepper, 4 tsp. each of onion powder, chili powder and dry mustard, 1 tsp. each of cayenne and ground cinnamon, 6 oz. of brown sugar and 3 tsp. granulated garlic.


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Step 2

Place all ingredients in a large sturdy bag and use both hands to shake it vigorously to thoroughly mix the seasonings.

Step 3

Use a spoon or shaker to apply the seasoning rub onto the ribs taking care to keep your hands, which have touched the pork, out of the main portion of the seasoning rub. If there is leftover seasoning rub it can be used at a later time if it has not been contaminated. Rub the dry seasoning mix into the meat, taking time to massage it onto all surfaces.


Step 4

Wrap the seasoned ribs tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight to absorb the seasonings.

Marinating Pork Ribs

Step 1

Peel and dice one large purple onion very fine and peel and crush four garlic cloves, set aside.


Step 2

Mix 3 cups olive oil, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 ½ cups vinegar, 4 tbsp. cayenne pepper and 4 tbsp. red chili powder with the purple onion and garlic until the marinade is well blended.

Step 3

Place the ribs into a large pan and pour the marinade over them, covering all surfaces. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap.


Step 4

Refrigerate the pan of ribs overnight, turning them in the marinade at least twice before putting them on the grill.

Barbecue Sauce Seasoning

Step 1

Mix the barbecue sauce of your choice with beer, chili powder or hot sauce to taste until it is the consistency of tomato juice.


Step 2

Place the ribs on the grill and mop both sides liberally with the barbecue sauce. Use a hand-held cook's mop or a wide paintbrush to apply the sauce. Immediately discard the unused sauce as soon as the ribs are done. Do not use the utensils or sauce at any time after the ribs come off of the grill due to the possibility of food contamination.


Step 3

Use a different clean brush to baste the ribs on both sides with full-strength barbecue sauce. Let the ribs set for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.


Cook more ribs than are needed at one time and freeze the remainder to heat for later use. If a deeper red color is desired on the cooked ribs add 4 oz. of paprika to the seasoning mix.


Discard leftover seasoning rub immediately if it has come in contact with the raw pork. Sanitize the work area, cutting boards, knives and all utensils before and after work with the raw pork. Cook the ribs to and internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not leave the ribs out of refrigeration at room temperature for more than two hours.



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