How to Cook Three Different Styles of Ribs with Chef Lesli

June 27, 2018
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Rib Rub

From Chef Lesli Sommerdorf for Harmons


Makes 2 ½ cups



1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup paprika

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper

1/8 cup chipotle chile powder

1/4 cup dry mustard powder

1/8 cup garlic powder

1/8 cup onion powder

1/8 cup celery salt



In a jar with a lid, combine all the ingredients. Screw on lid and shake to combine.


Preheat oven to 300°. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil with lots of overhang foil.


Remove membrane from ribs and place in prepared baking dish.


To make the rub, in a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Place rub on the ribs and cover entirely. Enclose in foil and cook ribs and cook baby back ribs for 1 ½ to 2 hours, St. Louis-style ribs for 2 ½ to 3 hours. Prepare a grill or broiler and cook ribs until a little char has formed.


Barbecue Sauce

From Chef Lesli Sommerdorf for Harmons


Makes 1 ¼ cups



2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup steak sauce

2 Tbsp unsulfured molasses

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/8 tsp liquid smoke

Freshly ground pepper


To make the sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, about 10 min. Serve ribs with barbecue sauce on the side.


Baby Back Ribs


Rib rack averages 10-13 curved ribs, 3-6 inches long, 1 1/2-2 pounds.


Tender, lean but are in higher demand than St. Louis-style spareribs, so they have a higher price tag.


Baby back ribs take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to cook at 300°F


St. Louis-Style Ribs


Ribs cut from the belly of the pig after the belly is removed. They are trimmed down into St. Louis-style ribs by cutting away the hard breastbone and chewy cartilage, so the slab is more rectangular in shape.


Flatter than baby backs. Higher amount of fat. Each rack 2 1/2-4 pounds. Cheaper than baby backs ribs.


St. Louis ribs take 2 1/2 to 3 hours at 300 degrees.


Country-Style Ribs


Not actually ribs. Come from pig shoulder, where it is sliced in half under the blade bone and then cut into long strips to resemble ribs. Low and slow cooking is best. Come bone in or boneless.


Ribs 101


Remove the membrane. On the bone side of a rack of ribs, slide a knife under the tough membrane and use your fingers to pull the membrane up and off and discard.


Make a dry rub. Adds flavor and help ribs from drying out.


Cook them low and slow. Use a low temp in the oven or the slow cooker.


Sauce at the end of cooking to prevent burning the sauce.


Finish ribs on the grill to give them extra flavor and smokiness.