Memphis Style Ribs by Parish

The first time Parish made these ribs, I was laying in the bed watching the “Love Comes Softly” movie series with my windows open.  Between the laughter of little children playing outside, the perfect breeze, and the smell of his ribs on the grill, I bathed myself in joy, gratitude, and a few tears.  It’s a Sunday afternoon memory I will never forget.

Here it is Sunday again.  I’m not laying in the bed. I am busy at work cleaning and getting ready for Bible Study, but the smell is still captivating and sensual.  Vivian came downstairs and exclaimed, “It smells like Christmas!”  I love my life.  Try this recipe as a family and be whisked away to paradise.

Memphis style ribs use a dry rub verses a sweet, sticky barbecue sauce.


2 racks of Pork Ribs

Dry Rub

Wood for smoke ( we used hickory and pecan chunks)

Charcoal (we use Kingsford blue bag)

1/2  cup Apple juice

1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar


Let’s start with the charcoal.  Put a standard chimney starter load of charcoal heaping over the top on one side of the grill, and place a few soaked wood chunks in it. Then you take a small chimney starter or a 1/3 to a 1/2 of a standard chimney starter full of charcoal and light it.  Dump this on top of the unlit charcoal.  Then add some more wood chunks on top.  The lit charcoal will burn and slowly light the unlit charcoal and this allows for a longer cook time at low temperature.  You will need to experiment with adjusting your top and bottom vents to keep the temperature lower.

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Place a drip pan on the opposite side of the grill from the charcoal.  Place your cooking grate on the grill and position the ribs over the drip pains and away from the charcoal.



I try to maintain between 250-270 degrees for a couple of hours.


Combine the apple juice and the vinegar and a teaspoon or more of your dry rub, this is your mop sauce that you can baste your ribs with periodically.  I did it about every 45 minutes as to not open up the grill too much.

When you open the grill you can also move the ribs around to minimize the time they are closer to the heat.

Smoke/cook for at least two hours (you’ll raise the temperature after this to finish cooking them).  Cook them until the meat shrinks away from the bone (see the up close picture below)

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Note: These ribs ended up cooking/smoking at 260-270 degrees for 2 1/2 hours.  I opened the vents to raise the temperature to 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.  I finished them off in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes (it was time to eat!).

Total cooking time about 4 1/2 hours.

How to prepare the meat:

Pull off the membrane from the less meaty bone side of the ribs. You can get it started with a knife then use a paper towel to grasp it and pull it off.


Generously sprinkle the dry rub onto both sides of the meat and pat it in. Don’t forget the sides and edges of the meat. I prefer Penzey’s Barbecue of the Americas, but used Stubb’s this time. Stubb’s is a little more salty.

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If you have the time, you can soak the meat in a dish with some apple juice for 1/2 an hour to an hour prior to the rub.

We prepared some rosemary potatoes to cook alongside the meat. The rosemary smelled divine!



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