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I can’t believe we haven’t shared this recipe for grilled country-style pork ribs with you! I’m sorry we have been holding this one back from you all these years. It wasn’t intentional, I promise!
The country-style pork ribs are rubbed with a dry rub, grilled over a two-zone fire, and finished in BBQ sauce. They are not smoked so they grill up fairly quickly. They are the perfect reason to fire up the grill any day of the week!
I mentioned when I shared the grilled peaches and plums recipe that a lot of times after a meal comes off the grill David loves to throw something else on to cook while the charcoal is still hot. I can’t count the times he has grilled these country-style pork ribs for us to have the next day.
He’ll kiss the ribs with a little grill flavor and get them mostly done. Then we allow them to cool and stick them in the fridge. The next evening we warm them up in the oven and slather them in BBQ sauce. It’s an awesome way to utilize hot charcoal and give you another meal to look forward to the next day!
What are Country-Style Pork Ribs?
Country-style pork ribs are not part of the ribs as the name implies. This meat is cut from the blade end of the loin located near the pork shoulder of a hog.
They are budget-friendly, have more meat on them than regular pork ribs, with nice grains of fat that run through them for extra flavor. Country-style ribs do not have actual rib bones, but they can have part of the shoulder blade unless you buy them boneless.
David loves pork of all kinds, especially smoked baby back ribs. I’m not much of a baby back. However, I love country-style ribs! They are meatier and when grilled correctly they are tender, juicy, and flavorful!
The three main components that can make or break these grilled ribs from being good. They are:
- Dry Rub
- Two-Zone Fire
- BBQ Sauce
These important components combine together to give you the tender juicy ribs I love. Let’s discuss them a bit!
The Dry Rub
First, rub the country-style pork ribs with dry rub. We use our special pork dry rub made with a sweet and spicy blend of herbs and spices of brown sugar, paprika, fresh cracked black pepper, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.
Our recipe for pork dry rub is our favorite spice blend for pork, but feel free to use whatever kind of dry rub you like. You may even prefer them to be spicy. If so, you should definitely try our Spicy Dry Rub.
It’s important to know that the ribs will absorb more flavor from the rub the longer they sit coated in it. So, rub them and allow them to sit in the fridge and hang out anywhere from a couple of hours to overnight; if you have the time. If you don’t have time, it’s not the end of the world. We rarely have the luxury of time but they are always good!
A Two-Zone Fire
Grill the country-style pork ribs much like a steak, over both direct and indirect heat at about 350 degrees F. To grill these ribs, you will need to set up a two-zone fire in your grill. This basically means that you set the charcoal up on one side of the grill.
Direct heat allows you to sear the surface of the ribs, which helps develop the flavor and texture, while the indirect heat allows for much more even cooking. Think of indirect heat as being like an oven. The ribs can slow cook internally without burning up the outside of the rib.
For this recipe, David first sears the ribs then moves the ribs over to the indirect side to finish cooking. Then he returns them to the direct heat to caramelize the sauce.
It’s important to sauce the ribs during the last few minutes of grilling back over direct heat. Saucing the country-style ribs over direct heat caramelizes the sauce on the ribs and locks in rich bbq flavor.
The most important thing about saucing the ribs is to make sure that the sauce is warm. Whether you make your own sauce or buy it in a jar, heat it up so you don’t slow down the cooking by basting the ribs with cold sauce.
Serve grilled country-style pork ribs with your favorite sides like corn on the cob, fresh greens, and your favorite glass of wine or beer.
The detailed recipe card below will walk you through the process in detail so you can enjoy these delicious ribs tonight!
Grilled Country-Style Pork Ribs
- 6 country-style pork ribs (about 3-5 pounds
- 6 tablespoons pork dry rub
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
Prepare the Ribs for Grilling
- Rinse the ribs gently under cool running water in the sink and pat dry with paper towels. (See Notes)
- Rub the country-style ribs with a dry rub of your choice, using your hands to press it onto the meat so it will adhere. Let them sit out on the counter while preheating the grill or for best results, cover the ribs with plastic wrap refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Fire Up The Grill
- Light a chimney full of charcoal. When the coals are lit and gray with ash, pour out the coal into the grill and set up the coals for a two-zone fire for indirect heat. Preheat to 350 degrees F.
Grill The Country-Style Ribs
- Place the ribs over direct heat on a clean and oiled grate. Grill until golden brown with a slight char on them, about 3 to 5 minutes (depending on size), then flip the ribs and char the other side for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
- When both sides of the ribs are charred, move them over to the cooler (indirect) side of the grill. Close the lid and allow the ribs to cook for about 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Add charcoal and adjust the vents of the grill to maintain temperature.
- After 20 minutes, check the temperature of the ribs with an instant-read thermometer. The thickest part of the ribs should read somewhere around 135 to 140 degrees F.
- At this point, move the ribs back over direct heat and baste with warm barbecue sauce to caramelize the sauce. It's important to pay close attention not to let the ribs get to charred and black.
Serve The Ribs
- Double-check the temperature which should be at 145 to 150 degrees F before removing from the grill. Remove them and allow the ribs to rest at least 10 minutes before serving.