BBQ country-style ribs are dry rubbed, grilled over a two-zone fire, and finished in barbecue sauce. An inexpensive weeknight grilling recipe!
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 an all-purpose pork 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 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 barbecue 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 near a hog’s pork shoulder.
They are budget-friendly and have more meat than regular pork ribs, with nice grains of fat running 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 can make or break these grilled ribs from being good. They are:
- Dry Rub
- Two-Zone Fire
- BBQ Sauce
These important components combine 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 all-purpose 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 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 direct and indirect heat at about 350 degrees F. To cook the ribs, set up the grill with a two-zone fire. This means 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 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 and then moves them 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.
Ingredients Needed To Make The Ribs
Only three ingredients are needed to make these ribs: the meat, the rub, and the sauce. Detailed measurements can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Ribs: about 3-5 pounds of country-style pork ribs, either bone-in or boneless, whichever you prefer.
- Dry Rub: we use our All-Purpose Pork Rub recipe, but use whatever spice rub you like.
- Barbecue Sauce: You’ll need about a cup of BBQ sauce. Use your favorite, or check out our list of sauce recipes HERE.
How To Grill BBQ Country-Style Ribs
Here are the five steps for this rib recipe. Detailed instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post.
#1 Prepare The Ribs For Grilling
- Rinse the ribs and pat dry with paper towels.
- Rub the country-style ribs with a dry rub
#2 Fire Up The Grill
- Light a chimney full of charcoal.
- Set up the coals for a two-zone fire for indirect heat.
- Preheat the grill to 350 degrees F.
#3 Grill The Country-Style Ribs
- Grill the ribs over direct heat and 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.
- Move 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.
- Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the meat. The thickest part of the ribs should read between 135 to 140 degrees F, move the ribs back over direct heat and baste them with warm barbecue sauce to caramelize the sauce.
- The ribs are done when the internal temp is between 145-150 degrees F.
#4 Rest The Meat
- Tent the ribs with foil and rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
#5 Serve The Ribs
Serve country-style ribs with your favorite sides:
- Corn on the Cob
- Potato Salad
- Quick Collard Greens
- Mashed Potatoes
- and your favorite glass of wine or beer.
The recipe card below will walk you through the process in detail so you can enjoy these delicious ribs tonight!
BBQ Country-Style Ribs
- 6 country-style pork ribs (about 3-5 pounds
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose pork dry rub or your favorite pork rub
- 1 cup barbecue sauce use your favorite
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 the coals 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.
- Move the ribs back over direct heat and baste them with warm barbecue sauce to caramelize them. It's important to pay close attention not to let the ribs get too charred and black. Double-check the temperature, which should be at 145 to 150 degrees F, before removing them from the grill.
Serve The Ribs
- Tent with foil and allow the ribs to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
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