My dad is a purist when it comes to grilling.  He only uses charcoal and carefully soaked mesquite chips along with a mystifying and complex routine of turning and moving the meat all over the grill until he has declared perfection.  (I always suspected all of the drama was an excuse for him to stay outside and drink beer.)

Imagine my dad’s disappointment when shortly after our wedding, my husband and I invested in a nice gas grill.  Multiple cook-offs ensued, and I’m pleased to report (after two decades) that my father conceded some level of defeat and recently bought a gas grill.  What tipped the scales after 20 years of good-natured competition?  Our famous ribs.

This recipe is bound to make anyone look like a pro at the grill.  It’s easy and great for a crowd because most of the work takes place the day before.  Just make sure that you plan enough time for the preparation and the rest is chemistry:  allowing the seasoning and pre-cooking process to break down the fat slowly so that the meat falls off the bone and melts in your mouth.  I always use baby back ribs so this hasn’t been tested on other cuts of meat.   Enjoy!

This recipe works for about 3 full racks of ribs and I generally assume ½ rack per person, so it serves around 6.


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (I use slightly more)
  • 1/8 cup of salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  1. Mix all rub ingredients together.
  2. Generously coat the ribs in rub mixture and wrap each rack of ribs in aluminum foil.
  3. Refrigerate ribs overnight or at least for several hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 225°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or foil (to catch the juice or it will be a tough clean up job!)  Cook ribs at 225°F for four hours.
  5. Unwrap the ribs and coat with your favorite BBQ sauce. Finish cooking them on the grill on medium heat.  ENJOY!