Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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Rita's Ribs and BBQ Sauce For Dad


Now I will tell you a commercial rub and sauce is yummy, too. But for you purists out there with more time on your hands, you might like to do it all from scratch.

Brine for up to 5# ribs:

This is optional, but I hope you take the time to do it, since brining is a way of increasing the moisture holding capacity of meat, resulting in a moister product when it’s cooked. I usually cut the slabs in half or so to fit in the brine container.

1 cup Kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 gallon cold water

Dissolve salt and sugar in water. Brine 4 hours, remove from brine, pat dry and proceed with rub.

Rita's special BBQ rub


Mix together:

6 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chili powder - I like Buena Vida

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cumin

2 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons allspice


3-5 pounds baby back/loin pork ribs, with silver skin removed


Seasoning and precooking ribs:

This may be different from what you’re used to, but trust me, this method works perfectly. I like baby back/loin ribs, which cook up tender.

Season ribs with rub on both sides. Be generous and pat rub in.

Place on hot grill and "mark" them for a few minutes on each side. Marking means allowing the ribs to grill just until you see grill marks, that's all.

Bonus: this can be done ahead!

Preheat oven to 300.

Arrange ribs in single layers in baking pan and pour some chicken broth or beer around ribs, a generous cup or so. This makes for a flavorful steam. Cover tightly with foil and cook until fork tender, anywhere from 2 to 2-1/2 hours. You don't want them falling apart.

Another bonus: this can be done ahead of time too!

When ready to serve, heat grill to medium high. Place ribs on grill and start brushing with sauce. I do this several times on both sides. They’re ready when they are hot throughout and sauce is charred a bit.

Serve with additional warm sauce on the side.


After cooking, adjust seasonings, adding more vinegar, etc. if you like. I always add more brown sugar to make it taste similar to Montgomery Inn’s.

4 cups catsup

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/3 to 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup yellow mustard

2 tablespoons Tabasco

2 tablespoons rub (see above)

2 teaspoons liquid smoke or more

Chipotle pepper powder to taste or 1-2 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, chopped fine (or couple shakes cayenne – go easy on the cayenne if using)

Combine everything in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until dark and thick, about 20 minutes.

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