Ribs With Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

Total Time:
7 hr
1 hr
6 hr

4 to 6 servings

  • For the sauce:
  • 4 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • For the ribs:
  • 2 4 -to-5-pound racks pork spareribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Make the sauce: Combine the garlic, chili powder, cayenne, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a bowl. Whisk the ketchup, 1 cup water, the vinegar, mustard, molasses, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce in a separate bowl.

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic mixture and cook, stirring, until the oil turns brick red, about 1 minute. Add the ketchup mixture and bring to a gentle simmer; cook, whisking occasionally, 30 minutes.

  • Make the ribs: Soak 1 heaping cup hickory, mesquite or apple-wood chips in water, at least 30 minutes. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat (about 250 degrees F): On a charcoal grill, bank the coals to one side; on a gas grill, turn on only one side of the burners. Cover the grate on the cooler side of the grill with aluminum foil. Close the grill lid.

  • Position the ribs on a cutting board, meat-side down. Slip a small knife between the bone and membrane, then gently pull off the membrane. Sprinkle the racks with 1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper on both sides.

  • Drain the wood chips. For a charcoal grill, scatter the chips directly over the hot coals; for a gas grill, put the chips in a smoker box and position over direct heat.

  • Put the ribs meat-side up on the foil on the cooler side of the grill. Close the grill lid; bring the temperature back up and cook the ribs, undisturbed, 3 hours. (For a charcoal grill, adjust the vents, or add more hot, ashed-over coals as needed to maintain consistent heat.)

  • Remove the ribs and close the lid. Wrap each rack tightly in foil, then return to the cooler side of the grill, meat-side down; close the lid and grill 2 more hours.

  • Remove the ribs and carefully unwrap. Return to the cooler side of the grill, meat-side up; cook, basting generously with the sauce halfway through, until the meat is tender, about 1 more hour. Remove the racks and let rest a few minutes before slicing. Serve with the remaining sauce.

  • Photograph by Con Poulos

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