9 Best Barbecue Pork Rib Recipes You Have Ever Tasted

Best barbecue pork rib recipes

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Take your pork ribs to the next level with the help of these smoked rib recipes.

Whether you like your ribs smokey, sweet, tangy or somewhere in between, we have made sure there is a recipe in this list that is sure to light just about anyone’s fire.

1) Meathead Goldwyn’s Pork Rib Recipe of Champions

 Last Meal Ribs Recipe

There is a reason these classic southern style ribs win competitions. While being undeniably ‘porky’ (otherwise, why cook pork, right?) they are sweet and tangy, spicy and smoky – all at once.


These ribs use another rub recipe so make sure you check that out too.

  • 1 slab Baby Back Ribs
  • 4 tablespoons of Meathead’s Memphis Dust
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt per pound of meat
  • 1 cup of barbecue sauce (optional)

Check out the recipe here and release your inner barbecue champion.

2) Malcom Reeds Competition Style Recipe (One Bite is All You Need)

Competition Rib Recipe

Ideal for St Louis style cut ribs, this competition winning recipe is for those that want sweet and rich ribs that present beautifully, and ‘wow’ in just one bite. The beauty of this recipe is it will guide you through the steps needed to make perfectly tender ribs every time.


  • 2 slabs St. Louis cut Spare Ribs
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub
  • ¼ cup Killer Hogs Hot BBQ Rub
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup Margarine
  • ¾ cup Killer Hogs The BBQ Sauce
  • ¾ cup Killer Hogs The Vinegar Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey

Find the recipe here, and see how you go at creating competition worthy ribs. Note that Malcolm uses his own products in this recipe. They are all excellent rubs so I recommend picking them up, but you can also create your own variations.

3) Fall-Off-The-Bone Baby Back Ribs

baby back ribs

This recipe is a bit of a classic. It promises perfect ribs whether you cook them in the oven, the grill or the smoker. This recipe distills the method down into take home points that will serve you well no matter what equipment you have available.


  • 6 lbs baby back pork ribs (2 racks minimum)

Mop Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp hot sauce

Dry Rub:

  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp ground celery salt
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes

Check out the recipe here.

4) 3-2-1 Competition Ribs

3-2-1 pork rib recipe

This recipe gives a great run down of the 3-2-1 method. It also gives you some insights into what competition judges are looking for.

Some purists think that the 3-2-1 method creates ribs that are “too tender”. If you don’t like fall off the bone ribs, then this one isn’t for you. But for most people the 3-2-1 perfect competition style rib recipe is a great way to keep all your guests happy.

Check out this BBQ ribs the Johnny Trigg way recipe for detailed instructions on the ingredients and technique.

5) Smoked Dr Pepper Ribs

Smoked Dr. Pepper BBQ Ribs

Fan of Dr Pepper? Try it matched with pork and you may just have a new flavor obsession. For those who like their ribs spicy, there is the option to add a healthy amount of heat in this recipe too.


  • 2 racks baby back ribs
  • 4 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 4 Tablespoons Homemade Sweet BBQ Rub
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional

Braising Liquid:

  • 8 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Buffalo sauce optional
  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper

BBQ Sauce:

Not convinced? Perhaps you just need to try it out. You can find the recipe here.

6) St Louis Ribs Competition Style

Competition St. Louis Style Ribs (3-2-1 Method)

This a competition style recipe written by a competition judge. You are not going to get any better advice than that when it comes to cooking perfect St Louis cut competition-worthy ribs.


  • 2 slabs St. Louis Style Ribs
  • yellow mustard
  • your favorite rib rub
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • brown sugar
  • honey
  • 1/2 cup grape juice
  • your favorite bbq sauce

Aside from the insights from a judge, this recipe also allows room to customise your ribs, so it is definitely worth checking out. You can find it here.

7) Classic Smoked Ribs (You Can Use Your Own Secret Sauce for This One!)

smoked bbq pork ribs

This is a bit of a classic recipe, so it is a great one to start off with if you are a newbie. With easy to follow, step-by-step photos and instructions, cooking delicious ribs will be a super easy.

Although the author makes suggestions regarding rubs, liquids and sauces to use, there is plenty of room to customise rubs and sauces for the specific flavor combination you love.


  • 2 racks of pork ribs
  • 1 cup of Steve’s BBQ rub
  • 1/2 cup beer, pop or apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce

Find the recipe here.

8) North Carolina Ribs – For Those That Like a Hit of Vinegar

North Carolina Ribs with Vinegar Based BBQ Sauce Recipe

These ribs have the distinctive flavor a vinegar based sauce brings to the table. This flavor is what sets North Carolina style ribs apart from the other styles of ribs such as Memphis style (which we will look at next).

If you would like to take a trip around America with your tastebuds, then why not start here?

9) Memphis Dry Rubbed Baby Back Ribs

memphis dry rubbed baby back ribs

If you prefer your rubs savory over sweet, and a little crispy over sticky, then you need to give this recipe a try. These ribs take us to Memphis, where the spice rub does the talking.


  • 2 (2 1/2- to 3-lb.) slabs baby back pork ribs
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 2 handfuls wood chunks

If you are ready for something a little different to your classic competition style ribs you have to check this out.

Wrapping It Up

Smoked pork ribs don’t need to be complicated to be delicious, and with the right recipe you can create something truly memorable. In this list we hope you have found both great recipes and a little bit of inspiration for your next barbecue. Why not schedule one in this weekend?

Do you have any tips for creating unforgettable smoked pork ribs? Why not let us know in the comments section below (without giving away all your secrets). And if you enjoyed this list, please be sure to share!