Fourth of July Memphis-Style Pork Ribs

Hoist the red, white, and blue, set up the fireworks, and light the grill – it's time for an Independence Day block party for the ages! The SUmmerset Fourth of July Grilling Series continues with Fourth of July Memphis-Style Pork Ribs, an American tradition featuring a spicy dry rub of pepper, cayenne, and dry mustard. With a beautifully charred crust after several hours of slow cooking, these St. Louis cut pork ribs light up your taste buds as the firecrackers light up the sky.

Begin making the dry rub by combining sweet paprika, brown sugar, black pepper, garlic, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, celery seed, and oregano in a small bowl. Thoroughly rub the spice mix over the ribs and refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor and tenderizing.

Setup the grill or smoker for low indirect heat, and place the ribs away from the heat source. Rotate the ribs hourly for four to eight hours until the desired doneness is achieved. It's essential that the temperature is low and slow to allow the ribs to cook evenly and the fat to render, so if they sizzle when placing them on the grill grates, then it is too hot. 

Serve hot and fresh with coleslaw, chips, your favorite drinks, and lots of napkins. So fire up the grill, stay safe, and celebrate the freedoms of our great nation with the Summerset Fourth of July Grilling Series!

Serves 4

Fourth of July Memphis-Style Pork Ribs Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 St. Louis-cut or spare rib racks

Fourth of July Memphis-Style Pork Ribs Directions

  1. Make the dry rub, and rub all over the ribs: Mix all the dry ingredients together. Rub them all over the ribs and, if you have time, set them in the fridge overnight.
  2. Grill over low, indirect heat initially for one hour: Get your grill or smoker going. You want pretty low heat, about 200-220°F if you can measure it. Make sure you have a spot to put the ribs that is not directly over the heat source. Lay the slabs down. They should not sizzle. If they do, cool the grill down until the ribs no longer sizzle when placed down. Cover the grill or smoker and walk away for an hour.
  3. Depending on how hot your setup is and at what stage of doneness you like your ribs, they will be done in 4-8 hours. Every hour or so after that, turn and rotate the ribs so they cook evenly. You should not have to baste them if you do this: The fat in the ribs will do the basting.

Taken from