Showstopper St. Louis Style Ribs – Super Bowl Grilling Series

It's just two days to the game, and you have the large screen TV, the decorations, the refreshments, but you need one more thing, something to take it over the top, a showstopper… The Super Bowl Grilling Series closes out the season with the perfect centerpiece of your game day menu: Showstopper St. Louis Style Ribs! A robust dry rub of freshly toasted spices, basting of apple juice, and then again with your favorite barbecue sauce cause these ribs to fall off the bone with addictive flavor and unstoppable finger-licking.

These ribs' secret begins with the toasting of fennel, cumin, and coriander seeds until fragrant and then ground. To tenderize and season the meat, thoroughly cover with mustard and the dry rub mixture and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Grill over indirect heat for 30 minutes, and then remove and place on aluminum foil. Baste with apple juice, wrap the ribs in the foil, make it as watertight as possible to steam the ribs, and put it on the grill. After another 30 minutes, remove the ribs from the foil. Grill directly on the grates again for a final 30 minutes while basting every 5 minutes with your favorite barbecue sauce. This final caramelization of the sugars in the sauce makes these ribs irresistible. So, it’s not too late; whether you’re Team Brady or Team Mahomes, these Showstopper St. Louis Style Ribs will take your Super Bowl party menu to the championship.

Serves 5-6

Showstopper St. Louis Style Ribs Ingredients

  • 4 lbs St Louis Style Ribs
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple juice (See Note 1)
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce of choice

Dry Rub

  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds (See Note 2)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds (See Note 2)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds (See Note 2)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cayenne
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard

Showstopper St. Louis Style Ribs Directions

  1. Toast the fennel, coriander, and cumin seeds in a sauté pan until fragrant and oils have been released. Grind in a spice grinder until in powder form. (Feel free to use ground spices if you prefer, but use a 1/2 tsp LESS of each.)
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the toasted/ground spices and all the remaining dry rub ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Peel the membrane off from the back of the ribs, apply mustard on both sides of the ribs, and sprinkle dry rub all over both sides of the ribs.
  4. Let sit for 30 minutes minimum (or 8 hours, covered if refrigerated).
  5. Preheat a gas grill or smoker to 350°F. Grill using indirect heat (See Note 3).
  6. Place the rack, bone side down on the grill, close the lid. Let the ribs cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Take ribs off the grill and place on aluminum foil. Fold up sides, pour apple juice (mop sauce) over and wrap tightly in foil. You want this as watertight as possible after adding the apple juice.
  8. Place the wrapped ribs back on the grill, close the lid and increase the temperature to 375°F for 30 minutes.
  9. Turn the heat down to 250°F. Unwrap the ribs, remove them from the foil, and place them back on the grill. Baste each side with BBQ sauce every 5 minutes for a total of 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145°F. Allow to rest 10 minutes, slice and serve.


  1. I'm using the apple juice as a mop sauce substitute here. For a tarter mop sauce, substitute apple cider vinegar for the apple juice.
  2. If you are not using whole spices, use a 1/2 tsp LESS of each ground spice.
  3. Grill using indirect heat: For a gas grill, do the 2 Zone set up, which is either half the grill is lit to achieve the desired temperature and the meat is placed on the opposite side, or have sides lit, leaving the center NOT on or lowest temperature. To grill using indirect heat on a charcoal BBQ or smoker, ignite charcoal and place it to one side of the grill, creating a space for the food or the center with the meat you're cooking, not directly over those lit coals. Typically use a drip pan under the ribs to avoid any flareups.

Taken from