southern bbq ribs | easy fall-off-‘da-bone


This is a funny story. Well, there are two funny stories here.

First. We had been vegan {to get on a healthy track and lose weight <– read more here} for about 3 weeks when the Hubs runs up to me in the grocery store with a huge smile on his face. Shaking a pack of ribs, and way too giddy for a 6’6″ attorney, he squeals, “Can we buy these?!!!”

“Why on God’s green earth would we buy ribs when we are eating vegan for several more weeks?”

“They are on sale for like 6 bucks a pack and we can freeze them,” he proclaims.

I reminded him that the last time we made ribs they were super tough and dry, embarrassing us foodies in front of our friends, who expect way more from our kitchen.

“Please?” Fine. I made him swear that before he even takes them out of the package, he MUST master the art of making ribs. We live in Savannah for goodness sake, there are old southern men cooking meat in huge smokers on the side of just about every road. “Go learn from them first.” With that, he freaking grabbed 5 packages of ribs! THEN the next day, came home with another pack, because the sale was “just too good to pass up”.


Fast forward several weeks, when we both lost a ton of weight eating vegan, we decided to have a cheat day. What did we make? Ribs. The hubs did so much research on cooking ribs, really taking to heart the promise he made me {except he did not go talk to an old southern man}. We gathered our friends, I made buttermilk corn bread and our Louisiana friend made a pot of incredible jalapeno-sausage baked beans. The hubs picked up the first bone and the meat literally slid off onto the plate. No fork or knife needed. Napkins were a must.

These ribs were honestly some of the most incredible ribs we all had tasted and for a fraction of the price you would spend at a local BBQ joint. They were moist, tender, juicy, smoky, charred, comforting, sticky, melt-in-your-mouth yummy AND super easy. The Hubs made these with literally the same cooking equipment that you have in your own home. No wood burning BBQ pit or smoker needed {although if you have one, use it!}.

Because I was not so sure that they would be this divine the first time around, I was not ready to take pictures or share the recipe with you. Luckily, we had 500 more packages of ribs in the freezer. So when he made them again for his parents {visiting from New Hampshire}, I stood by taking notes {and pictures} for this very post. Don’t worry, my buttermilk corn bread and smoky mixed beans recipes will be shared in a different post.

Funny story number two will be shared at the end of this post. Ready to make some ribs?



  • 2 racks of pork ribs {St. Louis style}
  • yellow mustard or spicy brown mustard
  • liquid smoke
  • pepper
  • chipotle chili powder
  • garlic salt
  • coriander
  • crushed red pepper {optional}
  • favorite BBQ sauce


Use a knife or your strong hands to remove the membrane
  1. Peel back thin membrane on the bone side of the ribs. This membrane can get very tough and rubbery when left on. Removing it helps the meat fall off the bone. See above photo.
  2. Preheat oven to 290 degrees.
  3. Lay each rack of ribs on a sheet of aluminum foil. Pour a small amount of liquid smoke and mustard in separate bowls {no measurements needed}. Use a basting brush to paint on a thin layer of liquid smoke on both sides of the ribs. Now do the same with the mustard.
  4. Mix all dry spices in a bowl {up to crushed red pepper}. Sprinkle on both sides of ribs, covering all the meat. Gently rub it in if you want, Hubs did not.
  5.  Wrap the ribs in 2-3 layers of foil. Make sure it is sealed tight to keep in all moisture.
  6. Place rack of ribs on a cookie sheet or in a cake pan meat side down. Cover the pan tightly with foil.
  7. Bake in the oven for 3.5 – 4 hours.
  8. Fifteen minutes before ribs are done in oven, heat up a charcoal grill. This will give it a nice smoky flavor.
  9. Lay out a fresh piece of foil onto the grill grates. Paint on a layer of your favorite BBQ sauce directly onto the foil. Lay the ribs {meat side down} on top of this layer. Now baste the bone side with BBQ sauce. {If you do not use foil, the ribs will literally fall apart onto the coals.}
  10. Cook until pieces are charred and scorched.


Funny story number two | Remember I was telling you that Hubs made these ribs for his parents? Well, on their way back from the grill, father-in-law had the honor of carrying the ribs. Instead of setting them down to open the door, he attempted to hold them while reaching for the handle. “Oh crap.” Myself and mother-in-law came running to the door to see what happened. Literally on the door step lay the ribs, slathered all over the porch floor. I quickly scooped them up into the pan {most of them were shielded by the foil}. I wasn’t even annoyed for dinner, I was upset because I wanted to photograph them for this blog post. When the Hubs reached the doorstep and looked down at the mess of barbeque sauce, all I heard was, “are you kidding me,” as he laughed. You see, the day before father-in-law dropped the plate of hotdogs on the floor. We all laughed about it. No more meat carrying for him.

So here in the pictures above you see my best presentation of previously dropped on the floor ribs. We ate them anyways {after I cleaned them off} and they were STILL DELICIOUS.