memphis style ribs

Memphis-Style Paleo Ribs


memphis style ribs
Paleo Style

1 rack baby back ribs

2 Tbsp Paprika (NOT SMOKED!!!)

2 ½ Tsp Coconut Sugar (use brown sugar if not following a Paleo Diet)

2 Tsp Black Pepper

1 ½ Tsp Kosher or Sea Salt (Coarse)

¾ Tsp Cayenne Pepper

¾ Tsp Cumin

¾ Tsp Garlic Powder

¾ Tsp Dry Mustard

½ Tsp Celery Salt

1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

¼ Cup Yellow Mustard

1 Tsp salt

Prep time: 15 mins; marinate 4 hours; smoke 4 to 5 hours

Recipe Instructions

For many folks they tend to want their ribs sweet and coated in sauce and while I will eat a pile of ribs made that way my favorite ribs are Memphis-Style.  I have been to Tennessee many times but unfortunately never to Memphis. I have tried many recipes for Memphis-Style Ribs and built this to suit my tastes.  

These ribs are done in a dry rub and then left to rest for a few hours before smoking them and mopping with a simple mop sauce.  While I don’t always follow the Paleo lifestyle (those who have met me or seen my pictures can attest), I did realize these could be made to fit that lifestyle by simply using organic ingredients and using coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.  The ribs are just barely sweet but have some nice spice from the cayenne and great color from the paprika.

  1. First thing to do is mix up the rub.  Mix the Paprika to the Celery Salt in a bowl and set aside.  This is more than enough rub for 1 rack, and who really makes only one rack anyway.  
  2. Grab your rack of ribs and using a spoon or tip of a thermometer probe and peel the membrane off the back.  
  3. Put a nice coating of rub on these ribs and wrap them in plastic wrap and place in your refrigerator for 4 hours.

raw and seasoned ribs

I am smoking these on my Big Green Egg but you can use any smoker just so long as you maintain a temperature of 275 degrees.   I also like to use Hickory Wood with Memphis Style ribs but you can use whatever you like.

  1. After I have fired up the Egg know I have about a half hour before the smoke goes from puffy white to light blue (which is what it should look like before you put your meat on), so I take the ribs out of the refrigerator and let them come up to room temp for about a half hour.  I usually add a quick dusting of rub as well but don’t overdo it.  
  2. Once the Egg is up to temp I place the rack on bone side down.  I am leaving it that way throughout the cook.  
  3. At this point mix up your mop.  I just throw the Vinegar, Mustard and salt into a container and shake it up right before I use it.
  4. After 1 ½ hours I am opening the lid for the first time and giving them a good mopping with the vinegar sauce.  These ribs will not be wrapped in foil so if we don’t mop they will dry out.  
  5. After that first time we will mop every 45 minutes until the ribs are tender.  I usually start checking around the 4 hour mark.  To check for doneness you should see the meat pulling down the bone some and with a slight tug they should start to tear.  At this point they are done.
  6. I like to take them off the smoker and give about 10 minutes or so to rest before cutting them into individual ribs.  Enjoy!!!

Nutrition Facts:  

4 total servings

Calories 415, Fat 28 grams, Carbohydrates 8 grams, Sugar 4 grams, Protein 33 grams

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