Bulldog’s Meats: Memphis Style Ribs


(Submitted by Steve K.: St. Paul, MN)



The only sauce applied to Memphis Style ribs is mop sauce used for basting during the cooking process, the mop sauce is an important component in keeping the meat moist.

Memphis style ribs are traditionally smoked and not grilled, baked or broiled, however you decide to cook them, low heat and slow cooking will give you the best rib.

Ingredients for the mop sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 cup BBQ Rub, recipe follows

Ingredients for the rub:                                                                     

  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preparing the ribs – Wash the ribs and blot dry with paper towel. Place the ribs meat-side up. Cut the line of fat on the base of the ribs to remove the cartilaginous rib tips. Flip the meat over and cut off the flap of meat on the inside of the ribs. This is not essentially but will help prevent them from burning. Remove the membrane on the back of each rack of ribs.

Combine the ingredients for the rub and mix well. Liberally rub the ribs on both sides with the mixture. Wrap each rib in plastic wrap then aluminum foil and let marinate for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.

Preparing the smoker – Presoak your wood chips in water for roughly an hour. Place a drip pan in the center of your smoker with plenty of water. A charcoal chimney is best to get your coals started. Once you have hot coals spread them out and put a health amount of your chips down.

Smoking the ribs – Place the ribs on the smoker over the drip pan and cover the smoker. Start basting with the mop sauce after 30 minutes, basting every 20-30 minutes. You will need to replenish the coals and wood chips from time to time as needed. The ribs are done when the meat is very tender and it has shrunk back from the ends of the bones. At temperatures ranging from 200-250 your ribs should take roughly 4-5 hours however every smoker is different.