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Hot & Smoky Barbecue Sauce for July 4 Independence Day

Happy July 4th! Here’s the ribs, rub & sauce I promised. Absolutely a family and class fave.

As you celebrate, do like I do: a little prayer for our one & only USA!

BBQ Ribs with Smoky BBQ Sauce

BBQ Ribs with Smoky BBQ Sauce


Sprinkle the ribs with the spice rub up to a day head.   

Rub: You may have leftover rub so store in refrigerator up to a month.

Mix together:

6 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chili powder – I like Buena Vida

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cumin

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons allspice



6-7 pounds meaty baby back pork ribs, cut into 6-7 rib slabs


To season ribs:

Sprinkle a generous teaspoon rub on each side of each slab of ribs.  Arrange on large baking sheet; cover with foil and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to l day.


To grill ribs:

Prepare grill with medium heat.  Arrange ribs on rack and grill until tender and cooked, turning occasionally, about 25-35 minutes.  

Reserve 2 cups barbecue sauce in small bowl.  Brush each side of each pork rib slab generously with some of remaining sauce.  Continue grilling until sauce forms a sticky coating, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer ribs to platter.  Cut slabs between bones into individual ribs and serve, passing reserved 2 cups barbeque sauce alongside.


This is a great do-ahead sauce. After cooking, adjust seasonings.  I usually add a little more brown sugar.

4 cups catsup

1/2 cup cider vinegar or to taste

1/3 to 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup prepared mustard

2 tablespoons Tobasco

2 tablespoons barbeque rub (see above)

2 teaspoons liquid smoke plus a bit more if needed

Chipotle pepper powder to taste or 1 tablespoon or to taste chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce. I puree the peppers for easy measuring.


Combine everything in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until dark and thick, about 20 minutes.  Store in refrigerator. Keeps up to  a month.



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