BBQ Ribs for Dad and Happy Chickens

Our vegetable gardens are looking good. Along with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash we’ve planted 6 rows of silver queen corn and 4 of them are already up. Our “girls”/chickens spend time between rows dusting feathers and pecking for worms. 

“Girls” are happy in garden

My husband, Frank, hoes the rows to plant corn, since his rows are always straight and tidy. He’s a good garden partner for sure, so when he requested barbecued ribs for Father’s Day, it wasn’t hard for me to decide which of my recipes to use – the ones I perfected during the pandemic.
Now the technique for succulent ribs is as important as the seasoning and mop sauce.

I’ve tried several ways, including oven roasting (high and low), slow cookers and instapot. What I like best is very slow oven roasting, which can be done in small or large batches. Ribs can be roasted ahead and grilled later. 

The dry rub and mop sauce have gone through several morphs. My family gave these versions 2 thumbs up.

Maybe you’d like to honor dad with a platter of ribs on his special day. Here’s how to make it happen.

Two step BBQ pork ribs


3-4 pounds ribs

Spice rub and bbq mop sauce

Instructions: remove silver skin

Silver skin on underside needs to be removed. If left on, it keeps seasoning from penetrating and cooks tough. 

Slide knife under skin, lift and loosen until you can grab and pull it off.

Savory spice rub 

Granulated garlic is dry processed in larger pieces and less potent than powder. 


4 tablespoons granulated garlic or 3 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin

1-1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt or 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon regular salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, coarse grind

1 teaspoon Spanish smoked sweet paprika 

1 teaspoon allspice

Couple shakes ancho chili or cayenne powder (optional)


Mix everything together. Reserve 1 tablespoon or so for sauce.


Preheat oven to 275.

Pat rub generously on each side, a generous teaspoon or so.

Place ribs, curved side up, on baking pan. Pour 1/4 cup water, beer or broth around ribs. 

Seal tightly with foil so ribs can steam.
Roast until fork tender but not falling apart, 2-1/2 to 3 hours.  

Grill on medium high. Brush with mop sauce several times on both sides.

They’re done when charred a bit.

Serve with more sauce.

Spicy BBQ mop sauce

After cooking, taste and add more of any ingredient, if necessary.


2 cups regular catsup

1/4 cup cider or red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons Worcestershire 

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard, or your favorite

1 tablespoon Tabasco

1 tablespoon reserved rub

Couple shakes liquid smoke and ancho chili powder or cayenne


Put ingredients in pan and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until thick, 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. 


Recipes can be doubled.

Refrigerate leftover rub and sauce.

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