Tennessee BBQ Ribs

Tennessee Barbecue Is Finger Lickin' Good

GMA Recipes Dinner
Difficulty: Difficult
Cook Time: min

If you really know barbecue, you probably know Big Bob. He's famous for his Tennessee-style barbecue restaurant.

But you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own backyard to get a sample of his original taste. Emeril Lagasse prepares his ribs and so can you by following the directions below.


  • Ribs
  • Slab of ribs
  • Cup apple juice
  • Big Bob's Barbecue Red Sauce (directions on this page)
  • Big Bob's all-purpose barbecue rub (directions on this page)
  • A grill or pit
  • Barbecue Rub
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup garlic salt
  • 1/3 cup onion salt
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Sauce
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2/3 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
  • Cooking Directions

    Place slab of ribs bone side up on table. Slide a knife under the membrane and against the end bone to separate the two. With a dry paper towel or rag, grasp the edge of the thin membrane and pull. The entire membrane should separate from rib. Note: This will result in a more tender rib and will allow your barbecue flavors to better penetrate the meat.

    Generously shake the barbecue rub (ingredients below) onto the front and backsides of the ribs. Gently pat to ensure that the rub will adhere to the meat. Heat grill, or pit to 225 degrees.

    Note: A variety of fuel types can be used: gas, charcoal, wood chips including hickory, oak, cherry apple, etc. Place ribs meat side up into cooker. Cook for 3 hours on 225 degrees.

    Spray ribs with apple juice. Note: This will provide moisture, keep the bark from drying and add a fruity background flavor.

    Cook an additional 2 hours until ribs separate with a slight tug. Apply a generous coat of barbecue sauce (sauce directions below) to both sides of the ribs. Cook 15 minutes, remove, cut and serve. sauce:

    Combine all ingredients and serve with cooked ribs.

    Recipe courtesy of Big Bob Gibson, c. 2000

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: ribs, brown sugar, ketchup, apple juice

    Course: Dinner, Main Course, Sauces and marinades

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