Slow Cooked Carolina-Style BBQ Ribs

bbq ribs

BBQ is a way of life.  Some people believe that the secret to good BBQ is the rub.  Others say it’s the way you prepare it, either with a smoker and the wood you use or on a grill.  And of course, there’s the BBQ sauce.  Everyone seems to have a different, family-favorite recipe.  The only way you’ll figure out what recipe is your favorite is by trying as many as possible.  This is a great base recipe to work with.

Living in an apartment leaves us lacking in space and BBQ equipment but just like my perfect pulled pork recipe, you don’t need a smoker or grill to make delicious, fall off the bone ribs at home.  The steps are relatively simple.  You rub your ribs with tender loving care, allow those flavors to meld, then slowly cook everything to perfect tenderness.

Slow Cooked Carolina-Style BBQ Ribs

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 12 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 18 hours, 30 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

Serving Size: 3 ribs


  • 1/4 cup ancho chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Mop:
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • Few dashes hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Carolina Style BBQ Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup ancho chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Rest:
  • 2 racks St. Louis-style pork ribs, 12 ribs each, membrane removed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil


    For the Rub:
  1. Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Brush both sides of the racks with oil and rub with the spice mixture. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
  2. For the Mop:
  3. In a large pot over low heat, add all the mop ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. For the Ribs:
  5. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator 45 minutes before cooking to allow them to come to room temperature. Heat your oven to 225 degrees F. Put the ribs on a raised rack and cook for 6 hours, brushing the ribs with the mop every hour for the first 5 hours. During the last hour, brush the ribs with the North Carolina Barbecue Sauce every 10 minutes. The ribs are cooked when the meat reaches a temperature of 180 to 190 degrees F. Remove the ribs to a serving platter and serve.
  6. For the BBQ Sauce:
  7. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the ketchup and water, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool for about 5 minutes.
  8. Carefully transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then pour into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature. Sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator, stored in a tightly sealed container.

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay’s Smoked Ribs recipe.

Perfect Pulled Pork

Ever wonder how your favorite BBQ joint makes their pork so dang good?  I did too until now.  The secret to their recipe?  Cook your pork shoulder low and slow.  Okay, that might be a very well-known secret but this was the first time that I tried the “low and slow” method in an oven.

Up until now, I had prepared my pork shoulder in my crock pot.  Inspired by an episode on Food Network this week (they’ve been airing BBQ madness for a while now) I decided to try my luck with the oven.  Now that I have tasted the juicy, tender, all-mighty oven pork, I will never cook pork shoulder in my crock pot again.

My pork turned out absolutely perfect.  I feel like if I would place my plate of pork (Subject A) next to that BBQ joint’s plate of pork (Subject B), taste-testers wouldn’t be able to tell the difference!  I’m that confident.  The catch?  You can’t leave your oven on all day unattended like you can with a crock pot.  So if you’re going to try this method, do it on your day off (I recommend glasses of cold beer to keep you busy in the mean time).

View a list of all of my pork recipes here.

Note:  I updated this recipe based on all of your suggestions.   I changed the internal temperature from 170 degrees to 200 degrees.  170 degrees is where a pork roast is cooked and sliceable, but 200 degrees is fall-apart tender.  I also added two more hours to the cook time, to accomodate the internal temperature change.  Thank you for your comments!

Perfect Pulled Pork

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 13 hours

Yields: Serves about 8

Perfect Pulled Pork


  • 1 (6-pound) pork shoulder or pork butt, bone in preferred
  • Dry Rub:
  • 3 tablespoons paprika (I used smoked paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt


  1. Preheat your oven or smoker to 225 degrees F. Lightly score your pork with a sharp knife. Mix the dry rub ingredients together and rub the spice blend all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.
  2. Put the pork in a roasting pan and roast for 10-12 hours, uncovered. Check the pork at 10 hours. An instant-read thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the pork should register at least 200 degrees F. Your pork should also pull easily apart. If it isn't done, increase the cook time in increments of 30 minutes.
  3. When the pork is cooked, take it out of the oven and place it on a platter to cool. Allow the meat to rest for at least 30 minutes. Once rested, use 2 forks to shred the meat. Serve as is, on a bun, on a baked potato or combine with your favorite BBQ sauce.


If you wish to use the meat later, wrap the cooked pork in double foil to retain the juices and refrigerate or freeze.

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay and Tyler Florence’s Pulled Pork Recipes

Photo courtesy of

THE Best Marinade For BBQ Chicken!

Now that the holidays are over, everything is coasting back to normal.  I still enjoy pajama time on the weekends, I still refuse to go to the store because they are too busy (I’m an avid online shopper), and finally I still enjoy time spent in front of a grill.

I absolutely love this marinade recipe for BBQ chicken.  The ingredients are fairly typical of your average pantry and it only take an hour for this baby to do its thing (although the longer it sits the better it is).

On a side note, my pantry is hardly average.  I just thought I’d include it so it didn’t feel so left out.

The result is nothing short of tender, juicy chicken that is sweet, sour, tangy and a bit exotic in flavor.  There is nothing overpowering here, just simple BBQ folks, cuz that’s the way we like ‘er here in Coloradee.

The Best Marinade For BBQ Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yields: Enough for 2 or so pounds of chicken pieces. Add more oil if you find that your marinade isn

The Best Marinade For BBQ Chicken


  • 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup beer or chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of Sriracha (optional)


  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pour into a gallon ziplock baggie (double bag it if you're afraid of leakage). Drop your chicken in and poke the meat with a fork so the marinade can really penetrate the meat. Toss to coat, place the bag in a small dish (again, just in case of leakage) then store in the fridge for at least an hour, overnight is best, tossing occasionally.
  2. When you're ready to grill, take the chicken out of the marinade, rinse and pat dry. Grill as desired.

Baby You’re a Firework

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday!  You know, I can’t decide if my favorite part about celebrating America’s independence is the food, the booze, or the people I enjoy all of it with.  I’d have to say the combination of all of those things really make a 4th of July one worth remembering.

Hugs and kisses to everyone who shared their stories and laughter, and food and beer this weekend.

Keep on rockin’ in the free world.

Freshly squeezed water with a hint of lemon

Sunset over the Rockies

Smashers is excited to make some art!

The Franklin ala The Denver Biscuit Co.

Fresh produce from the Cherry Creek Market

Keeping an eye on the slowly cooking ribs

Like a Ninja…

The pups even got in on some corn on the cob

Second set of fireworks this weekend

Lighting our own Golden Showers

How to properly cut up a watermelon

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