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Today is July 1st. I love the month of July. In full transparency, part of that may be because its my birthday month … whoop whoop … but it is also because this is the month that feels most like summer to me. By now people have officially dusted off their grills, purchased their favorite new beach towel and have gotten at least one mosquito bite (they come out in the summer don’t they).

It is also the month we celebrate America’s Bday, 4h of July. And might I say one of the best food holidays on the calendar. Barbecue grills around America are LIT … literally.

PAUSE! Let me just say that I am mad at myself for even saying that. I kind of hate this new phrase/term “lit” “littastic” “lituation”, whateva. I think its sooooo dumb and waaaaaaaayyyy too overused but it’s just like one of those bad songs that get stuck in your head and you end up humming the words. Same thing. I think this means that I am no longer cool and hip and frankly, I’m ok with that.

Any who, as I was saying, this is the time that barbecues around America resurrect to reclaim their smoky charred glory. I can think of no better dish to formally welcome in the holiday than a good plate of barbecue ribs. I am a rib enthusiast and somewhat of a snob. When we start talking bbq and ribs all of the sudden my Kansas city roots come out with a vengeance because we all know Kansas City has the best bbq. J

Barbecue Spare Ribs - start in the oven and move to the grill to get tender fall off the bone ribs that will have come coming back for more.

While I wish I were back in KC eating a plate of ribs from Gates or Jack Stacks instead I will be making my own for Independence day. I do a combination of baking and grilling the ribs to lock in moisture and tenderness. But before I do anything I like to remove the tough layer of skin from the undercarriage of the ribs (also known as silverskin membrane). Removing this allows the flavor from my spice rub to penetrate the meat of the ribs better and alleviates me having to eat through that tough skin.

Barbecue Spare Ribs - start in the oven and move to the grill to get tender fall off the bone ribs that will have come coming back for more.

After baking the ribs, I light up grill and throw them on to get a good smoky char. I flip them a couple times while basting with bbq sauce to make sure that the sugar from the sauce doesn’t cause the ribs to burn. After that it’s every man for himself. The ribs are always the first things to go on the menu. You have to be ready to grab yours as soon as the come off the grill. My great grandma Vera Mae always said the early bird catches the worm! And in this case she was definitely right.

Barbecue Spare Ribs - start in the oven and move to the grill to get tender fall off the bone ribs that will have come coming back for more.

This is an awesome resume to add to your 4th of July menu. Give a try and if you do, don’t forget to take photos and tag #MeikoAndTheDish online!


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Barbeque Spare Ribs

Cook Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Barbeque Spare Ribs

Barbeque Spare Ribs - Nothing says summer like the smell of these barbeque spare ribs are sure to please any crowd!


  • 2 racks spareribs
  • 2 cups your favorite bbq sauce
  • apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Spice Rub
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2½ tablespoons ground mustard
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground Kona coffee
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • ½ tablespoon onion powder
  • 2½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons allspice


  1. Preheat oven 325 degrees.
  2. Combine ¾ cup apple cider vinegar with 2 cups water and place the ribs in this mixture to soak for about 30-45 minutes. Drain liquid (reserve 1/2 cup) and pat the ribs dry with a paper towel (do not rinse).
  3. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, ground mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, coffee, celery salt, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper and all spice. Set aside.
  4. Remove the tough membrane from the backside of the ribs. Starting at one end of the rack slide pairing knife under the membrane right next to the bone to give you leverage. Get a good grip and pull the skin down the rack of ribs until it is completely removed.
  5. Rub the ribs evenly on both sides with the spice blend and place on a baking tray. Add about 1/2 cup of the residual vinegar water mixture to the baking tray and wrap the tray with aluminum foil. Place in preheated 325 degree oven for 2 hours.
  6. Once the ribs are done strike up the grill (medium heat). Liberally brush the ribs with your favorite bbq sauce on both sides. Transfer ribs from the oven to the grill, discarding cooking liquid. Grill for 5 minutes meat side up. Turn over the ribs and baste the back side with barbecue sauce and grill 5 minutes more. Turn one final time and baste again with barbecue sauce, and grill 5 more minutes.
  7. Remove from grill and add more sauce if desired.
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