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Kansas City-Style Ribs Recipe

Kansas City-Style Ribs Recipe

Our family recipe for ribs has evolved to near perfection. These country-style beauties are a legend in our close circle. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + chilling Grill: 1 hour 25 min. YIELD:12 servings


  • 1-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons each garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons each ground cumin, coarsely ground pepper and cayenne pepper
  • 12 bone-in country-style pork ribs (about 7 pounds)
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 1. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and seasonings; sprinkle over ribs. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour.
  • 2. For sauce, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5-6 minutes or until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  • 3. Wrap ribs in a large piece of heavy-duty foil; seal edges of foil. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat 1-1/4 to 1-3/4 hours or until ribs are tender.
  • 4. Carefully remove ribs from foil. Place ribs over direct medium heat; baste with some of the sauce. Grill, covered, 8-10 minutes or until browned, turning and basting occasionally with remaining sauce. Yield: 12 servings.

Recipe Note

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Ask your butcher for well-marbled country-style ribs to ensure they stay beautifully moist during this longer cook time. Leaner cuts tend to dry out.
  • Make a big batch of this dry rub, and keep a canister in your cabinet for spur-of-the-moment grilling. It also tastes great on chicken.
  • Get creative with your sauce; it's very flexible. Love mustard? Increase it. If you're a fan of fruity sauce, add some cherry or apricot jam. Or kick up the spice. The possibilities are endless.
  • Nutritional Facts

    1 rib: 453 calories, 18g fat (6g saturated fat), 101mg cholesterol, 452mg sodium, 40g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 1g fiber), 31g protein.

    Reviews for Kansas City-Style Ribs

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    laurie User ID: 9222376 269658
    Reviewed Jul. 18, 2017

    "Excellent recipe and very easy to follow. Delicious!"

    kramerstacey15 User ID: 5709757 269560
    Reviewed Jul. 16, 2017

    "The flavor on these is great! I followed the recipe with the exception of the paprika. I didn't have smoked so I used regular. I will make these again but next time I will cook even longer so they are more tender."

    dschultz01 User ID: 1076910 226460
    Reviewed May. 17, 2015

    "Grilled these according to instructions, but used boneless ribs instead. The sauce was excellent, and they were easier to make than I thought they would be. Mine turned out kind of dry, but I might have cooked them too long. Since they were boneless, they probably only needed to cook for about an hour, and I cooked mine for 1.5 hours."

    angieact1 User ID: 1990802 218185
    Reviewed Jan. 18, 2015

    "These were delish, cooked in slow cooker!"

    Jlorr User ID: 7569308 190431
    Reviewed Aug. 30, 2014


    I made these but had to substitute a few things, I was out of garlic powder so I used a little garlic salt, no cayenne pepper so I used chipotle chili powder. This made just as a good rub as recipe, but I was light on the chipotle chili powder as it can give a punch!
    I slowed cooked in Oven with some of the sauce, then finished on grill for that added yummy flavor."

    Kimsister User ID: 7615638 120880
    Reviewed Jul. 6, 2014

    "This recipe was awesome! I made boneless ribs and cooked them in my smoker - the rub and sauce were outstanding. I decreased the cayenne a little and still thought there was plenty of kick. Will use this recipe often :)"

    Aquarelle User ID: 985301 200774
    Reviewed Aug. 22, 2013

    "I loved the rub, but I didn't think the sauce was as flavorful as my own homemade sauce (which contains many of the same ingredients as this sauce). Next time I will use the rub, though perhaps with a lighter hand with the cayenne pepper, but will substitute my own sauce, which I make and can 6 pints at a time."

    efwynne User ID: 4092460 127804
    Reviewed Jul. 26, 2013

    "This recipe is awesome!! I cooked the ribs in the oven and the came out so tender. The sauce really had a great family loved them."

    kvandes User ID: 5211117 200297
    Reviewed Jul. 19, 2013

    "This may be the best BBQ sauce I have ever had. I used boneless spare ribs and put them in the slow cooker with the dry rub for 8 hours. Then I made the sauce, covered the ribs with sauce in a baking dish and baked in the oven at 350 for 20-25 min. I had to make myself stop eating these!"

    Ab0628 User ID: 3440719 126539
    Reviewed Jul. 13, 2013

    "Delicious! We made them for 4th of July and slow-cooked them in the oven."

    aug2295 User ID: 4631582 153303
    Reviewed Jul. 5, 2013

    "No one in my house liked these, they LOVED them. Really delicious. I didn't have any cayenne, so I used red pepper flakes."

    dorisgibson106 User ID: 1276405 120879
    Reviewed Jun. 30, 2013

    "These barbecued ribs have to be the very best I have ever eaten!! They are tender, juicy, and have a fabulous flavor. Try them, you'll love them!"

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