Where there's smoke, there's mouthwatering barbecue—at least in the presence of a pro pitmaster like Rodney Scott. This stellar ribs recipe comes from his new book, Rodney Scott's World of BBQ, ($24.99, amazon.com)


Credit: Jerrelle Guy

Recipe Summary

Serves 6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Fire up your grill to between 200°F and 250°F. Season each slab with rib rub. Make sure you get under the flap, the little piece of meat that dangles on the bone side of the ribs. Place seasoned ribs on grill grate, bone-sides down, with fatty ends toward middle of grill. (The middle of the grill tends to be hotter, so that will ensure that the thicker part of the rib gets cooked properly.)

  • Close the grill and cook: You are looking for caramelization on the ribs before you flip them; that should take about 1½ hours. Open the grill and look for caramelization on the bone. 

  • If it's ready, use the mop-flip-mop method: Mop the visible side of the meat with sauce. Flip the meat over. Mop the meat again. Close the grill; bring it back up to temperature, between 200° to 250°. Cook until the second sides get that same caramelized look. 

  • To check doneness, we pick up a slab of ribs with a pair of tongs and check how much give there is. When you pick the slab up, it should sag or flop easily. If a slight tear develops in the meat between the bones, that’s another sign of doneness.

Cook's Notes

When prepping, be sure to "peel" the ribs by removing the membrane that covers the bone side of the slab; if left on, the membrane will makes the ribs tough to eat. 

Reprinted with permission from Rodney Scott's World of BBQby Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie, copyright © 2021 by Rodney Scott BBQ, LLC, a South Carolina limited liability company. Photographs copyright © by Jerrelle Guy. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. 


This recipe will work for St. Louis cut ribs (which have the rib tips removed) and tender, quicker-cooking baby back ribs, too. For St. Louis, flip the ribs after 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes of cooking, while baby back ribs will be ready to turn after 30 to 45 minutes.