Dinner · Sauces And dips

Kansas City Style Pork Ribs

Ribs are such a staple in the summer time. Everyone is pulling out their grills and finding their favorite grilling recipes. I can say that grilling is always a must in our summertime routine. From chicken to ribs and everything in between. We have so many different styles that we gravitate toward, however, this is one of our favorites. It is a sweet heat style recipe that you can tweak the heat on. You can make it more sweet and less spicy or less sweet and very spicy. However you like your ribs this one is definitely one of our go to’s. Plus if you don’t want to pull out the grill you can also make this in the oven. This is how I make them most of the time and how I am going to show you in this recipe.

Kansas City Style Pork ribs

Let’s get started on the sweet, spicy, sticky, falling off the bone delicious ribs.


2 slabs of pork ribs- silver skin removed

2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 to 1 1/2 tsp cayenne ( to heat preference)
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper

2 tbsp neutral oil ( I use avocado oil)
1 onion- finely diced
3 cups water
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. molasses ( I use blackstrap molasses) use what you have on hand
1/4 to 3/4 tsp cayenne ( to heat preference)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper


  1. Remove the silver skin from the ribs. Make a small incision on the back of the ribs and using a paper towel gently pull the silver skin from the bones. This will help keep the ribs tender and you can cut through them easier later. Discard the silver skin.
  2. In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients for the dry rub and mix together very well.
  3. Pat the ribs as dry as possible with paper towel and sprinkle over the dry rub. Massage the rub into the meat on both sides. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and let stand 30 minutes up to 4 hours.
  4. Line a baking sheet or sheet pan with parchment or foil ( for easy clean up later) and preheat the oven to 350*. If you are using a grill go ahead and prep the grill and get it to the temp you want.
  5. When ready place the tightly covered ribs on the sheet tray and bake for 1 hour. If you are using the grill cook the ribs in the foil for 1 hour.
  6. In the meantime, In a sauce pan over medium heat add the oil and the onion. Cook until the onion is tender and translucent. This should take about 5 minutes or so.
  7. Add the cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute to toast the spices. Add in the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add in the apple cider vinegar and stir to combine. Add the water, brown sugar, and molasses and stir to mix well. Bring to a boil and turn heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 35 to 45 minutes or until reduced by half. It will deepen in color and will still be liquid-y. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
  8. After cooking the ribs for 1 hour in the oven Remove and pull back the foil ( carefully) and baste the ribs in the sauce on both sides. Cover again and cook for 30 minutes.
  9. After 30 minutes repeat the process and recover cooking for another 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the ribs and take of or uncover the ribs and baste the ribs again with the sauce on both sides. Place back in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove and let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
  • if you are grilling Do the same steps. When you reach the last 30 minutes you can continue to grill the ribs until done or to your liking of charred goodness. Or you can skip the last process of 1 1/2 hours and just cook directly on the grill and baste as you go until your desired doneness and crispy charred perfection. we’ve done it several ways and they turn our perfect either way.
  • Remember to go lightly on the heat spice and add as you go. It depends on the day for us. I sometimes go light and sometimes I go a bit heavy handed on the cayenne for that spicy goodness. We like spice in our house. lol
  • If you want to see step by step instructions you can visit my channel, The Southern Rustic.

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