St. Louis Ribs (Grilled Ribs)

Grilling season is in full swing and these St. Louis Grilled Ribs are one recipe that you need in your barbecue repertoire! These succulent, fall-of-the-bone ribs are always a hit. Find out how to grill the perfect ribs every single time and become a pit master!

Two racks of St.Louis Style Ribs

What’s in St. Louis Style Ribs?

I don’t think there’s much more impressive when it comes to grilling than serving up succulent and juicy ribs – they are such a crowd-pleaser! Follow this recipe for perfect St. Louis Grilled Ribs every single time!

  • St. Louis-Style Ribs: A type of moist, tender spare rib that’s perfect for beginners.
  • Kosher Salt: Helps to brine the ribs before they are cooked. This helps make them extra moist on the inside and crispy on the outside.
  • Canola Oil: Helps the dry rub stick to the ribs.
  • Pork Dry Rub: A mixture of herbs and spices that flavors both the ribs and the mopping mixture.
  • White Vinegar: Forms the base of the mopping mixture and adds moisture and tanginess to the ribs as they cook.
  • Water: Adds moisture to the mopping mixture.
  • Barbecue Sauce: Adds a rich, tangy flavor to the finished ribs.

Pro Tip: Ask your butcher to remove the membrane on the ribs to save you some prep time!

Variations on Ribs on the Grill

If you’re not into that classic barbecue rib flavor, you can baste these ribs with Hoisin sauce, mustard sauce, ah-so sauce, or teriyaki sauce.

St.Louis Ribs being mopped on a grill
What are St. Louis style ribs?

St. Louis style ribs come from the belly side of the rib cage of a pig, just above the breast bone. They contain more bone than meat, but they also have a high fat content which makes them tender and flavorsome. They are also known as spare ribs.

What’s the difference between St. Louis ribs and baby back ribs?

Baby back ribs come from the top of the pig’s ribcage, closer to the spine and they are usually meatier and leaner than St. Louis ribs. Baby back ribs have a higher demand so they are often more expensive. Both types of rib require a long and slow cook time so that they become tender.

Can you use baby back ribs instead?

Although the cooking method is essentially the same, St.Louis ribs take longer to cook as they are bigger. If you are feeding a crowd, St.Louis is a great way to go as they are larger and will feed more people.

How do you prep ribs?

To ensure you are serving the best ribs ever, you do need to do a little prep work. Ideally, you would do this the day before you are cooking them. You will need to remove the membrane if it is still intact– you can also ask your butcher to do this for you. They need a dry brine and rub to really help to tenderize them, and they should be left for at least 8 hours before you start to cook them.

Two ribs on the grill

How to Store and Reheat

Store leftover St. Louis ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pan covered with aluminum foil in a 250°F oven until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130-140°F.

How to Freeze

Freeze St. Louis Ribs in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Serving Suggestions

Ribs are the perfect summertime grilling food and should be served alongside all of your usual favorites, like potato salad, coleslaw, Caesar salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, or cornbread.

A rack of ribs cooked and sliced

More Rib Recipes We Love

ribs on a plate

St. Louis Ribs (Grilled)

As grilling season kicks into high gear, make sure to add these St. Louis Grilled Ribs to your barbecue lineup. Get ready to impress your guests with these irresistible and crowd-pleasing grilled ribs.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Resting Time 9 hours
Total Time 15 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 1383kcal
Author Becky Hardin



For the Ribs

  • 2 slabs St. Louis-Style Ribs 7-9 ribs each
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dry Rub for Pork (click for recipe)
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce Blue’s Hog Original is our favorite – or homemade (click for recipe)

For the Vinegar Mopping Mixture

  • ½ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup Dry Rub for Pork (click for recipe)


For the Vinegar Mopping Mixture

  • Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside for now.
    ½ cup distilled white vinegar, ½ cup water, ½ cup Dry Rub for Pork

For Prepping the Ribs

  • Rinse the ribs under cool water to remove any bone chips from butchering.
    2 slabs St. Louis-Style Ribs
  • Remove the membrane from the ribs if it is still intact. HERE is a great instructional video.
  • To dry brine the ribs, season them with kosher salt like you would if they were served to you unsalted; about ¼ teaspoon per pound of ribs. Wrap each slab with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours.
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • After 1-2 hours, remove the ribs and liberally brush both sides of the ribs with canola oil. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons Pork Dry Rub evenly over both sides of each slab of ribs, and wrap the ribs with plastic wrap.
    Canola oil, 2 tablespoons Dry Rub for Pork
  • Place the ribs in the fridge for 8-24 hours.

For Cooking the Ribs

  • When it’s time to grill the ribs, a two-heat-zone grilling method will be used, and 225°F is the optimal temperature.
  • To set up a kettle-style grill for slow, low cooking, start by heating half a chimney of briquettes.
  • Remove the ribs from the fridge to warm to room temperature.
  • Once the briquettes are ready, pour them over the lower grate and against one side of the grill. “Bank” them up the side of the grill. Place 4 ounces of wood chips/chunks on top of the coals. Fill a stainless steel pan with 2 cups of water and set it on the cool side of the grate opposite the coals, and close the grill lid.
  • Adjust the intake damper on the bottom of the grill to get the temperature of the grill to 225°F before adding the ribs. Place the upper grate over the grills with the lift-up opening placed over the coals. Preheat the grill 5 minutes, then open it and clean and oil the upper grate.
  • Place a stainless steel pan filled with 2 cups of water, on the grate, directly over the coals.
  • Unwrap the ribs and place them, meaty side up, on the cool side of the grate opposite the pan of water. “Mop” the ribs with the Vinegar Mopping Mixture.
  • Place the lid on, with the vent over the ribs, and cook 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, place another 4 ounces of wood chips/chunks directly onto the coals. Replace the lid and cook an additional 2½ hours.
  • If the temperature goes below 200°F, add 10 hot briquettes over the coals (as needed). Also, add additional water to the water pans, as needed.
  • After the ribs have cooked a total of 3 hours, “mop” the slabs with the Vinegar Mopping Mixture and turn them 180°. Do NOT flip them over. Close the lid and cook an additional 2 hours. Keep a close eye on the grill's internal temperature and add more hot coals and water, if needed.
  • After a total of 5 hours cooking time, heat another ½ chimney of briquettes. While the briquettes heat, take a peek at the ribs, and give the ribs the “bend test”. (Pick the meat up, with tongs, by one end to see if the meat will “break” or slightly tear apart, if it does, it’s ready). Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet to coat lightly with your favorite BBQ sauce and to rest while the coals heat.
    ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • Once the coals are hot, place a slab of ribs directly over the coals and cook 30 seconds each side. Repeat with the second slab of ribs.
  • Cut the ribs between the bones and serve.


  • Start prepping these ribs the day before cooking them to ensure they are perfectly tender.
  • Make sure the membrane has been removed.
  • Brine the ribs for as long as you can.
  • Warm the ribs to room temperature before cooking them


Calories: 1383kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 69g | Fat: 113g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Monounsaturated Fat: 43g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 347mg | Sodium: 482mg | Potassium: 1245mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 675IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 316mg | Iron: 13mg

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