Old School Baby Back Ribs Recipe


What is an “old school” rib you may be asking? Long before the days of competition BBQ (and using every trick available to turn ribs into something that looks closer to freshly varnished furniture than pork), there was a way to turn out great ribs. Ribs that had great bark, almost a crunch on the exterior, and tender smoked meat near the bone. Just time, smoke and basting, or “mopping” as they called it, was used. This baby back ribs on the grill recipe shows you how to achieve those great ribs of yesteryear. Notice this recipe doesn’t call for any sauce. You are welcome to sauce your ribs—make them your own. Back in the day, though, sauce was served on the side to dip your ribs in.


  • 2 racks of baby back ribs
  • ¾ C Grilla AP Rub
  • ¼ C yellow mustard or vegetable oil

Ingredients - Mop

  • 2 C apple juice
  • 1 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 C vegetable oil
  • 4 TB Grilla AP Rub

Ingredients - Rib Dip


Start by picking out some nicely marbled baby backs or St. Louis cut ribs if you prefer them. The St. Louis ribs will likely cook a little faster as they are typically a little more uniform in shape and thickness.

Next pull the silver skin and rinse your ribs. The rinse is important because during the butchering process, sometimes bone dust or bone fragments can be left on the meat. Lightly coat your ribs with the mustard or oil and then dust with your rub. Allow your ribs to rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. The oil/mustard will help really pull the spices and herbs in the rub into the meat since the majority of herbs and spices are oil soluble.

Bring the ribs to room temp about 45 minutes before you place them on the Kong, Silverbac, or Grilla. Mix together all the mop ingredients and find a brush that will soak up the mop well so it can be applied.

Preheat your Grilla Grill to 225 to 250 degrees. If you are using a charcoal grill, you want to set it up for indirect heat. Also there will be a fair bit of run off from the mop, so if using a pellet grill, you may want to set a pan under the grates or check your catch can often so it does not overflow.

Put the ribs on the grill and smoke them for 1.5 hours. At this point the mopping starts. Repeat the mopping process every 30 to 45 minutes.

At about the 4.5-point of the cook, start checking the ribs for tenderness. The meat should be pulling back from the bone and if you lift up one of the bones in the middle of the rack, it should break cleanly with little to no meat stuck on the bone. Once the ribs are done, you have a couple of options. You can redust the ribs and serve them “dry” for more of a Memphis-style rib (which has fantastic bark and texture) and serve with the dip above. You could also use the rib dip as a final glaze if you want more of a Kansas City-style. Both bbq rib recipes will be crowd pleasers.


Referenced Products

Silverbac Wood Pellet Smoker Grill

Grilla Grills come from the jungle. Not the Amazon. We ship every order as fast and efficient as mammally possible. So the sooner you buy, the sooner you shall receive. Grilla Grills Silverbac wood pellet grill gives you rich wood flavor in a quick grill or an all-day smoke.

All Purpose Rub 12 oz.

If you're looking to add versatility and flavor to your BBQ, grab a bottle of Grilla Grills All Purpose Rub. Recommended by pro team grill members, Grilla Grills All Purpose BBQ Rub contains the perfect blend of spices to up your grillin' game.

Thick & Bold Sauce 18 oz.

The Pitmaster’s award winning Thick & Bold sauce is the perfect pairing for beef, chicken, and pork. The delicately blended sauce firsts tastes sweet & savory, followed by a punch to the taste buds full of flavor. It won’t take you long to understand why it’s a favorite both at home and in competition. Only $7.99!
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Grilla Grills
558 E. 64th Street
Holland, MI 49423
Email: grillmaster@grillagrills.com
Phone: 616-392-7410