There’s something about Memphis style ribs that sets them apart from other types of barbecue. Some say it’s the sauce. Others say it’s the meat that makes them so special. Either way, if you ask fifty people, you will get fifty different answers. Everyone has their own specific taste when it comes to just the right amount of one spice or another. The key is finding what works for you and dishing it up with relish.

It’s all in the meat

Good Memphis style ribs always start with smoked pork, either pulled or on the slab. If you want the meat to be tender and full of taste, let it smoke for several hours to bring out all of the flavors in the meat. It’s important to use the best cuts and the highest quality of meat possible. Good quality meat will ensure the taste is true to authentic Memphis style, even without the herbs and spices.

Dry rubs vs. wet sauce

Dry rubs are just as popular as the different kinds of wet sauces that are used throughout Memphis. Dry rubs normally contain garlic, paprika, pepper, cumin and onions, as well as other herbs and spices. Memphis style barbecue sauce is made from ripe tomatoes, a variety of spices and just the right amount of vinegar to produce a thin sauce that’s tart and tangy with a hint of sweetness. It’s thin enough to drizzle over ribs coated with a dry rub or to sit beside a plate of pulled pork for use as a dipping sauce.

Don’t make it, buy it!

If you don’t have the time to cook, visit one of the many local bars or restaurants that offer Memphis style ribs. There’s quite the variety to choose from, and each of these dining spots offers ribs with a unique taste and flair. There are so many options, you could literally visit one or two a week and it would still take you over a year to sample them all.

If you’re in the mood for a good Memphis style barbecue recipe for your ribs, then ask around. Everyone either knows of a place that serves good ribs or has a recipe that you “just have to try!” Find a recipe that you like and do a little experimenting to make it your own. Who knows? You may end up creating the next best thing when it comes to good old Memphis style ribs!


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