I've always been partial to Memphis-style ribs. Memphians don't mess around with a lot of sugary sauces. Instead, they favor dry rubs—full-flavored mixtures of paprika, black pepper, and cayenne, with just a touch of brown sugar for sweetness. The rub is massaged into the meat the night before grilling, and additional rub is sprinkled on the ribs at the end of cooking.
- 1/4 cup sweet paprika
- 4 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Combine the paprika, black pepper, brown sugar, salt, celery salt, cayenne, garlic powder, dry mustard, and cumin in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Rub two thirds of this mixture over the ribs on both sides, then transfer the ribs to a roasting pan. Cover and let cure, in the refrigerator, for 4 to 8 hours.