A Rib-a-palooza with McCormick®

Who needs a reason to have a party when an opportunity will suffice! While I have been blessed with many talents, one of them, unfortunately, is not a knack for working on machinery. In particular, lawn mowers and things with small engines give me fits. So when I found out that my father-in-law was going to be coming over to help out with the lawn mower and tiller, I knew then and there that I had to give him and my mother-in-law a proper payment: all the ribs that they could stand to eat!


The first thing that comes to mind for most Americans when they hear the word “barbecue” is ribs. Whether baby back or spare… or wet, dry, or sticky… Americans love their ribs any way they can get them. But no matter what you do, don’t boil ‘em before you grill or smoke ‘em…

So to pay proper penance for my father-in-law’s help with the mower and tiller, I picked up three very good looking racks of baby back ribs. But after that, I had a decision to make… which McCormick® Grill Mates® rub should I use? Should I go with the Memphis Pit BBQ Rub?


Or do I go with the Tennessee Smokehouse Rub?


The answer was right in front of me – both! With my wife and in-laws being originally from the Memphis area, I gave the bigger nod to the Memphis Pit BBQ Rub by using it on 2 racks. The third and final rack got a healthy dose of the Tennessee Smokehouse Rub.

Both rubs smelled delicious, but there was an extra something to the Tennessee Smokehouse Rub. A touch of whiskey (in the form of malted barley whiskey extract) gives this rub a certain robust characteristic. While everything I’ve seen so far from this rub has suggested use on chicken, I figured it should work well on ribs as well.

I also like experimenting with different kinds of woods for cooking BBQ. For ribs, I normally stick with a fruit-based wood such as apple so that it does not overpower the meat. For this cook, I added in a little bit of pecan wood (one of the flavors to watch in the Grilling Flavor Forecast) to add in a nutty accent.

After seasoning the ribs, they got a bath of smoke for an hour and a half at between 250 and 275 degrees. Afterwards, they were wrapped up in a foil pack (with a combination of brown sugar, honey, more of the rub, and just a touch of sriracha chili sauce to add a hint of heat) and went back on the smoker for an additional hour. For the final 30 minutes of cooking, the racks were glazed with a thin layer of BBQ sauce to add a touch of wetness and stickiness.

The result? Pure success! The only reason we had leftovers was because we got too full too fast!!



I was very pleased with how the ribs turned out, and I was very pleased with how well both of the McCormick® Grill Mates® rubs worked. No doubt this would work well for most anyone!

(NOTE: This is part of a partnership with McCormick®)

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Author: Big Wayner

Big Wayner is the mad brains behind Big Wayner's BBQ Blog. A full-time RVer, he enjoys sharing his passion for all things BBQ with anyone and everyone he meets.