Smoked Pineapple-Braised St. Louis Spareribs with Blackberry Barbecue Sauce

Chris Lilly

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, Decatur, AL; and Monroe, NC

Chris Lilly shares his award-winning recipe for the most flavorful and succulent ribs in the world.


  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 slabs St. Louis-cut spareribs, back membrane removed
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
Big Bob’s Blackberry Barbeque Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cup Big Bob Gibson Championship Red Sauce (or other favorite barbeque sauce)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup blackberry jam


Preheat an outdoor grill (preferably charcoal) to 250ºF. Mix together the brown sugar, paprika, garlic salt, onion salt, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne, oregano, and cumin. Reserve 1 tablespoon for later use. Generously apply rub to the front and back of both slabs of ribs, pressing firmly to make sure all the rub adheres. Cook ribs meat-side up on the grill away from direct flames for 2 1/2 hours.

Mix together the pineapple juice, reserved dry rub, balsamic vinegar, and garlic. Transfer ribs from the grill to large double-aluminum foil squares and pour the liquid seasoning over each slab. Tightly wrap and seal the aluminum foil around the ribs and place back on the grill for another hour.

Combine the barbeque sauce, honey, and blackberry jam. Remove ribs from grill, unwrap, and discard foil. Brush the barbeque sauce on both sides and return ribs to the grill until the sauce caramelizes, about 15 minutes.


8 servings