Nashville Dry Rubbed BBQ

Written by: Jean Heimann

Think outside of your BBQ box. Nashville Dry Rubbed BBQ: Heavy-heavy on the spice, please.

Everybody knows saucy ribs and baby back ribs, and saucy baby back ribs, but in Nashville it’s spare ribs encrusted in a spice shell and commonly referred to as “dry”. They are not as pretty as their bbq glazed “wet” sibling, but they are just as tasty, and for many in Nashville they have favorite child status.

Dry Rubbed Rib Rundown: Take your 3lbs of St. Louis cut spare ribs and rub them in LifeSpice Smoking Hot Butt Rubb or LifeSpice Butt Rubb or create your own spice mix: Go heavy on the kosher salt, add a little brown sugar, use a lot of paprika, some chili pepper powder, some black pepper, add red pepper to taste, and a little bit of celery seed, and anything else your heart desires. If you want to taste similar to Nashville’s dry rub, stay away from the allspice! Then hickory smoke those ribs on a charcoal grill using high quality charcoal. Nashville ribs don’t taste like lighter fluid! Cook low at 220 degrees and slow for 4 hours. Rub them heavily with dry rub and return to the grill for about 10 minutes to create that super thick and crusty shell of spice around the meat.

Finished product are ribs with meat that is tender but still with some integrity and chew. The paprika rich dry rub crust is enhanced by but not overcome with hickory smoke and ends with a slight charcoal note. Eat with sides of coleslaw, baked beans, mac n’ cheese, cornbread, broccoli salad, green beans and, well you get the point! Potato salad, pimento cheese…