The “Grill-More” Girls – Ketchup and Mustard BBQ Ribs

This week for the “Grill-More” Girls, I’m turning over my grilling tongs for a special guest post by my hubs, Tyler.  He is the ultimate grill master in our home. I’ve certainly learned a thing or two about grilling from him!  He’s going to share his recipe & prep steps for Ketchup and Mustard BBQ Ribs.

Hello, I’m Tyler, aka Mr. The Harried Mom, welcoming you to my first and hopefully not last guest blog for my lovely wife!  As you may know from her past posting, I often “man” the grill and enjoy the fact that now it’s warm enough to do more and more cooking outside.  I hope you enjoy a little concoction I whipped up for the family over Memorial Day I call “Ketchup and Mustard BBQ Ribs.”

Now, who doesn’t enjoy ribs? The tangy, saucy little treats are a perfect All-American food for summer, and after all, it gets pretty boring grilling and eating nothing but burgers and dogs!  Plus, most places like Costco carry a few different varieties. I prefer the pork baby back-style over beef ribs.  You can get them in packages big enough to feed 4-6 hungry people.  For this recipe I bought a 10 lb. package of ribs for around $30.

I love that you can prepare ribs dozens of ways, and I must say, I was very happy with the way this particular recipe turned out.  This was the first time I tried brining the ribs first, and it really made all the difference.

If you aren’t familiar with brining, it’s when you take raw meat and bathe for a few hours, or even overnight, in a solution traditionally made by combining water and salt.  There are all sorts of brining variations. You can use cider vinegar instead of water.  You can cut up and add slices of lemon and oranges to give your meat a citrus flavor.  For my recipe, I used apple cider vinegar, which gave the ribs a nice flavor without being too harsh or acidic.  The acid in the vinegar helps to break down the meat and fat while cooking them slightly,  similar to the way a ceviche works “cooking” raw fish.  Just make sure that you give your meat a good rinse in some cold water before you proceed or they might taste a bit pickled! Your meat may turn from pink to a bit brownish from the brining, but this is normal.

After brining the ribs, your next step is to put the dry rub on them.  A dry rub is a combination of sugar, salt and spices, and you can experiment with the ingredients you use depending on your own personal tastes.  If you don’t feel like making your own rub, there are plenty of excellent brands that you can buy in your local supermarket.  However, I’ve found that most are a bit too salty for me, and I prefer to keep the sodium down and the flavor intense (yes, I am totally aware it is odd to be talking about being healthy while getting ready to scarf down some BBQ ribs!). I made one big batch of rub base and then split it into two smaller batches and added some mustard powder to one half to give half the ribs a slightly different flavor.

I gave the ribs a throughout coating all over, so you no longer have any raw meat showing and it will create a nice crust as you grill. I put the coated ribs back in the fridge for a couple more hours so the flavors can penetrate the meat.

Next you need to make a “mop.”  This is a thin sauce that you literally mop on the ribs with a baster every time you turn them over on the grill. Just like how I used two rubs, I also made two mop sauces to give the ribs two different flavorings. One used stone ground mustard, the other uses any quality, store-bought Kansas City style BBQ sauce.  And for the latter, I sneak in a shot of sriracha, aka “Korean Ketchup.”  You may have seen bottles of the bright red sauce in the store-it usually has a rooster on it! It adds a little spicy kick – but please don’t tell my wife, her palette isn’t crazy about my hot sauce obsession;)

Now onto the actual grilling! When grilling ribs, slow and low is the way to go.  You don’t want to cook ribs too fast or they will be a bit tough, and you don’t want to cook them on high heat or else they may burn or not thoroughly cook.  The best method is to use “indirect heat.” My grill has three burners on it.  I turn the front one up about 75-80%, turn the middle one onto the absolute lowest setting, and leave the back burner completely off. The ribs will cook on the back half of the grill (it will be a bit snug), and try to keep the grill lid down as much as possible so the heat stays inside.  You can also use a “smoker box” if you like, it’s a metal box which holds wooden chips and goes under the heat source of the BBQ.  Mesquite wood can add a further flavoring to your ribs.

We served the ribs along side a variety of grilled veggies (eggplant, yellow squash, mushrooms caps & zucchini), beans and some corn salsa, guacamole salad and tabouleh all made by my lovely wife!

Ketchup & Mustard BBQ Ribs
Prep Time: 90 minutes (including 1 hour marinating time)
Cook Time: 3 hours over indirect heat
Serves: 4 – 6 people


For the rub:

1½ cups brown sugar
½  cup paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic or onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ tablespoon dry mustard powder

For the mop sauces:

1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup stone ground mustard
½ cup BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
Dash black pepper

For the ribs:

8-10 lbs pork ribs
¾ gallon apple cider vinegar (for brining)


  1. Cut rib racks in half. Place in roasting pan and cover with vinegar.  Place in fridge overnight.
  1. Drain vinegar from roasting pan and rinse ribs well with cold water.  Pat dry.
  1. Mix rub ingredients together, except for mustard powder. Set aside half and mix mustard powder into other half of rub.  Apply this rub to half of the ribs (for the mustard ribs); apply the other rub to remaining ribs (for the ketchup ribs). Return to roasting pan, cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  1. Mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and stone ground mustard in small bowl or cup. Add dash of pepper.
  1. Mix ½ cup apple cider vinegar, ½ cup BBQ sauce and 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce in another small bowl or cup.
  1. Heat 1/3-1/2 of grill on medium-high heat.  Place mustard ribs on one side of grill (not over heat) and ketchup ribs on other side (again, not over heat).
  1. Turn ribs every 20-30 minutes and liberally apply the mustard mop sauce to the mustard ribs and the ketchup mop sauce to the ketchup ribs. Keep turning and basting until the ribs are cooked and crusty, 2 ½ to 3 hours.
  1. Remove ribs from grill and wrap in aluminum foil for 10 minutes.  Remove ribs from foil, cut up the ribs and enjoy!

Thanks to the Hubs for a great tasting meal!  If you are so inclined you can follow him on Twitter @dadandmarried

With just a little bit of planning and preparation there’s always time for a home cooked meal!  Make sure that you check out what my “Grill-More Girl” pal Cristina over at cooked up this week as well.

But before you hop on over there, don’t forget to link up your yummy recipe below!  If there is a type of specific kind of grilling recipe you’d like for me to try, please leave a comment below and I’ll do it!

Follow on Bloglovin

Copyright © 2012 The Harried Mom. All Rights Reserved.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge