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Smoked Ribs with KC Style Sauce

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Smoked Ribs with KC Style Sauce are so simple to make but lip smackingly delicious! The KC sauce is simply dressed up bottled sauce with a different taste to your ribs.

Smoked Ribs with KC Style Sauce are so simple to make but lip smackingly delicious! The KC sauce is simply dressed up bottled sauce with a different taste to your ribs. #BBQWeek

Dad spent a lot of time in Kansas City when we were growing up. He was helping an office set up some software. At least I think that’s how the story goes. I don’t really remember why he was out there so much. It got to the point where we used to joke that he had a second family out there. No, he didn’t. We just made light of him being gone so much.

While out there, of course, he hit ALL the barbecue joints. I remember going to one when we drove my sister to school in Missouri. Maybe that was St. Louis and not Kansas City. He spent some time there, too. Either way, I remember personally tasting some delicious barbecue and a different kind of barbecue sauce on that trip.

From what I remember, and from what we ordered a case of years later, Kansas City barbecue sauce is not sweet like the Memphis, Texas, or any of the Carolina sauces. It was more tomato-y and had a distinct celery flavor to it. It quickly became the sauce we used all the time at home after we got the case of it, mind you.

What barbecue sauce is that?

Well, it’s Gates & Sons barbecue sauce. The recipe calls for 2 quarters of ketchup and only one cup of sugar, so you can tell it’s not going to be very sweet. It has cumin and chili powder, and a ton of celery seed. No, I didn’t make this recipe. I cheated and took the KC Masterpiece I had on hand and cut it with some ketchup then added some celery seed. Who am I kidding? It was a bunch of celery seed.

While it’s not exactly like the Gates & Sons sauce, it taste pretty close to it. At some point, I will be making that sauce, though, but not with 2 quarts of ketchup! I’ll have to scale it down for realistic consumption. Like in half or maybe one quarter of the recipe. Just have to see what I feel like making and how many jars I have on hand.

Smoking ribs is not difficult!

It’s not like a brisket where you have spritz often to make sure it stays moist. For ribs you:

  • Remove the membrane
  • Rub with spices
  • Smoke for 2-3 hours (depending on size)
  • Wrap in foil and cook for 2 hours
  • Baste ribs for one hour
  • Let them rest
  • Eat

So, a word about the member on the back of the bone. At first, I thought it was going to be difficult to remove. I was thinking something along the lines of trying to remove fat from the where you slide a knife between it and the meat and have to slice if off. It’s totally not that. Once you get a little piece up to where you can get a hold of it (try grabbing it with a paper towel if you’re having difficulties) it peels off like you’re peeling open a package of bacon. Well, maybe not QUITE that easy, but it’s pretty easy.

The member does a few things if you leave it on. It prevents all that smokey goodness from penetrating the meat. It acts like a barrier and prevents the smoke from going where you want it to. Also, when it cooks it becomes tough and rubbery. That’s not the ideal texture for ribs that you’ve taken your time to smoke.

Why do you wrap the ribs and continue to smoke them?

You don’t have to maintain smoke during the wrapped cooking, AKA steaming step. However, we all know that know matter how tight you wrap them, air will get in. So, it’s better that it’s deliciously smokey air then just regular air.

And it also helps to maintain your constant temperature. At least for my smoker. The wood catches fire which adds to the heat of the smoker. If you remove that added heat, you will have to increase the temperature some other way. So, I’d rather just use a little more wood chips to add more smoke and keep the same temperature those babies have been used to.

Finally, basting them with barbecue sauce gets that sticky and delicious coating that we’re all expecting with our ribs. I basted mine twice in the hour. You could most definitely baste them more for more sauce goodness. I did not baste the back side of the ribs. You could do that if you want. Next time I will turn them over and baste the back first, then flip them over and baste the top at least 2 times. You really do need at least 2 layers of baste on the meat side.

And there you have it!

A deliciously sticky coating of sauce on top of that moist and fall off the bone tender rib! I am here to tell you it is worth the time to cook these ribs at home. And, well, since most of us are home more often than before it’s not like you don’t have the time! Just grab a rack (or two) and fire up your smoker or even your gas grill!

Yes, you can smoke with your gas grill!

You can get a smoker box like this one to get a nice smokey grill to cook these ribs. When I made my grill smoked brisket, I used a couple of aluminum foil loaf pans topped with some foil to get a good smokey flavor. It’s all about maintaining a constant source of smoke and constant temperature. Once you nail that, you can smoke any meat at home on your gas or charcoal grill. So, you literally have no excuse NOT to smoke some ribs. Or some brisket.

My mouth is water just looking at those beauties! You can see the slight ring around the edge of the meat. That ring ensures some smoke flavor there! They’re so moist and delicious. With this cooking method they are fall off the bone tender.

And with the extra meat back bone ribs I used, you’ll want that meat to be super tender! That one of the bottom is toward the wide of the ribs and has at least an inch of meat on it! I nabbed one of those for dinner when we dished up for dinner. I also grabbed one towards the other end with more lacquered ribs and less meat. I’m one of those burnt ends people and love those crispy, flavorful bits, too!

I said to grab two racks because you will want to have a rack for dinner and want leftovers for a delicious rib sandwich for lunch. Oh yeah! These babies are so tender and delicious you can easily pull them off, chop them up, and serve them on a bun with some of the leftover sauce. And that’s EXACTLY what I’m having for lunch today. Along with the leftover loaded baked potato salad.

I’m also thinking of crisping some of the chopped-up meat and make some delicious tacos, too! Sort of like a carne asada or is it carnitas? I think it’s carnitas. Either way, these ribs would totally make for delicious tacos, too! Which means you WILL want to make a second rack to have leftovers.

And you WILL want to see what everyone else cooked up for today’s #BBQWeek!


Smoked Ribs with KC Sauce are so simple to make but lip smackingly delicious! The KC sauce is simply dressed up bottled sauce with a different taste to your ribs. #BBQWeek
Yield: 4

Smoked Ribs with KC Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 40 minutes

Smoked Ribs with KC Sauce are so simple to make but lip smackingly delicious! The KC sauce is simply dressed up bottled sauce with a different taste to your ribs.


  • 2 1/2 – 3 pounds bone in pork ribs (I used Smithfield Back Ribs because they’re extra meaty)
  • 1/2 cup Spicy BBQ Dry Rub
  • 1 cup KC Masterpiece Original barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke


  1. Preheat your smoker with wood chips (or pellets if you’re using those) to 225.
  2. Turn the ribs meat side down on your work surface. Use a dinner knife to carefully separate one piece of the membrane near the narrow end of the ribs. Once you have a piece lifted, grab and carefully pull from the membrane away from the ribs.
  3. Liberally coat the ribs with the spicy BBQ dry rub and allow to rest on the counter while the grill preheats.
  4. Place the ribs in the smoker and cook for 2 hours, making sure to replace the wood chips as needed to maintain constant smoke.
  5. After 2 hours, wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil and smoke for another 2 hours, replacing chips as needed.
  6. While the ribs smoke, combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
  7. Once the second 2 hours are up, remove the foil, baste with the KC sauce, and smoke for a final hour making sure to baste every 20 minutes.
  8. Allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing between the ribs and serving with the Loaded Baked Potato Salad.


Removing the membrane allows the smoke flavor to fully penetrate the ribs. It also turns gross and rubbery and not tender and delicious like the rest of the ribs. So, make sure to remove it.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 1473Total Fat 107gSaturated Fat 32gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 48gCholesterol 368mgSodium 1790mgCarbohydrates 53gFiber 2gSugar 41gProtein 77g

Yeah, okay. Maybe. But, I don't think so.

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