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Pork Spare Ribs May Be The Most Famous of St Louis Style BBQ , But Pork Steaks Are The Local Favorite

St Louis Style BBQ kind of gets lost in the shuffle between Kansas City barbeque and Memphis barbeque. And pork spare ribs are definitely the most famous of St. Louis Barbeque. But to the locals, you haven't tried St Louis style BBQ until you try the barbecued pork steaks.

We're mainly going to focus on those two BBQ meats, but what really gives St. Louis a unique barbeque taste is their sweet bbq sauce. We will not leave the sauce out of our discussion, as there is a great sauce recipe below.

St. Louis Style BBQ pork ribs are distinguished by how the ribs are trimmed. The lower "fatty" portion of the rack of ribs is removed, leaving only the center portion of the rack.



  • 4 racks pork spare ribs (6 to 8 pounds total)
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper

For the grill or pit use: 2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably apple), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained; rib rack

Remove the thin membrane from the back of each rack of ribs: Turn a rack meat side down. Insert a sharp implement under the membrane. Using pliers to gain a good grip, pull off the membrane. Repeat with the remaining racks.

Place the ribs on baking sheets.

Place the brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl and stir to mix well. Use your hands to mix the spices as they work the best. Sprinkle the rub all over the ribs on both sides, patting it onto the meat with your fingertips. Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and let cure in the refrigerator for 3 hours.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling (see page 23 for gas or page 22 for charcoal) and preheat to medium.

If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to medium, then toss all of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.

When ready to cook, using damp paper towels, wipe the excess rub off the ribs. Place the ribs, preferably on a rib rack, in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the ribs until tender, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

When the ribs are done, they´┐Żll be browned and the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones. Transfer the cooked ribs to a cutting board. Serve them as whole racks, cut the racks into sections, or carve them into individual ribs. Serve them with the St Louis style bbq sauce below.

This will serve 4-8 people, depending on how much other food is served.


Yes, this is a thick and sweet sauce!

  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar advertisement
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Combine sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer 15 minutes. Set aside.


  • 4 pork steaks, about 1/2-inch thick
  • Garlic salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Cooking Directions

Prepare medium-hot fire in grill. Season pork with garlic salt and pepper; grill directly over fire, turning to cook and brown evenly, for a total of 20 minutes.

In small bowl stir together mustard, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. During last 5 minutes of grilling, brush sauce on all surfaces of pork steaks.

Give St Louis Style BBQ a try for your next cookout.

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