Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 11 What are Country Style Ribs and How Do I Grill Them? Excellent questions. First off, they are the meatiest of all the pork ribs. They have more meat than all but the fattest baby back ribs. Second, there are two types of pork that are sold as country style ribs, although one is not a country style rib. The fake ones are cut from the pork shoulder:

Fake Pork Country Style Ribs - 1

True country style ribs are cut from the loin either from the rib end or the sirloin.

Some, not many, butchers sell them in slabs like this:

Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 20

Most sell them cut into fingers of delicious porcine plunder like so:

Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 21

They also come boneless but I prefer them bone in as the best are the ones with this little bone:

Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 18

So what’s the difference? The ones cut from the shoulder that masquerade as country style ribs are full of fat and collagen. In order to make them edible, rather than a gummy wad of pork, they must be cooked to 200 degrees. The true country style ribs need to be grilled like a pork chop and are far healthier. They also cook much, much faster.

Now that we know what they are and the difference between the two, let’s get down to grilling some bonafide country style ribs.


Country style ribs
Pepper (optional)
Your favorite rub
Your favorite BBQ Sauce (I used Stubb’s Sticky Sweet)

I realize there are no amounts in the ingredients list here. This is more about the method than a very detailed recipe. And that method is the reverse sear. What that means is we are going to smoke and then sear the meat at the end rather than the other way around. So let’s get going and I’ll explain why this method is so wonderful.

Season the country style ribs with salt, pepper and your favorite BBQ rub. Then prepare the grill for two zone grilling also known as indirect grilling. What this means is the hot coals go on one side and the meat on the other, with a target temp inside the grill of 300. A couple chunks of smoke wood go on the coals as the country style ribs hit the grill grates on the cool side of the cooker:

Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 17

Since these are true country style ribs from the loin, they won’t take long to get to about 110 degrees internal temp. You read that right. We have a couple more treatments before these are perfect and up to the proper temp, so don’t over cook them at this point.

Once they hit 110 degrees, slap them over some hot coals and get a little char action on the outside:

Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 8

If I had seared the meat first, it wouldn’t take on much smoke flavor as the outside skin would be too warm. Once the outside of the meat gets above about 140, it won’t take any smoke flavor. So smoke first, to imbue the meat with that flavor and then sear to get the lovely browning and caramelizing of the proteins, but don’t sear too long. These will be perfect about 145 degrees internal, so don’t sear them all the way there. We still need to sauce them. For the BBQ sauce, I chose Stubb’s Sticky Sweet:

Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 16

As a father of 4 small children, three of whom love BBQ and the 4th is 8 weeks old, I want the best of both worlds. I want that amazing flavor without the high fructose corn syrup. Stubb’s makes this sauce so deliciously sweet (and sticky) without the HFCS, or any artificial ingredients for that matter, which makes it a mainstay in my pantry.

Now the best part about country style ribs is that the sauce will completely envelop each one. How? Forget the grill brush, just grab a pot and some tongs, fill the pot with the sauce and dunk each country style rib in:

Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 7

Check out this sauce action!

Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 5

And just because I got so many great sauce dripping shots, here’s one more:

Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 1

Now place the Stubb’s sauced country style ribs over on the side with no heat and close the lid. I took the time to throw on some ears of corn over the coals to add an easy side to this recipe:

Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 13

Leave the lid closed, except when you need to rotate the corn, until the internal temperature of the ribs reaches 145-150, and that sauce thickens up and gets extra, extra sticky. It’s already called Stubb’s Sticky Sweet Sauce, remember?!

Time to plate them:

Reverse Seared Country Style Ribs - 9

If you are looking for those red and white napkins with that classic picnic/BBQ feel like in the pic above, let me help you.

Now we have an answer to our question. What are country style ribs and how do I grill them? They are the meatiest of all the pork ribs, cut from the loin or sirloin of the pig. And to grill them properly is to reverse sear them and slather with an outstanding sauce so there are layers upon layers upon layers of flavor. There’s the rub, then the smoke, then the caramelized proteins, then the sauce. Win, win, win, win, and WIN!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or send me an email.

Stubb’s BBQ Sauce compensated me to use their product in this recipe.

4.8 from 8 reviews
What are Country Style Ribs and How Do I Grill Them?
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Country style ribs are the meatiest of all the pork ribs and come from the loin or sirloin of the pig. The best way to cook them is to reverse sear them on the grill
  • Country style ribs
  • Salt
  • Pepper (optional)
  • Your favorite rub
  • Your favorite BBQ Sauce (I used Stubb's Sticky Sweet)
  1. Season the country style ribs with salt, pepper and your favorite rub
  2. Cook them indirect on the grill which means coals on one side and the meat on the other
  3. Target temperature inside the grill is 300 degrees
  4. Throw some smoke wood on the coals and close the lid
  5. Once the ribs reach about 110 degrees internal temperature, sear them over the hot side and then dunk them in a pot of sauce
  6. Place them back on the side with no coals to get them to the full 145 degrees they need to get to according to the FDA and to caramelize and thicken that sauce
  7. Remove from the grill and serve

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

@GrillinFool - #GrillPorn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
Oh my wow! There is so much perfection right there! 😲✔️👍😎 . Video shot by the insanely talented @carlaocarvalho77 …… - 4 years ago
Scott Thomas

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kinda new to smoking. want to try the Oklahoma Joes beans but won’t have smoked brisket to add. I have had these beans and they were the best I have ever had. How much different will they be with out the Brisket?


I loved this article that much more after reading the part on HFCS, kudos to pointing that out.


What is HFCS? And, where is it pointed out? Is this a stupid question?


HFCS are High Fructose Corn Syrup. Very bad for you….


The country ribs came out as one of my best dishes yet. Thank you I love the method that you described..


The ribs turned out excellent! I love this recipe! My husband and I rate this a 5! Our favorite new recipe.


Smoked Sticky Sweet Country Ribs Recipe is no doubt a Winner! Just follow the recipe to the T, and you end up with tasty perfection!


So – how does one measure a temperature on a country style rib? Try and stick a meat therm into something so small and not hit a bone?


I’ve used this technique several times now, and the ribs end up wonderful every single time. Thank you!


Great instructions. We made our own rub and sauce. Your grilling instructions are tremendous. Ribs were juicy and crisp on the outside. Used cherry to smoke.


Pork has a tendency to dry out easily, but this turned out to be one of the best, if not THE best, pork dish I’ve ever eaten including dining out. Easily the best I’ve ever made myself. So juicy and flavorful. I will never be afraid to grill pork again and will go out of my way to make this. Thanks guys.


Great grill instructions. Made this twice, and family loves it.


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