Cajun-Spiced Barbecue Ribs Recipe

Joshua Bousel

I mixed a huge bowl of Cajun seasoning, and spent the day grilling or smoking a bunch of meat in it. This led to some pretty awesome results, including these Cajun-spiced dry-rubbed ribs. In contrast to traditional barbecue ribs, where the rub is usually a balance of sweet and spicy, these bones are more herbal and earthy, with a slight kick of heat. The meat comes out smoky, moist, and with all the right pull-off-the-bone tenderness.

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 6 hrs
Serves: 4 servings

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  • For the Rub:
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • For the Liquid Seasoning
  • 1 (12 ounce) can beer, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid crab boil
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 2 racks St. Louis-cut spareribs
  • Type of fire: Indirect
  • Grill heat: Low


  1. To make the rub, in a small bowl, mix together paprika, salt, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, cumin, black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

  2. To make the liquid seasoning, in a medium bowl, whisk together beer, butter, Worcestershire sauce, liquid crab boil, and Louisiana-style hot sauce. Set aside.

  3. Remove membrane from back of each rack of ribs and trim meat of excess fat. Season ribs liberally with rub all over.

  4. Fire up smoker or grill to 225°F, adding chunks of smoking wood when at temperature. When wood is ignited and producing smoke, place ribs in smoker or grill, meat side up. Smoke until ribs darken to a deep rusty red color, about 3 hours.

  5. Lay each rack of ribs on top of a sheet of extra-large heavy duty aluminum foil; tilt foil edges upward. Pour half of liquid seasoning over each rack of ribs, then seal ribs in foil and place back on smoker or grill for 1 hour.

  6. Open one end of foil and pour liquid seasoning into a small bowl and reserve. Remove ribs from foil and place back in smoker and continue to cook until ribs have a slight bend when lifted from one end, 1-2 hours more.

  7. Remove ribs from smoker, brush with reserved liquid seasoning. Serve immediately.

Special equipment

Smoker or Grill

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