Serious Heat: Cajun Deep-Fried Ribs Recipe

Photographs by Terri Fensel

Is there any food that doesn't benefit from a dip in the deep fryer? Growing up in the South, my Thanksgiving tradition revolved around fried turkey, and I have an undeniable weakness for fried pickles. I've sampled collard greens crunchy from a soak in hot oil, as well as Twinkies battered in Cap'n Crunch. Why not add ribs to the list? Since it's still a little early to bring out the grill (at least here in New York), whip out that fryer and try some succulent, juicy Cajun-spiced fried ribs. Printed in a Chile Pepper issue from last year, this has been one of our most popular recipes, and we wanted to share it with the Serious Eats community.

Pat Mould's Cajun Fried Baby Back Ribs

Yield: 10 to 12 servings • Zest Factor: Medium

Recipe Facts

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 80 mins
Marinating Time: 4 hrs
Total: 5 hrs 25 mins

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  • 8 (1 3/4-pound) racks baby back ribs
  • 1 cup Cajun marinade, like Cajun Injector, divided
  • 3 gallons peanut oil, such as LouAna
  • Prepared barbecue sauce


  1. Take 2 gallon-sized resealable plastic bags, and place four racks of ribs in each bag. Add 1/2 cup Cajun marinade to each bag. Shake each bag until ribs are well coated. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Place perforated racks over sheet pans. Remove ribs from marinade, and place them on the racks to drain.

  2. In a deep-fryer or a large, heavy pot, heat the peanut oil to 350°F. Depending on how large your deep fryer or pot is, you may be able to fry up to three racks at a time, or you may only be able to fry one rack at a time. Use care, as you do not want the oil to overflow the pot. Lower the ribs into the hot oil, and cook for 18 to 20 minutes. Maintain the oil temperature at 350°F; do not allow the temperature to climb above that.

  3. Remove ribs from the oil, and drain on paper towels. Cut ribs into servings, place in a bowl, and toss with barbecue sauce to taste.