Smoked pork ribs are panko-crusted and then deep fried, creating a buzz-worthy dish for the next time you want to impress guests.
Several years ago, a number of our neighbors decided to have a mid-summer potluck block party.
And while the lazy side of me wanted to keep it simple and grab a pre-made seven-layer dip from the store, I knew that many in the crowd would expect more effort (and more smoke) from “that grill guy down the street.” So after much internal deliberation, I decided to do something that was, at its core, BBQ-y but still had some “wow” factor — deep-fried ribs.
While deep-fried ribs sound intimidating, they are rather easy to prepare. It all begins with our Last Meal Ribs recipe found here (minus the sauce since you want the ribs to be dry with frying). The ribs are then sliced and then breaded using the standard three-step method of breading fried foods including dredging the ribs in flour, dipping them into an eggwash, then coating them in panko before frying. By utilizing this method, you can be assured that the breading will actually stick to the food instead of falling off into the oil.
As for the ribs themselves, I recommend smoking the ribs a day or two in advance. Not only does this cut down on the amount of time you have to spend cooking on the day of your gathering but it also allows the ribs to firm up in the refrigerator and therefore avoid the meat falling off the bone while you are trying to bread them and fry them. I also suggest considering utilizing a popular technique among our staff, deep frying on the grill. By doing the frying outside, you ensure that your kitchen remains odor and mess-free.
Now on with the show!
- 1 rack pre-smoked spare ribs (we use our Last Meal Ribs recipe)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. Meathead's Memphis Dust (alternatively you can use our bottled commercial pork rub)
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 quart canola oil
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce such as Meathead's Kansas City-Style BBQ sauce (alternatively you can use our bottled commercial KC BBQ sauce)
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- Fire up. Prepare a grill for 2-zone indirect cooking. Add the oil to a heavy pot or cast-iron Dutch oven to a depth of approximately 2 inches. Put the pot on the hot side and bring the oil temp up to about 350°F/176.7°C. If it goes higher, dial down the gas or move the pot off of the flames onto the indirect side.
- Prep. Cut the rack of ribs into individual rib bones.
- Combine the flour and BBQ dry rub in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and milk. In a third bowl, place the panko breadcrumbs.
- Begin breading the individual ribs by first dipping each one in the seasoned flour. Shake off the excess flour then dip the rib into the egg and milk mixture. Finally, place the rib in the panko bowl, turning the ribs to ensure it is fully coated. Once breaded, place each rib on a baking rack or sheet pan until they are all coated.
- Cook. With a spider, slotted spoon, or tongs, carefully slide 2-3 of the breaded ribs into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pot. Flip the ribs after 2-3 minutes and fry until the crust is golden brown, approximately 7-8 minutes total per batch. When they are done, lift the ribs out of the oil with tongs or a spider strainer. Place them on paper towels to drain.
- Serve. Plate the deep fried ribs and serve with BBQ sauce for dipping.