Rendezvous Ribs Recipe: Ribs in a Hurry

Need BBQ Ribs Fast? Check Out This Quick & Easy Rendezvous Ribs Recipe

By:

Meathead

Charlie Vergos Rendezvous

The most popular ribjoint in the world has to be Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous in Memphis where they can seat 700 and almost everyone orders baby backs. On an average day, they move 2,100 pounds of ribs.

At the Vous, BBQ baby backs are cooked about 2 to 3 feet above charcoal at a relatively hot 425°F for only about 60 minutes. The secret is, while they are cooking they are frequently mopped with a thin vinegary mop that steams and softens the meat. No wood is used so there is not much smoke taste. The meat is flavored with the mop and fat dripping on the coals and vaporizing. Then it is covered in their seasoning. In true Memphis fashion, there is no sauce on these dry rubbed ribs.

Hungry for more ribs recipes, tips, and techniques? Click here to download our ebook “Amazing Ribs Made Easy” $3.99 on Amazon (free Kindle app runs on all computers and devices). Or, get this book and others FREE as a member of the AmazingRibs.com Pitmaster Club. Click here to join.

Almost everything on this site, everything I know, everything I teach, tells you to take your time cooking ribs. Low and slow produces the most tender, juicy meat. That means three hours or more for baby backs, and five or more hours for spares and St. Louis cut.

But sometimes you just can’t wait. Like when you have every tourist in Memphis waiting to be served. Here’s how to have baby backs ready in 90 minutes, by imitating the way they do it at the Vous where they churn them out like nobody else can. They are a little chewier than low and slow smoked ribs, but darn tasty. If you are among the many who love the Vous, this will get you as close as an airline ticket to Memphis and a cab to that alley near Beale Street.

Quick And Easy Rendezvous Dry Rubbed Ribs Recipe


Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
4.05 from 41 votes
Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous is a Memphis BBQ staple and now you can create their signature dry rubbed ribs at home. In this quick and easy recipe, baby back ribs are cooked hot and fast over charcoal, basted constantly with a vinegary mop sauce, and then covered in their seasoning. In true Memphis fashion, there is no sauce on these dry rub ribs.

Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Southern
Difficulty: Easy

Makes:

Servings: 2 1/2 rack each

Takes:

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Ribs

Rendezvous Mop

Method

  • Skin 'n trim. Remove the membrane from the slab of ribs (read more on removing the membrane here).
  • Salt ahead if you can. Season the slab of ribs with kosher salt. If you can, give the salt 1 to 2 hours to be absorbed. The process of salting in advance is called dry brining. The rule of thumb is 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat, but ribs consist of only about 50% meat, so use about 1/4 teaspoon per pound. You can simply eyeball it by sprinkling on the same amount of salt you would sprinkle on the ribs if they were served to you unseasoned. 
  • Prep. Set 2 tablespoons of the Rendezvous Seasoning aside for later. Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon with the vinegar, water, and barbecue sauce in a bowl. This makes the Rendezvous Mop.
  • Fire up. Get the coals started in a chimney. When they are coated with white ash, push most of them to one side of your grill and scatter a few on the other side so you have a two zone grill. Stabilize the temp at about 350°F in the indirect zone. At the Vous, they cook directly over the coals and the dripping fat vaporizes and flavors the meat. But they get the meat 2 to 3 feet above the heat so there is no problem with flareups burning the meat. On most grills you cannot get the meat this high, although it is possible on some bullet smokers if you remove the water pan.
  • Cook. Place the ribs on the cooler side of the grill meat side up. Paint the meat liberally on all sides with Rendezvous Mop when it goes on the grill, then put the lid down. Every 15 minutes open it and quickly paint the meat again and flip it over. If you can, keep the mop warm so it doesn't cool off the meat too much and slow the cooking.
  • Cooking indoors? Because there is no smoke needed, you can make this recipe easily indoors. Put the meat on a broiler rack or in a pan, meat side up. Put the oven on bake at 400°F and you might get them done in an hour. Just remember to mop every 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve. After 60 minutes, test to see if the meat is ready with the bend test. When it is ready, put it on the dinner plate, give it a final mopping, allowing some to pool on the plate, and sprinkle with the remaining Rendezvous Seasoning.

Related articles

Published On: 9/27/2013 Last Modified: 4/26/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?


The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order directly and get an exclusive AmazingRibs.com deal

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy


The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow ‘N’ Sear


The Slow ‘N’ Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.
Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool

The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker

Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here’s A Great Buy!

A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!
Click here to read our complete review