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.
Servings: 2 1/2 rack each
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.