Aaron Franklin Style Ribs

Franklin Style Ribs

Time to try a (by now) classic rib recipe. Aaron Franklin is most known for briskets, but he’s done plenty of ribs too. Here’s the recipe, for you to try out. I like the simplicity of this one, as well as the flavor.

Servings 2 people


  • 1 slab of pork ribs
  • 2 tbsp mustard


  • 0.5 cups bbq sauce (avoid the sweetest sauces)
  • 0.5 cups apple cider vinegar


  • 0.5 cups apple cider vinegar


  • 5 tbsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 2.5 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder


  • A note on cook time: ribs will tell you when they’re done. But just to give you an idea thin ribs (“shiners”) take around 4 hours with this recipe, and meatier ribs 5 hours. Check with the bend test.
  • Start by trimming the breast bone (sternum) off with a knife. Mix the salt, pepper and paprika in a shaker. Note: if you use another type of salt, adjust amount accordingly. This specific ratio is due to the salt and pepper having the same grain size (mesh). Spread on an even layer of the mustard on both sides of the ribs. Now apply an even layer of the rub on both sides of the ribs, and leave them to rest in the fridge for an hour, uncovered.
    Ribs with Aaron Franklin's rub on
  • Pour the apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle.

Phase I – smoke

  • Fire up your grill, prepare it for indirect grilling. Have it running at 225° – 250° F. Use the snake method if you’re using a kettle grill, or even better, a Slow ‘N Sear. Add some wood chunks for smoking on the glowing embers. Place the ribs on the indirect side and close the lid. Smoke them for roughly 2 hours so they get a nice color and bark develops. Spritz the ribs with apple cider vinegar roughly every 45 minutes.
  • In the meantime: warm the bbq sauce and mix with 0.5 cups apple cider vinegar. It should be warm when applying to the ribs.
  • Make sure you get the bark you want, and that it sticks. Test it by touching it very lightly with your finger, and remove it. If the rub sticks to the meat, and not your finger, you’re good. Also, check for any fat rendering. It shouldn’t render, until in…

Phase II – sauce and wrap

  • It is time to wrap the ribs when the bark has set properly, but before the fat starts to render. We want that to happen in the wrap. Apply the bbq sauce on the ribs, and leave them in there for 10 minutes. Now flip them, apply the sauce on the other side, and leave them for another 10 minutes.
  • Pull off a large sheet of aluminum foil. Make it twice as long as the ribs. Spritz the foil with apple cider vinegar. Place the ribs meat side down. Spritz the back side too, and wrap them snugly, making sure there are no bones poking holes. Place them back in the smoker/grill, still meatside down, and smoke for another 2 hours. Pick up the ribs with your hands to feel when they’re done.
  • Take the ribs out and let them rest for 30-45 minutes (still wrapped) on a cutting board, or other surface that doesn’t cool off the ribs.
  • Unwrap the ribs carefully, making sure that all the juice and rendered fat is poured or drizzled over the ribs. Slice between each rib and enjoy.


If you’d rather watch a video of the recipe, check this one out:

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