How to make the best BBQ ribs

Fourth of July celebrations continue this weekend in backyards across the city and suburbs. And if you're passionate about grilling, the fireworks may not be over either.

Peapod grocer Tony Stallon is back with one of the most debatable backyard subjects of all times - how to make the best BBQ ribs.


Certain tomatoes have been linked with an outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul in the United States and the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) have been investigating. There have been over 800 reported incidents in the entire country affecting 36 states including Illinois but no reported deaths. The FDA has cleared for consumption cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and any tomato still attached to the vine, they are perfectly fine to eat with no health concerns. They have however issued an advisory against eating certain varieties like Roma (also known as plum) and round tomatoes, but they have issued a list of approved states for these varieties which are safe to eat. The real news is tomatoes are extremely healthy for you, but you do need to be educated about where your produce originates and make sure it comes from approved, inspected sources. No matter where you shop you should ask questions, the more informed you are the healthier the produce you and your family will consume. Please visit the following link for the most up to date information on the tomato outbreak:


  • What is a St. Louis Rib? It is actually the spare rib, which is simply the bottom half of the baby back ribs. The bones are bigger and the meat tends to be fattier. It also tends to be a regional preference. Chicagoans are not big fans of spare ribs but they seem to be popular in St. Louis, hence the name.
  • How many ribs are there in a slab? 13.
  • What is the difference between barbecueing and grilling? "Barbecue" should only be used in reference to foods that are cooked over an open flame for a long period of time, i.e. ribs or brisket, vs. grilling foods like hamburgers, steaks and chops. There is an interesting story on how barbecue originated with the Native Americans who used to preserve their meat by drying in the sun. They found that sometimes the meat would become infested with bugs, so they built small fires that produced a lot smoke to keep the bugs away from the meat, thus the first barbecue.
  • Should you boil ribs before putting on the grill? Boiling may be unpopular as much of the flavor will leach out of the meat. Boiling also will cause the meat to fall off the bone.
  • What are dry rib vs. wet ribs? Dry ribs have little or no sauce while wet ribs are slathered in sauce.
  • Recipes:

    Healthier Choice Potato Salad

    3 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes

    2 tablespoons honey

    1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

    1 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon black pepper

    1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

    1 tablespoon low fat mayonnaise

    2 stalks celery, finely chopped

    1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar

    Place potatoes in a large pot with water; cover & cook until easily pierced with at fork. Drain, rinse with cold water, then quarter. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl, then add potatoes and toss until well coated. Chill & serve.

    Serves 6-8.
    Prep Time: 10 min.

    Pat's Secret BBQ Sauce

    ½ C Open Pit BBQ Sauce

    ¼ C Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce

    2T Pineapple Juice

    1T Apricot Nectar

    1T Brown Sugar

    Classic Barbeque Rub

    Makes about 1 cup

    2 Tbsp. smoked paprika

    2 Tbsp. kosher salt

    2 Tbsp. sugar

    2 Tbsp. brown sugar

    1 Tbsp. ground cumin

    1 Tbsp. chili powder

    1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper

    ½ Tbsp. cayenne

    1 Tbsp. onion powder

    1 Tbsp. garlic powder

    1 Tbsp. celery salt

    1 Tbsp. oregano, crushed

    Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. For a smoother rub, process the ingredients in a spice grinder. Extra rub can be stored in an airtight container for up to six months.

    Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.