George Harvell's Watermelon Ribs from Loveless Cafe and Motel

Photo: Oxmoor House

These ultra-tender ribs are on the salty side. If desired, cut back on the dry rub. St. Louis-style ribs are spareribs with the top bony and fatty section trimmed off, leaving single vertical bones.

Yield: Makes 8 servings
Recipe from Oxmoor House

More From Oxmoor House


  • 6 cups hickory wood chunks
  • 2 racks St. Louis–style pork spareribs (8 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 (4.5-oz) jar dry barbecue rub (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 (18-oz.) bottle barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup small watermelon cubes


  1. 1. Soak hickory chunks in water to cover at least 1 hour; drain. Place 3 cups wood chunks in center of each of 2 large squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil; fold each into a rectangle, and seal. Punch holes in tops of packets.
  2. 2. Light one side of grill, heating to 250° to 300° (low) heat; leave other side unlit. Place 1 packet on cooking grate over lit side.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, remove thin membrane from back of ribs by slicing into it with a knife and then pulling it off. Combine dry rub and brown sugar; rub mixture over both sides of rib racks. Place ribs, bone side down, over unlit side, and smoke, covered with grill lid, 2 hours. Add remaining packet of hickory chunks to lit side of grill. Turn ribs over; cover and smoke 2 more hours.
  4. 4. Preheat oven to 300°. Cut ribs, slicing between every 3 bones; place in a large roasting pan. Pour barbecue sauce over ribs. Sprinkle with watermelon cubes; tightly cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 300° for 2 hours or until ribs are tender. (Meat should separate easily from bone.)
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