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Grilled Garlic Pork Ribs

Jason Santos' Short Rib Sandwich + Quahog Chowder, Ben Ford's Mojo Ribs + Meat Chili
Jason Santos' Short Rib Sandwich + Quahog Chowder, Ben Ford's Mojo Ribs + Meat ChiliNathan Congleton / TODAY


Red Chile-Garlic Oil
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 anchovies, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
To serve
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Fresh lemon wedges
Pork ribs
  • 3 racks (2 to 3 pounds) St. Louis–style pork ribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 yellow chiles, seeded
  • 3 jalapeño chiles, seeded
  • 45 cloves garlic
  • cups olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Chef notes

Finishing the ribs on the grill returns a "bark" to the meat giving them an authentic smoked texture. The red chile-garlic oil, flaky sea salt and lemon add a last dash of spice and brightness.

Swap option: Baby back ribs work well and can be better when the ribs are being held for a long period under refrigeration.


For the red chile-garlic oil:

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Set aside until ready to use.

For the pork ribs:


Preheat smoker to 250°F.


Pulse chiles, garlic, oil, vinegar, rosemary, cilantro and red pepper flakes in a food processor until mixture is almost smooth (a few larger pieces should still be visible).


Place a double layer of foil down (large enough to wrap the ribs). Generously season the ribs on both sides with salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the ribs and wrap up tightly in the foil.


Cook ribs in the smoker until meat is tender but not quite falling off the bone, about 3 hours. To check doneness, run a paring knife through 2 or 3 ribs; it should slide easily into the meat.

To serve:


Preheat grill to medium-high heat.


Place ribs on grill and cook until charred in spots and a crust forms, 5-6 minutes.


Slice racks into 2 rib sections. Drizzle with red chile-garlic oil, season with flaky salt and lemon and serve.