savory dishes: summertime & nelly’s bbq spare ribs

savory dishes: summertime & nelly's bbq spare ribs It’s funny how the seasons tend to remind us of the things we used to do while growing up. Each season rekindles a particular memory that we like to keep in the cobwebs of our mind. These memories are what we hold dear and will treasure when our bodies can no longer keep up with the follies of our younger years. Who wouldn’t love spring and summer? I would always be nudged from slumber by the animated chirping of birds outside my window. From the moment I opened my eyes I would already anticipate and look forward to what awaited for the rest of the day. I didn’t even mind the gentle buzz of the neighbor’s lawnmower. Nothing compares to the smell of freshly mowed grass in the morning. I was in charge of checking the PH balance of the water in our pool, cleaning the filter, and adding a chlorine tablet if needed. My other siblings would be responsible for vacuuming the pool. Not that I would mind doing that, either. Somehow, summer chores seemed more fun to do and it never seemed like work for me because I loved doing it. My parents would leave for work and us kids would be left at home to do what all kids do… enjoy being young! I loved to lie by the pool and work on my tan and not have to think about wrinkles and freckles. This was in the late 80’s before concerns about skin cancer and all the other things that took the fun off of being a kid. Times were simpler then when the biggest worry I had was what to eat for lunch from the kitchen. I think ignorance is bliss and a lot more fun! I consider my family as "water people". I grew up spending summers at the Jersey Shore, Wildwood, where I learned to catch waves at such a young age. I love Ocean City New Jersey, and Ocean City Maryland, where I would hit the board walk for "disco fries" (French fries with cheese and chicken gravy). The smell of Coppertone sun tail oil was thick in the balmy air while every radio station played Barry Manilow’s "Copa Cabana" and Bryan Adams’ “Summer of 69” both are older songs, before my time, but summer was not summer until I heard those tunes playing on the boardwalk. There was also the smell of barbecue everywhere! Barbecue is from the language of Taíno people of the Caribbean and the Timucua of Florida which means “sacred fire pit” and the cooking method is almost always done outdoors. Whether charcoal or propane, summer is never complete without cooking something up in the fire. Not that winter stops my family from a good piece of barbecued meat propane (my father still fires up a steak with 8 feet of snow on the deck). Moving halfway around the world did not change the smell of a great barbecue. The whiff of it not only makes me hungry but it also takes me back home to those long lazy summers. I’m about to enter the next milestone of my life. I have definitely accumulated some fond memories to look back on and the best part is that I’m not even halfway done!

Neely's BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

Recipe courtesy The Neely Family Show: Paula's PartyEpisode: Fried vs. BBQ Ingredients
  • 1 slab pork spare ribs (about 4 pounds)
  • 4-ounces Neely's BBQ Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 quart Neely's BBQ Sauce, recipe follows


  1. Place pork rib slab flat on a clean chopping board. Pull off membrane. Cut off the excess fat and meat. Season both sides of the slab with Neely's BBQ Seasoning. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
  2. Preheat your grill at 275 degrees F, using hickory wood and charcoal.
  3. Place the slab on the grill away from the flame, using indirect heat. Cook the slab for approximately 2 1/2 hours with the curl side up. Flip the slab over to finish cooking for approximately 1 hour or until you get full "bend" in the slab.
  4. For dry ribs: Pull ribs off grill, sprinkle Neely's BBQ Seasoning over entire slab. Cut between the bones and serve.
  5. For wet ribs: Pull ribs off grill, pour Neely's BBQ Sauce over slab. Cut between the bones and serve.

Neely's BBQ Seasoning

  • 4 ounces paprika
  • 2 ounces white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
Mix all the ingredients and set aside.

Neely's BBQ Sauce

  • 16 ounces ketchup
  • 8 ounces water
  • 3 ounces brown sugar
  • 3 ounces white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 1-ounce lemon juice
  • 1-ounce Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 ounces apple cider vinegar
  • 1-ounce light corn syrup
  • 2 ounces Neely's BBQ Seasoning
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a stockpot or large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Reduce temperature to low and simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours.
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  • June 22, 2012 at 9:12 am //

    I’m with you – some of my best childhood memories took place near or in water – a lake, a pool, the ocean. The spare ribs, the seasoning, the sauce all look perfect. I can smell them cooking as I type! Time to pick up some spare ribs!

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:31 am //

      Yes, I fondly remember sand in my suit too! Sometimes those waves would kick me so hard I’d have to wait until I tumbled to the shoreline. I think what I miss the most is the larger waves, they aren’t so big here as the East Coast.

  • June 23, 2012 at 1:26 am //

    I love summer fun and these ribs would make any meal extra special. I’ve never used hickory wood while grilling but this sounds like a great recipe to try them out.

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:30 am //

      Hi Kendra, Planks are fun to use with their various flavors, but you can totally skip it too =)

  • June 23, 2012 at 4:33 am //

    My childhood summers are full of memories of swimming pools and BBQs–what a well-written post, and those ribs look awesome!

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:29 am //

      Yes! Swimming until I was exhausted! With a glass of iced tea (or my mothers Crystal Light) on the deck.!

  • June 23, 2012 at 10:53 am //

    This recipe just screams summer to me! Looks fantastic!

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:28 am //

      Thank you so much for saying hello Riley =)

  • June 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm //

    I grew up in Maine with a camp on the lake and a cottage at the shore and now I live on a canal only rowing distance from the ocean. I just love being near the water.

    I might be 10,000 miles away in Australia but I’ve never lost my love of ribs! These look really good.

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:28 am //

      oooh Main, can you believe it, that I have never been to Main? If you are in the AU, they have some of the most beautiful beaches =)

  • June 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm //

    The ribs look soooo good, I can really do with some right now! :D

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:27 am //

      Thank you for popping in and saying hello Jenny =)

  • June 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm //

    I grew up in a typical country side without any beach and what so ever.

    These ribs look so good with a crispy outer layer, yum all the way.

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:26 am //

      NO beach..GAH! Did you live in a mountainous area?

  • June 24, 2012 at 5:32 am //

    This looks absolutely amazing!

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:25 am //

      Thank you Danelle for commenting =)

  • June 24, 2012 at 5:36 am //

    Oh my my. This bbq sauce looks simply amazing. I love myself a good bbq sauce. The picture is gor-ge-ousss btw!

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:25 am //

      Thank you Lynna for commenting =)

  • June 24, 2012 at 6:57 am //

    Those really are some precious memories. And those disco fries really sound yummy. :) Of course, these Neely’s BBQ Pork Spare Ribs are must try!

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:25 am //

      Don’t you just Love disco fries, I have no idea why they are called that, but it was between the Fudge, FF with Vinegar, Salt Water Taffy or Disco Fries was a treat I looked forward to.

  • June 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm //

    What beautiful and delicious Spare Ribs!!!

    • June 25, 2012 at 7:24 am //

      Thank you Baltic Maid.

  • June 25, 2012 at 11:50 am //

    This post, with your childhood memories, make me smile! May you have more and more wonderful and delicious memories as time passes by! :)

    • June 26, 2012 at 8:46 am //

      Glad I could put a smile on your face =)

    • June 26, 2012 at 8:46 am //

      = ) Thank you for popping over to say hello Sommer =)

  • June 25, 2012 at 11:29 pm //

    I love grilled food in all seasons but particularly in spring and summer.I live in Canada so I would say it is perfect for July1st.

    • June 26, 2012 at 8:47 am //

      So do we, grilled is the best, I especially love grilled veggies, corn on the cob!

  • June 25, 2012 at 11:44 pm //

    A lot of my summer memories revolve around water, too – the New Jersey shore (Long Beach Island, to be precise). I haven’t been there for years, but every time I visit I’m a kid again. Lots of fun. And ribs? I love them! Cooking them long and slow, as you do, is the only way. Good stuff – thanks.

  • June 26, 2012 at 1:57 am //

    Mmm.. these ribs look so good! My husband loves ribs (I do, too) and he’s always looking for different ways to cook them. I’m going to show him your post and see what he thinks. Most likely, he’ll probably drool over the monitor.

    • June 26, 2012 at 8:48 am //

      Hi Sook, thank you for commenting =) Anything grilled is really wonderful, corn on the cob.. the best on a grill. This is an awesome recipe by the Nelly Family, worth trying.

  • June 26, 2012 at 3:54 am //

    I don’t eat ribs, but man that looks good. the picture is gorgeous. OMG, that sauce is amazing, I could totally use it as a chicken marinade.

    • June 26, 2012 at 8:50 am //

      Ribs are exorbitant here!!! We have them, but rarely, I do love pork ribs, they do have that “naw” factor, so it’s easier to eat them at home, get all messy and not have to worry about appearances “wink”.

  • June 29, 2012 at 1:31 am //

    Wow this looks amazing! The recipe is so easy! Thanks for sharing xo

    • June 29, 2012 at 7:13 am //

      Thank you Laura, as the weather gets warmer, I’m looking for simple and easy =)

  • July 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm //

    This recipe sounds terrific, I can’t wait to try it!