Skip to content

Country Style Pork Ribs

with Coffee Rub


I cannot let the Summer pass without at least one grilled meat recipe. In years past when grilling in the backyard came to mind, burgers, hot dogs, ribs and chicken would be the first items on the menu. Today that has changed significantly with more people grilling vegetables and vegetarian options with all kinds of sauces, dressings and rubs. Although I do not eat as much meat as I used to, I do occasionally toss a steak or some ribs over the coals and let the magic happen as the juices drip and hiss and caramelize a flavorful crust on some succulent cut of meat. There is something primal about the basic principle of cooking meat with fire. It’s delicious and if cooking a better grade of beef or pork, the process results in a superior dining experience. I know we’ve all known this process as Barbeque but that is a different process, long, slow cooking for hours at relatively low temperatures when the meat literally falls off the bone. Here I’m talking about grilling over a fairly high heat for a shorter amount of time with interior doneness anywhere from rare to well done.

The meat of choice today is country style pork ribs, a cut that is meatier than any sparerib choices - not a full on chop, a little in between. My choice is Kurobuta pork which is fundamentally Berkshire pork. In the 1860’s some pigs from the United Kingdom were imported to Japan after the Meiji Restoration when meat was generally not eaten in Japan. The pigs were raised in the Kagoshima Prefecture (province) and became a popular protein source. In the 1930’s, more pigs were imported from the United Kingdom and the result is the Kurobuta line of pig, meaning black pig. These pigs exemplify the preferred qualities that Berkshire pork provides.

That said, Kurobuta/Berkshire pork is my choice but any quality pork from your local supermarket will be delicious. For that matter, lamb ribs, butterflied leg of lamb or any cut of chicken is also good with this dry rub recipe. I might do something different with beef but if that’s your choice, go for it!

With Coffee Dry Rub

Serves 4


  • 4 fat Kurobuta/Berkshire country style pork ribs, about 2 1/2 - 3 pounds

  • 1/2 cup Turbinado or light brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons espresso grind coffee or other fine grind coffee

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons chipotle powder

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic

  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion

  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, smashed in a mortar

  • 1 teaspoon ground sage

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

  • hot honey of choice


  • put all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well mixed

  • coat the ribs well on all sides

  • place the ribs on a preheated 375 degree grill and put the cover on. Turn every so often and if it flares up too much, move the ribs to a cooler part of the grill and remove the cover. It may take 20 to 25 minutes for them to cook. I like mine fairly cooked through with some pink still showing, about a medium. That should be around 155 to 160 degrees F.

  • let the cooked ribs rest for 5 or 10 minutes if you can stand to wait that long before enjoying the deliciousness!

I find these ribs do not need or want a traditional BBQ sauce but I do enjoy some sweet heat from a drizzle of hot honey, a honey infused with capsicum containing chilies. It’s easy enough to replicate a facsimile by mixing a tablespoon or so of your favorite hot sauce into a cup of honey. My choice here would be a robust honey such as buckwheat.

Happy grilling!