Steve Rinella's Venison Ribs

Recipe - Steve Rinella's Venison Ribs


  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Smoked paprika
  • 2 Teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 Tablespoons oregano
  • ½ cup brown sugar
BBQ Sauce

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 4 Tablespoons bbq rub (see above)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper


This recipe is a part of 12 Days of Gifts, a series of how-to videos covering some of our favorite wild game preparations. Brought to you by MeatEater and Weston, this is our way of giving back to our amazing community. A lot of people don’t realize that you can make great bone-in rib recipes with your venison ribs if you just apply a little low, slow heat first and then go to the grill.  Give this recipe a try. You’ll never look at venison ribs the same way again.  Check out the video here.

For the BBQ Sauce 
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for about a week in the fridge, longer if you omit the lemon juice
Rib Methods
Using a hacksaw or bone saw, cut a rack of game ribs perpendicular to the bones, so to get a 4-6 inch strip of connected rib bones. Then cut these strips into pieces containing 3 or 4 ribs apiece.
Apply rub seasoning to ribs ( Make sure you have saved some for the BBQ sauce)
Place the ribs into a pressure cooker or slow cooker and add just enough stock or water to cover them. Cook at full pressure for 30 minutes. If using a slow cooker, cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. By then, the ribs should be fairly tender. The measure of a perfectly cooked venison rib will be if the meat hangs on to the bone when picked up, but if you shook the bone the meat would start to fall off. A little resistance is not a bad thing.
Prepare a grill (gas or charcoal) at medium-high heat.
Remove the ribs from the slow cooker, let them cool, and then give them a generous rub-down with the rub. Place the ribs on the grill. Since they’re already cooked, you’re simply reheating the meat and charring the outside a bit. Once the ribs have crisped, about 10 minutes, coat them generously with the barbeque sauce, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the sauce to caramelize and thicken. Serve warm.
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