Chile Lime Butter Ribs

Kevin Gillespie, Former Top Chef contestant and owner of the Atlanta based restaurant Gunshow shares his twist on a tailgating classic … ribs. This recipe for Chile Lime Butter Ribs will feed four people.

  • Two slabs/4 pounds of St. Louis-cut pork ribs* One tsp. of Salt, plus more for the ribs
  • A few coarse grinds of Black pepper
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 1/4 cup lager-style Beer
  • Six cloves of Garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of Lime juice and zest
  • 4 Scallions cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup of Fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. of Chile Paste
  • 3/4 cup of melted Butter


Heat a smoker to 290°F. Or set up covered charcoal or wood grill with indirect heat and wood chips.


Remove and discard the sheer white membrane from the underside of the ribs. The layer will be slippery, so grab it with a kitchen towel to pull it off. Pat the ribs dry, then generously season both sides with salt and coarsely ground black pepper, patting the seasoning into the meat. Slide the ribs onto a wire rack and put in the smoker or on the grill away from the heat. You can also lay the slabs on the smoker or grill rack away from the heat. Smoke the ribs until tender or about 3 ½ hours. Continue to maintain a consistent temperature of 290ºF.


While the ribs are smoking, whisk the honey and beer in a small bowl until blended. After about 1 hour of cooking the ribs, when juices start to bead up on the surface, brush the ribs with the honey mixture and rotate the slabs for an even cooking. After the second hour of cooking, flip the ribs over and baste with the honey mixture again. Continue turning and basting every 30 minutes until the meat is tender, takes on a reddish tint and starts to pull away from the bones.


Remove the ribs from the smoker or grill and let them rest at room temperature until warm, at least 20 minutes.


Add wood or charcoal to the fire to bring the temperature up to medium; you will finish the ribs over direct medium heat.


To make the chile-lime butter use a blender to create a pureed mix with the garlic, lime zest and juice, scallions, cilantro, Chile paste, melted butter, and one teaspoon salt. Blend for at least two minutes.


Cut and separate the ribs into single-bone pieces and toss the pieces in the chile-lime butter puree.


Grill the ribs again over the hot side of the grill just until they start to char, about 4 minutes per side.


Toss the ribs in the chile-lime butter and serve hot.