How to Cook Pork Shoulder Western Ribs on the Grill

by Peggy Epstein ; Updated September 28, 2017

Barbecue ribs are a gourmet delight, but boneless ribs are more like heaven. Pork shoulder Western ribs are strips of pork cut from the shoulder into strips about two inches by two inches and about six to eight inches long. Marinated and grilled, and then served with fries and baked beans, they provide a wonderful barbecue meal. The secrets for making great Western ribs are in the marinating and grilling.

Make a “dry rub” marinade by mixing 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder and onion powder, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Place in a gallon size plastic frozen food bag.

Slather the ribs with plain hotdog style yellow mustard. The mustard does not impart much taste to the ribs, but the vinegar in the mustard acts to break down the meat fiber and to make the ribs very tender.

Place ribs one at a time in the freezer bag and shake to coat the rib with the dry marinade. Remove the ribs to a cookie sheet and repeat until all the ribs have been coated. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and allow the ribs to marinate for at least eight hours.

Grill on a hot charcoal grill for about 15 minutes per side.

Brush on your favorite barbecue sauce and continue grilling until the sauce is well caramelized but not burned. Before removing meat from the grill, use a meat thermometer to make sure the ribs have reached 160 degrees.


  • This form of dry rub marinade with yellow mustard also works well on beef brisket and spare ribs.

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About the Author

Peggy Epstein is a freelance writer specializing in education and parenting. She has authored two books, "Great Ideas for Grandkids" and "Family Writes," and published more than 100 articles for various print and online publications. Epstein is also a former public school teacher with 25 years' experience. She received a Master of Arts in curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri.