Memphis Rendezvous Ribs

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 6 servings

Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous Charcoal Ribs has been a fixture in Memphis since 1948. While the real recipe is closely guarded, here’s a close approximation by Meathead Goldwyn.

Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn


Seasoning mix:
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons powdered garlic
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons whole yellow mustard seed
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed celery seed
1 1/2 teaspoons whole celery seed
1 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried crushed thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons whole allspice seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons whole coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Mop sauce and ribs:
6 tablespoons Seasoning Mix
1/2 cup distilled vinegar
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons ketchup or tomato-based barbecue sauce
2 slabs baby back ribs (about 4 pounds)


  1. To make the seasoning, mix all ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight jar. Makes about 1 cup.
  2. To make the sauce and ribs, mix 2 tablespoons seasoning mix with vinegar, water and barbecue sauce in a bowl. Makes about 1 cup.
  3. Grill or bake ribs, basting with sauce. When done, sprinkle liberally with seasoning mix.

Recipe courtesy of Meathead Goldwyn.