Pub Style Salt and Pepper Dry Ribs

These Pork Riblets are the ultimate party appetizer, finger food, or snack that you can easily make at home. They have that same irresistible crispy texture you find on the menu at your favorite neighborhood pub. And the best part? You don’t need any fancy seasonings to make them absolutely delicious.

We all have those nights when we crave the perfect pub food, right? Well, my boyfriend and I are no different. Whenever we go to a pub, we always make it a point to try their ‘Pork Bites,’ ‘Dry Ribs,’ or ‘Riblets.’ It’s like a tradition for us. And let me tell you, these little bites of porky goodness can be found on nearly every pub menu. It’s not surprising, though, because pork riblets are the ultimate party food or snack, especially when paired with a cold beer, nachos, or chicken wings. They are the perfect pub fare and super affordable to both buy and make. That’s why we’ve added them to our list of go-to dishes for those days when we don’t feel like cooking or want to have a pub night at home.

But here’s the thing, not many people know about these glorious little riblets. It’s like a hidden gem in the food world. So, we feel it’s our duty, as proud riblet enthusiasts who have tried them in various establishments, to spread the word about how finger-lickin’ good they are. We’re standing on the rooftops, yelling at the top of our lungs: YOU REALLY NEED TO MAKE THIS RIBLETS PORK RECIPE! Trust us, you won’t regret it. And if you don’t feel like making them yourself, at least make sure to order them the next time you visit your neighborhood pub. Maybe we’ll even bump into each other there! 😉

What Are Pork Riblets?

Now, here’s a funny story. When I first started my quest to figure out what exactly those delicious pub dry ribs are made of, I realized I had overlooked the answer the entire time. Pork riblets are available in the meat section of most grocery stores or at your local butcher. If you can’t immediately spot them, just ask the butcher, and they’ll point you in the right direction. These little wonders are shorter and stubbier than your typical pork back ribs. And while they are popular in Asian cooking, you can usually find them in Asian grocery stores or supermarkets. Sometimes, they are labeled ‘Sweet and Sour Ribs’ because that’s what they’re commonly used to make. You might even find them sold in a long slab, but don’t worry, all you need is a sharp knife to cut them into riblets yourself.

Basically, pork riblets are like the chicken wings of the pork world. They’re crispy, have a bit of bone, and can be seasoned or sauced to your heart’s desire. They are made by cutting a slab of ribs in half lengthwise, creating two separate portions. Then, you cut those portions into individual pieces, also known as riblets. Riblets are the trimmed-off pieces that butchers remove from the racks of ribs to make them look nice and uniform. And if you can’t find pre-cut and packaged pork riblets, most butchers are more than happy to cut a slab of pork loin back ribs in half for you. Once you get home, it’s easy to handle the riblet-cutting yourself.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Salt and Pepper Dry Ribs

Now, let’s talk about the ingredients you’ll need to make these delectable Salt and Pepper Dry Ribs, just like the ones you find at your neighborhood pub:

  • Pork Riblets: Like the chicken wings of the pork world, riblets are easy to eat, customize, and make. They’re smaller than your typical baby back ribs and usually come with a bit of bone. If you need more information on what pork riblets are, where to find them, or how to order them, refer to the section above.
  • Olive Oil: This adds flavor and helps the pork ribs crisp up beautifully as they cook. Good quality extra virgin olive oil works best for this recipe, but you can use a different oil like avocado if you prefer.
  • Salt and Pepper: Many pub menus keep things simple with just salt and pepper seasonings, and it’s all you really need. However, feel free to get creative and use any dry rub or sauce you like. The choice is yours!
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How to Make Pork Riblets (Key Tips)

The recipe card below provides detailed instructions on how to make these crispy Pork Riblets. But here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Before coating the pork riblets with oil and seasonings, make sure to pat them dry with a paper towel. This will absorb any excess moisture and make them extra crispy as they cook.
  • Don’t be afraid to generously season the riblets, even if you’re only using salt and pepper. You want each riblet to be fully coated for maximum flavor and the best results. Pro tip: Use your hands to toss the riblets in salt and pepper, then add more and toss again.
  • Avoid overcrowding the sheet pan or air fryer basket. If necessary, work in batches. It’s okay if the riblets touch slightly, but avoid overlapping or piling them on top of each other. They need room to breathe and cook evenly.
  • For maximum flavor, season the riblets both before and after cooking. If you’re using just salt and pepper, there’s no need to marinate the riblets beforehand. But make sure to be generous with the seasonings for the best results.
  • When cooking the riblets, whether in an air fryer or oven, use a tray or basket that allows for air circulation. This ensures even cooking without the need to flip the riblets. If you don’t have the appropriate equipment, you can still cook them but remember to flip them halfway through. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary, so use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness. The riblets should be crispy and browned all over, with the internal temperature registering at 145°F when inserted into the meat without touching any bone.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I find more pub-style party food favorites?

A: Absolutely! If you’re a fan of pub-style food, you’ll love these other recipes:

  • Homemade Air Fryer French Fries
  • Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
  • Easy Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
  • Vegan Buffalo Style Cauliflower
  • Hearty Beef Brisket Sandwiches
  • Best Homemade Pizza Dough

Now that you’re armed with this incredible riblet recipe, it’s time to get cooking! Whether you’re hosting a party, having a casual night at home, or simply satisfying your cravings, these Pub Style Salt and Pepper Dry Ribs are sure to be a hit. Make them yourself or head to your neighborhood pub and savor the magic. And don’t forget to visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ for more mouthwatering recipes and inspiration. Enjoy!