Bone In BBQ Wild Game Ribs Recipe

I’ve been troubled by the subject of bone in BBQ wild game ribs my whole life. Boning them out for burgers takes a lot of work and yields only a small amount of meat, yet cooking them whole often results in dishes that are unchewably tough.

Then this recipe came along and solved my rib problems once and for all. The rib meat is cooked on the bone, and it turns out as tender and flavorful as the finest pork ribs.

It’s turned what used to be a problematic cut of meat into one of my all-time favorite wild game preparations. Once you try it, you might never again bone out a rib cage.

Serving size



Dry Rub

1-1/2 tbsp sweet paprika

1-1/2 tbsp smoked paprika

4 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

2 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsp dark brown sugar

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp celery seed (optional)

3-1/2 lbs big game ribs (two full racks, each rack split in half lengthwise down the middle and cut into portions of 2-3 ribs)


1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup yellow mustard

1 tsp kosher salt


  1. In a small bowl combine all of the dry rub ingredients. (You can double or quadruple this mixture and keep it on hand for any worthy occasion.) Rub the ribs all over with the dry rub.
  2. Pop the ribs into a pressure cooker. Add water to cover and cook for 20 minutes with 10 pounds of pressure. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, I’m afraid this takes a bit longer. You’ll have to braise them on the stove for at least 2 hours, though it may take longer)
  3. Preheat your grill on high
  4. In a small bowl, combine all the mop ingredients with a whisk. (Again, this can be doubled or quadrupled as needed and used for anything you feel like mopping that goes on a grill.)
  5. When the ribs are done, remove them from the pressure cooker. Set the ribs over direct heat on the grill to caramelize them and get some char. Close the lid to keep the heat high. As they get closer to done, mop liberally with the cider vinegar mop.
  6. Remove from the grill when the sauce is adhering nicely and they have the perfect amount of char. Serve with pickles and raw onions.