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The Ultimate Homemade McRib Sandwich

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The Ultimate Homemade McRib!


Back when I was a kid in the 60’s, and a teen in the 70’s, McDonald’s actually used to be really good! Especially those fries! They were salty, and a little greasy, and everyone fought over the “wobbly ones”! Those were the best! (And come to find out, much healthier than the ones they sell today!!)

My hubby and I can’t eat there anymore, though. I haven’t liked their “food” in many years. But especially about 20+ years ago, I noticed how sick it made me feel. My hubby even worse.

The next to last time we ate there, because we won a few free coupons, it REALLY made us feel BAD inside. It was quite a shock to our systems and tastebuds, as it had been years since we had eaten their food. We swore that it was the last time. EVER. That we would go there. (We never did even use all of the coupons. I put all the rest in the mailbox for the mail lady to use and share with the neighborhood kids).

But then one day, they had the once-in-a-blue-moon, reclusive-exclusive-rarely available, “McRib” out again.

My hubby swore by them, and, after much begging and savvy convincing, finally talked me into it. I had never had one before, as they almost never sell them because they don’t make as big of a profit off of them (go figure!), so I finally caved and said, “Just this once, and if it makes us sick again, this is it!”.




Well, it didn’t make us sick. My hubby seemed to really enjoy his, and I rather liked it, too. I admit it. I liked it. I didn’t love it, let’s not go overboard, but it really wasn’t that bad for fast food. (Especially McDonald’s). Would I eat another one? All I can say is – – maybe. If my hubby was begging and I was absolutely exhausted, he’d probably get his way.

But I thought, why not try to just make my own. And then maybe he won’t want the molded pork patty made from pork scraps shaped in a wavy pattern to resemble ” faux ribs” ever again. (I know, I’m soooo mean! But I crossed my fingers that I could come up with something at least a little better.)

Seriously, homemade is always better! No offense, McDonald’s. 😉

So, I definitely wasn’t going to grind up “pork pieces, parts ‘n scraps” in the food processor, (nor good pork shoulder, either!), mold it together, and cook it on a griddle to form it into a “faux rib patty” thing.

Oh hell no.

I wanted a real boneless rib sandwich. Kept simple though to resemble theirs, with a slightly doctored quality barbecue sauce, and homemade pickles!

I also wanted to dress it with thinly sliced onions more evenly, instead of just 3-4 thick-cut chunks sparsely dispersed like how the one I had was. Huge hunks of onion just aren’t pleasant and are hard to digest, too.

If you like chunks of onion, though, go for it! But if you’re burping “onion breath” all night, don’t say I didn’t warn ya! (*You can also, of course, use store-bought pickles. I just coincidently make VERY good homemade ones, so I used those!)

The dry rib rub is first, and it comes together quickly. Since the McRib boasts having a “smokey” flavor, I used smoked salt in the rub (as well as the sauce!) I highly recommend that you pick some up if you don’t have any. You’ll really enjoy using it all summer long! Really good in anything that you want a touch of smokiness to!

The ribs get a nice coating of the rub, are wrapped tightly in foil, and slow-baked until fall apart-tender. This is key and very important! This must be achieved and is exactly what you want so that you can easily remove the bones, keeping the whole slabs of meat still intact!


deboning ribs


They come out VERY easily, and you end up with slabs of boneless ribs!!


deboned ribs


It’s lastly coated with some seriously good, doctored barbecue sauce, and lightly baked to set.


boneless ribs:back


Slather the backside first, then the top!


boneless ribs meaty side


Just look how gorgeous!! You can do this when serving these to company for dinner, too, so that they can be eaten knife & fork or fork ‘n fingers-style, and your guests don’t end up covered in sauce!


boneless ribs done


Then, you just pile everything onto your soft Italian rolls, and tadaaaa! A wonderful, Barbecued Boneless Rib Sandwich!!

There’s no need anymore to crave and wait and crave and wait to purchase a “McRib” sandwich until you see gray hairs. You can make it even better homemade! This one is soooo easy to make, too! You got this! 😉

soft italian roll base

boneless rib slab on roll

rib sand with red onion


rib sand with hm pickles


Yea. These’ll do. 😉


ultimate homemade mcrib

I think that you’ll also love how easily and quickly the rib meat reheats in the microwave, too! Makes for VERY fast and delicious sandwiches the next day! And it goes a nice long ways, too. You should get about 8 – 10 sandwiches out of these! More if served on small buns, and enough for a party if served on Sweet Hawaiian Rolls as sliders!

I hope you enjoy my incredibly delicious
Boneless Barbecued Rib Sandwich as much as we did!!
They were really wonderful!!!

And they received the highest seal of approval by the hubs, too! 😉




If curious, here are the actual McD’s “McRib” ingredients (*over 70 en total, though):

McRib Pork Patty:
Pork, water, salt, dextrose, preservatives (BHA, propyl gallate, citric acid)
McRib Bun:
Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, high fructose corn syrup, contains 2% or less of the following: salt, corn meal, wheat gluten, soybean oil, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oils, dextrose, sugar, malted barley flour, cultured wheat flour, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, soy flour, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide), calcium propionate (preservative), soy lecithin.
McRib Sauce:
Water, high fructose corn syrup, tomato paste, distilled vinegar, molasses, natural smoke flavor (plant source), food starch-modified, salt, sugar, spices, soybean oil, xanthan gum, onion powder, garlic powder, chili pepper, sodium benzoate (preservative), caramel color, beet powder
(*Does not include the pickles or anything they add to the onions.) 


**Mine has a few ingredients, too, but certainly not anywhere near over 70!!! (Even including the seasonings, sauce and rolls!)


My homemade Garlic Dill Refrigerator Pickles.
My homemade Bread ‘n Butter Refrigerator Pickles.

The Ultimate Homemade McRib Sandwich
Yield: 8 - 10 sandwiches

The Ultimate Homemade McRib Sandwich


Dry Rib Rub:

  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Hickory Smoked salt
  • 1 Tbl. smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbl. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning such as Slap Ya Mama
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

Sweet ‘n Spicy BBQ Sauce:

  • 2 cups Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce
  • 2 Tbl. molasses
  • 1/4 tsp. Creole Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. Hickory Smoked Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder

Rest of Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs. (2 full racks) pork baby back ribs, *remove membrane on backs!
  • Italian hoagie rolls, split open
  • dill pickle slices (or sweet if you prefer)
  • thinly sliced red, yellow or sweet onion
  • Lots of napkins!!


  • Mix rub ingredients extremely well in small bowl, set aside.
  • Remove membranes from backs of ribs using a spoon to scrape up a corner to get it started. Pull back and remove in one long piece. Discard. Spray inside of large sheet of heavy-duty foil with butter-flavored cooking spray. Place whole slabs of ribs onto foil meaty sides-up. Coat top sides well using up half of the rub. Turn over and coat bone sides with rest of rub. Match up sides of foil and fold down repeatedly until touching meat. Roll up ends to seal well. Be careful not to tear or poke holes in foil.
  • Place package onto foil-lined baking sheet. Marinate for several hours, overnight (best), or bake now in preheated 300ºF oven for 2 1/2 hours.
  • While ribs are slow-roasting, add bbq sauce ingredients into a small saucepan, bring just to a boil over medium heat, turn down to low, and cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and cover.
  • When ribs are done, remove from oven and open packages carefully. With a paring knife in one hand, and tongs in the other, slice the top of each bone straight across to open the thin skin and meat attached, pull bones from meat with tongs, making sure you leave no pieces of bone with the meat. They should come out very easily, especially if you pull straight up from the small end of the bone. With a very large spatula, lift each slab of boneless rib meat (all in one piece if you can), and place onto a clean foil-lined baking sheet. Coat deboned sides well with bbq sauce. Place back into oven and bake for 3 minutes. Remove and carefully turn pieces over, the meaty side-up now, coat with rest of barbecue sauce, and bake again for 3 minutes. *You can always save back a little sauce for dipping if you'd like.
  • Slice into sections, place onto bottoms of lightly warmed italian rolls, top with sliced onion and pickles. Slice in half at a slight angle if desired, and serve!

  • *Photo credit: The “Original McDonald’s “McRib” Sandwich” photo taken by the McDonald’s Corporation.
    (The rest were all taken by me, of course).

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    W. Nabor

    Thursday 31st of October 2019

    I have been looking for farmer Jack's chicken salad. I was wondering if you have any connection to find the recipe. I know there are a lot of us would like it. It's an easy receipe but they put something g special in it. This recipe for mc rib is delicious thank you.

    James Hiner

    Monday 6th of November 2017

    Hello,use to eat at McDonald's and other fast-food but i stoped for healthy life style,i always loved the mcrib and decided to look up alternative's,yours was 3or 5 recipes down but i checked them all and ended up coming back to yours,can't wait to get started,thank you for posting the best recipe. Have a blessed 2018. _James Hiner


    Wednesday 27th of July 2016

    So sorry you two have been sick, Karen! The flu is an awful thing to have, that's for sure!! My hubby used to live in BOTH places that you did, too!!! :D He lived in WA and then moved down to CA, too! And he still talks about how good In and Out burgers are! He LOVED them!! I hope you try the rib sandwich soon! He about flipped over it!! I was so happy, and now he doesn't have to go to McD's anymore!!!! :D A win-win for both of us!! ;) :D


    Saturday 23rd of July 2016

    Can I just say (like the "kids") OH EMM GEE! Yes! Even tho hubby and I both have either a flu bug (think, "world is spinning and we are throwing up") SORRY! THIS LOOKS AND SOUNDS AMAZING. Me and hubby, also kids from the 60s (remember hamburgers were 20 c and cheeseburgers were 25 c?) ATE Mc Donalds too. We prefer Wendy's for super fast food on road trips or after doctor appts and we are starving and it's 25 miles til home, BUT, since we moved from WA to CA in 2001, In and Out Double Double Animal Style cheeseburgers are our guilty pleasure lol (I made the copycat version of this last night with fried up Yukon gold home fries) Anyway, a McRib has never sounded good to me, and never knew what the hype was all about. But, now, with YOUR recipe, AND a brand new pkg of baby backs in the freezer, AND a bunch of cucumbers, garlic, and red onions picked from my garden, I can't WAIT to make this! (After the world stops spinning lol) THANK YOU!

    Oh, BTW, the fries were good back in the 60s and 70s and up until 20 years or so ago because they used a combo of animal fat and veggie oil. Some famous doctor, FDA, the president, or some other person trying to control our lives by telling us incorrectly what to eat, and now have changed their minds and told the world that eating fat, REAL FATS, is healthier for us and NOT eating a bunch of fruit, ie SUGAR. Ummmm. HELLO??? Anyway, again thank you. I can't wait to make this!

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