What's a 49er BBQ?

A 49er BBQ is something you can whip up in a small apartment on a foggy day with an electric stove from the 1960s and still have people second guess if it was done on a grill or not. Well, they'll know there wasn't a grill, but it'll be delicious nonetheless.

We made pork spareribs, pinquito beans, and Southern greens on a recent lazy Sunday.

The ribs are done using a technique I learned from Alton Brown. The pinquito beans are, more or less, Santa Maria BBQ style. The greens I kept Southern.

The ribs and the beans take at least 2-3 hours but the greens, once prepped, only take 5-10 minutes to cook - so plan accordingly. I started the beans with a "short-cook method," since I didn't soak the dried beans overnight, they needed to be par-cooked. Then, I made the dry rub and got the ribs into the oven. Last, I prepped the greens and put them aside to finish.


  • 1 slab of pork spare ribs
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumon
  • 1 Teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 Tablespoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Trim fat from ribs thoroughly; these will be done in the oven and excess fat will not render as if it were on a grill. Lay out 2 sheets of aluminum foil, each of which are 8 inches longer than the spareribs. Lay the 2 sheets of foil on your workspace to make 1 extra wide piece of foil. Overlap an inch from each piece and crimp several times to form a tight seal. Place the ribs in the middle. Combine spices in a bowl, then generously rub across the ribs. Don't forget to get both sides.

Fold up the top and bottom of the foil together and crimp in the same fashion for a seal. Do the same with either side. You should have a tight 'bag' made from aluminium foil. Place on a baking sheet for easier transportation and in case of spillage. Place into the oven for 2 hours. Check after 2 hours for done-ness; gently unfurl the foil sides. A bone should rotate easily around the meat, indicating that everything is tender. If not, place back into the oven and check again after 15 minute increments.

Once ribs are soft, open of the foil so that they are exposed and turn the oven to broil. Baste the top of the ribs several times with the juices in the bottom of the baking sheet using a pastry brush. Watch closely because they will burn quickly; this will take about 5 minutes. When a good crust is formed, pull from the oven, close up the foir around them, and let them rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.





  • 1/2 pound of dried pinquito beans, also called pink beans
  • 1 teaspoon of powered mustard
  • 2 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of chili sauce (I used Srirachi)
  • 1/2 jalapeno (I like it spicy, but you can omit this)

Sort the dried beans on a plate or baking sheet to remove any stones.  Soak the beans in water overnight if you can.  If you are not able to soak, place the beans into a large pot, add a gallon of water [or so] and bring it to to a boil.  Kill the heat, cover, and allow to sit for an hour.  This is called the "short-cook method."


Drain the liquid once complete and continue with the recipe. Once you have soaked or done the "short-cook method" with the beans, add them into a pot and add enough water to cover them by one inch.   Add the rest of your ingredients. 

Simmer uncovered until the beans are soft, about an hour.  The level of liquid should be kept flush with the height of the beans, add water as needed.


1 pound of leafy greens: kale, beet, collard, chard, etc...
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon kosher salt

De-stem the greens and rinse/wash thoroughly. This may take several baths in water and several spins around the spinner. Chop coarsely. Since the greens take only 5 minutes, begin cooking only when the ribs and beans are done.

Add the butter and olive oil to a hot pan, keep the heat on medium-high. Once the butter is melted and begins to brown, add the greens. Add the currants, celery salt, kosher salt, pepper, and vinegar. Stir occasionally until softened and done, about 5 minutes.

Plate everything in neat little piles.

You may touch up a little BBQ sauce if you like. I'm not a total purist and if that floats your boat... then, who am I to blow against the wind?


Authordavid koch