St. Louis-style Ribs with Kansas City style BBQ sauce

Red Cactus-USA is proud to produce salsa in a state with two powerhouses in the culinary world. Between St. Louis and Kansas City, the influence from music to the arts to sports to food is not to be understated. When we talk about music in these two great cities, we think about jazz as it made its way from New Orleans north, along the Mississippi River eventually landing in Chicago but not without detour. When we talk about sports, are there any fans more diehard than St. Louis fans or epic comebacks more gripping than the KC Royals? And food, of the endless contributions to cuisine most pale in comparison to BBQ in both St. Louis and Kansas City. So with that, Red Cactus-USA presents a spin on St. Louis-style spare ribs with Kansas City style BBQ sauce. It is a spin from tradition paying tribute while contributing another piece from a Missouri town’s creation into the mix, our Hannibal-made Red Cactus salsa.

We have worked hard since the mid 1990s to create and distribute a line of salsas that are not only low in sodium but are also non-gmo and gluten free. We take pride in our products, made with garden-fresh ingredients and sold across the country. These salsas, from our Red Cactus Mild Salsa to our Sweet Heat Salsa, are all products that to this day remain some of the only zero gluten products on the market. At Red Cactus-USA, the big picture has always been about community and serving one another through ministry, outreach, and support for foundations.

The St. Louis-style spare ribs are cut so that the sternum bone and rib tips are removed forming a rectangular-shaped rack. This style cut originated in the meat-packing plants during the mid 20th century. BBQ is not complete without the sauce and the Kansas City BBQ sauce is the perfect balance to provide a sweet and tangy flavor punch. It is rich and thick from molasses and other ingredients perfect for ribs.

The BBQ Sauce with Red Cactus-USA salsa


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
  • 2 cups Red Cactus Salsa of your choice
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup steak sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/4 to 3/4 cup honey (see note below)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar


In a mixing bowl, add the chili powder, salt and pepper together. In a large mixing bowl, combine the salsa, mustard, vinegar, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, molasses, and brown sugar.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the crushed garlic and cook for roughly a minute. Add the dry spices from the smaller mixing bowl. Stir the mixture for a few minutes as the flavors are pulled from the spice, then add the mixture in the large bowl. Simmer over medium heat for roughly 15 minutes, or until thickened.

Taste and adjust as necessary. A bit of lemon juice can often help balance the acidity. If there is a vinegary flavor initially, that flavor will mellow in time.

Now you are ready to prepare the St. Louis style ribs!

  1. Pat the ribs dry
  2. Remove any membrane attached on the bottom
  3. If using a rub apply it at this time
  4. Preheat the oven to 350ºF
  5. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil. Place ribs on a baking sheet and bake for 2 hours until tender.
  6. Now comes the fun part. Remove the ribs from the foil and brush with BBQ sauce.
  7. Place the ribs back in the oven and back for another 25 minutes to warm the sauce and help it caramelize on the ribs.

Through years of trials and testing both in the market and in life, Red Cactus-USA became a successful business selling our salsa products throughout major grocery stores around the country. But throughout the journey, it was never just about the product. While our focus is in food production, our passion has always been in community outreach, ministry and helping others, especially those who have fallen on hard times.

Food is about creation, stories and sharing that with friends and family. We encourage our customers to send and share their recipes and stories with us so we can share them with everyone! Send us a recipe for a chance to win a case of salsa from Red Cactus! All of our products are gluten free and trans fat free, meaning White Salsa Con Queso, White Cheese Sauce, Sweet-N-Zesty Salsa Con Queso are healthy dip options. Our founder continues what he calls his journey “From the Cactus to the Cross,” where he is passionate about outreach and visiting your church or meeting place to speak and share stories. It is all in the name of encouraging others to serve. If you or someone you know is interested in having Steven speak to your group, church or at a conference, he can be reached at 217-653-8147 or by email at To learn more about Red Cactus-USA and our mission, be sure to check out our About Us page and keep up to date with the latest and greatest on our Facebook page.