Mar 24, 2014

My ribs are NOT spicy hot.


My fall-off-the-bone ribs are NOT spicy hot. This recipe has been really popular but having an international following has brought on some new challenges. I’m hearing, “I made your fall-off-the-bone ribs and they did fall off the bone but they were so spicy hot we couldn’t eat them.” It turns out that spices are not the same all over the world and the different labeling in some countries has caused my delicious ribs to be too hot to eat. But I don’t like spicy foods and my ribs are not supposed to be hot, so I am here to clarify the confusion for my international visitors.

My rub and sauce recipes call for Chili Powder but I think some people are using Chili Pepper which is not the same thing. Not at all.  Chili Powder is a mixture of spices and peppers and is a bit spicy but not anywhere near hot. That’s why I use 2 teaspoons in my rub and my sauce. But 2 teaspoons of Ground Chili Pepper, which is pure cayenne pepper, will bring tears to your eyes!

As if that’s not enough, the terms “chili” and “chile” are often used interchangeably but they don’t always mean the same thing. Chili powder is usually a blend of spices and it not considered hot, while Chile powder most often refers to pure ground spicy hot chiles. Since every country is different, the only way to tell is to READ THE INGREDIENT LABEL and DO NOT USE pure ground cayenne red chili pepper.


The recipes I post are all the things I make for myself and I do not like hot & spicy foods so I hope this helps everyone from Malaysia to Australia to Belgium enjoy these delicious fall-off-the-bone, NOT SPICY HOT ribs. And my thanks to Lee and Alissa who took time to let me know. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

12 Comments on "My ribs are NOT spicy hot."

  1. James

    Would 1 tsp. of each cause a problem?

    • Jenny

      One teaspoon of powdered chili would be VERY spicy.

  2. Danny Agnone

    Jenny – I gotta tell ya, hon – this rub, along with these ribs are absolutely SPECTACULAR! Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to share this recipe with the world! Also, I will be using your rub recipe (maybe very slight variations thereof) for all my smoking, grilling, and BBQ meats. These are better than the best “rib-joint” in my area!

  3. Marty

    On your dry rub recipe, it appears in the pictures that the measurements look more like tablespoons then teaspoons.

    • Jenny

      The picture was measured exactly to match the recipe.

  4. Nona

    OMG! hahahahahaha …. I made this mistake last night .. and Im just reading this blog today …. Live in Auckland, New Zealand and although it was really hot after waiting for almost 3 hours … it was still yummy!! My chinese colleagues love spicy.. so brought it to work! Cant wait to try it again!! Thank you Jenny!

  5. Mary

    Chili powder is not spicy. It’s used in a lot of chili recipes. I think when people hear the word “chili” they picture “chili peppers” which is different. Chili powder is a flavoring that gives you that “chili” flavor in chili dogs and chili sauce.

  6. Mary

    I made these ribs and they are NOT SPICY. They are delicious!!!
    I do not like spicy food and these ribs can never be called spicy or hot.

  7. Carol

    Wow, I bet that was hot! Thank goodness you figured it out.

  8. Vanessa

    Hmmm, I think I’ll err on the side of caution and use my house seasoning blend and for those who like it spicy, well we have a local dipping sauce made with either whole or freshly ground hot peppers. Thanks for the post Jenny and keep those recipes coming!


    Good job Jenny!

  10. Rhonda

    Good researching info Jenny. Spices can be confusing for some of us. That’s why I follow your recipes exactly. If you don’t follow a recipe you end up with something totally different. I hope it didn’t discourage anyone and will try making the ribs again as if you had made them 🙂

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