This is an easy rib recipe that should make anyone happy with the results.
Ingredients and equipment
- Two racks of pork spare ribs trimmed (these have the skirt removed but the rib tips are still attached, up to you)
- plain yellow mustard
- Dry Rub (recipe follows)
- wet mop
- BBQ Sauce (recipe follows)
- hickory chunks or chips soaked overnight
- Good real charcoal (Cowboy Charcoal is the brand I use but any real charcoal will work)
- Chimney Charcoal Starter
- mopping device
- Smoker (I use a cheap Brinkman offset firebox model – if you have different you’ll need to adjust- if you have better, I’m jealous)
- 4 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup Coca-Cola
- 1/4 cup steak sauce
- 3/4 cup yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 3 Tbs. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
- 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 to 2 Tbs. BBQ rub (recipe follows)
- 1 Tbs. pure chili powder (I use ancho or chipotle depending on my mood)
- 1 Tbs. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs. dry mustard (Coleman’s)
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- large pinch of kosher salt
Combine all the wet ingredients in a large sauce pan and slowly bring to a boil uncovered over medium heat.
While the wet stuff is cooking combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Once the wet ingredients come to a boil reduce heat and add the dry ingredients. Simmer for around 30 mins or until the sauce has reduced and is thick. Use what you need here and then store in the fridge. I end up using empty bourbon bottles that seal with a cork. Nifty, I know. Yay me.
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
- 1/4 hot paprika
- 3 Tbs. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs. garlic powder
- 1 Tbs. powdered onion
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 Tbs. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried Thyme
- 1 Tbs. chipotle chili powder
Combine all ingredients. Store in an air-tight container. Please feel free to muck up the ratios and ingredients all you’d like. I’m sure it’ll turn out great.
- 2 Cups apple cider
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (please never use that squeeze bottle crap)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
If this hasn’t been done already, remove the membrane from underside of the ribs. Some people leave this on but I prefer to have it removed. I’m not sure if it makes a huge difference on rub and sauce penetration into meat but i do know that eating them is more enjoyable without the membrane.
Lightly coat the ribs on both sides with yellow mustard. No need to get heavy here, just enough to cover.
Sprinkle on the rub covering both sides. Again don’t go nutcase crazy here. Just get a good coating. Place the ribs in the fridge uncovered for 1-2 hours. This will form a nice tacky surface that will suck up the smoke. Take the ribs out and let them sit at room temperature for 30 – 45 mins. Perfect time to get the smoker ready
Ok this part will of course all depend on your own smoker and you should get to the point where you know how you your equipment functions. Don’t worry I’m still not there, and probably never will be. But I try to keep mental notes every time so that I can adjust the next time out.
Start a full charcoal chimney and let them burn until they are nice and red. Prepare your smoker however you choose. I added a container with half water / half stout to keep some moisture going (honestly this is the first time I’ve done this and I’m not sure what if anything it added). I also usually add some cheap tinfoil roasting pans underneath the cooking area to make cleanup easier.
(Yes I know, raw cinder block. We built this house ourselves, as in I hammered nails all summer last summer. The only thing left is some lattice work in the back yard under the deck give me a break)
Transfer the coals to the firebox on your smoker. Let the internal temperature in the cooking box to get up to about 230-240° F. Add a few chunks of hickory (soaking overnight remember?). Once the smoke starts flowing add the ribs bone side down, close the smoker and wait. Be sure to check the fire and temperature. Try to keep it around 225°. The ribs should take about 3-4 hours. Mop the ribs every 20 – 30 mins or every time you check the coals.
If you’ve got room throw a chicken or a turkey or whatever on with the ribs.
Once the ribs are pull apart tender and the meat has shrunk up on the bone they should be ready. And just when you think they are ready, leave them on another 30 mins. Don’t burn them but trust me the little extra time will make a difference. You want the internal temp of the ribs to be at least around 170, but higher is good if not better.
Once the ribs get almost done and you’ll have them on for another 30 or so mins, grab the sauce you made and brush the ribs on both sides. Close up the smoker and let the sauce form a wonderful sticky crunchy bark.
Now these ribs look good right. Well I screwed them up and didn’t let them cook long enough. They were still wonderful, but could have used at least another 30 mins and maybe even another 1 1/2 hours on the smoker. Don’t take them off until you know they are tender enough. Period. A little overcooking is fine as long as you don’t dry them out. Keep that mop flowing. Don’t let the people you are feeding make you take them off to early either.They can wait, those greedy bastards.
Slice the ribs between every other rib, serve with some extra sauce, roasted poblano grits, a big salad and plenty of napkins. Enjoy.