BBQ Lesson Number 1: Perfect ribs shouldn’t fall off the bone, there should be a little give when pulling the meat off the bone.
We’ve made ribs before, but we made them in the oven. And while they were delicious and fell off the bone, they were almost too tender for ribs, there needs to be some texture. In our (not so) humble opinion, smoked ribs are the best. The slow and low smoke of Pecan/Maple/Mesquite/Hickory wood, is the best! We like Baby Back Ribs, but you can use St. Louis Style too. While a lot of people think BBQ is about the sauce, it’s actually about the meat, and you want to let the meat to shine through. The sauce is like a light jacket, just keeping the ribs warm.
This recipe is actually a two in one, the first part is for what we think, is the best rib rub. It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s full of flavor and will make your mouth water. And the second is for smoked Baby Back Ribs.
This rib rub isn’t just for ribs, it can me used on any meat of your choosing, but for today, and the rest of the weekend, it’s going to be used on pork! This is the perfect Fourth of July BBQ recipe, because you can put it in the smoker, and leave it! Very little work, and the results are MAGICAL.
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup ground espresso, ground (or coffee)
- ¼ cup smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
Step 1: In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients. Use as at least ¼ of a cup per rack of rib. Season liberally.
- For Smoked Ribs: Season the ribs, using the dry rub and a little bit of apple cider vinegar to help the mixture stay on the ribs. Allow the ribs to “marinate” for a minimum of six hours, for best results, we suggest overnight.
- Set you smoker to the lowest setting (we use an electric smoker) allow to heat up for five minutes. Place the ribs on the grill for four to five hours. Periodically, spray the ribs with pineapple or apple juice.
- Remove the ribs from the grill and place in foil, brush lightly with your favorite BBQ sauce (about ½ cup).
- Increase the temperature of your smoker or oven to 350°F and finish the ribs off for another 40 minutes.
According to the FDA pork ribs are “done” when they reach 145°F internally, but we like to get ours to 190°F–203°F for perfect ribs.