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3 steps to easy smoked ribs


Making ribs is practically a religion in America. You can find lots of books, special equipment and advice about what makes a recipe Memphis style or Texas style or Carolina style is cause for bloody debates. But, as for me, I don't want to buy special equipment like smokers or rib racks, I just want to make some tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs every once in a while. Something easy and delicious and fun.

Over the past 18 years I've discovered that making great ribs is more about technique than about ingredients. Of course quality matters but whether you like your rub sweet or more spicy or your BBQ sauce, or "mop," with an acidic tang or mellow and smokey, the technique is pretty much the same. There are 3 steps: 1 - Rub/marinate. 2 - Par-roast, meaning partially cooking the ribs so that they don't need to spend all day in your grill. 3 - Smoking and finishing.

What I've landed on here is the simplest way to make smoked ribs in your every day drum/pot style backyard charcoal grill.


The Rub

  • 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Ancho Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

The Ribs

  • 2 racks of loin baby back pork ribs


The Rub

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an air tight container until ready to use.

The Ribs

1. Pull the thin membrane from the back of each rib and discard the membrane.
2. Sprinkle the ribs heavily on all sides with the rub.
3. Place the ribs in a sheet pan, cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

Pre-heat your oven to 325. Roast the ribs for 2 hours. Remove and let cool until ready to smoke. This could be the next day. Refrigerate the ribs, covered, if waiting to smoke until tomorrow.

1. Soak about 6 cups of hickory chips in water.
2. Prepare the grill with coals off to the side, a pan of water on the other side.
3. Bring the heat down on the coals and arrange the ribs over the pan of water making room between the ribs for the smoke to surround them as best as possible.
4. Throw a large handfull of wet hickory chips on the coals and cover the grill. Regulate the vents so the wood smokes but doesnt catch fire.

Every 20-30 minutes rotate and flip the ribs. Add hickory chips and fresh coals to keep the heat up as needed. Smoke for 2 hours or more. Brush or mop the ribs at after 1 hour with your favorite BBQ sauce or vinegar mop every 20-30 minutes.

The ribs are done when the meat starts to come off the bone as you pick them up with your tongs.

I will add a recipe for a BBQ sauce in the next few days.

Nutritional Facts
Calories Per Serving1292
Total Fat88g100%
Vitamin A141µg16%
Vitamin B123µg50%
Vitamin B62mg100%
Vitamin C0.3mg0.5%
Vitamin D6µg1%
Vitamin E3mg17%
Vitamin K6µg7%
Folate (food)3µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)3µg1%
Niacin (B3)37mg100%
Riboflavin (B2)2mg100%
Sugars, added18gN/A
Thiamin (B1)2mg100%