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Sunday, February 01 2009

Smoking ribs is an art form and the best rib smoker will tell you that there is not a better meal to be had. I've been smoking babyback ribs and pork loin ribs for eleven years and I have made plenty of mistakes. I've had to regrow my arm hair on three different occasions and have been introduced to the nice nurses down at the emergency room twice. We will not discuss eyebrow hair.

I've used about every combination of ingredients in my rib rub and marinades only to realize that making the perfect smoked ribs is not so much dependent on the spices or marinades as it is on the method with which you smoke the ribs.

Having said that, I realized that submitting a specific recipe for smoked ribs is not necessarily what you need. Although I have submitted some recipes, I now want to just discuss how to smoke ribs instead of focusing solely on ingredients. Many different ingredients for rubs do well and it really depends on your tastes. Some like their smoked rib quite spicy while others prefer a sweet or citrus taste. So, I will leave the experimentation to you with regard to the seasonings; for now let's just talk about the how-to smoke ribs part.

The key to quality smoked pork ribs is in the cooking method. Start by making sure that you have good quality wood to smoke your spare ribs with. This means untreated (no chemical treatments such as stains or pretreated, duh!) wood. Look for wood pieces that don't have rotting bark, haven't been burned before, don't have insects in them. Nice, clean pieces, regardless of size, work the best. Not too green either. Many rib smokers prefer to soak the wood in water or spiced water prior to using.

If you do not already have a smoker, please consider getting one. They can double as a charcoal grill so you will get plenty of usage out of it. For now, let's assume you have one.

Build your fire in the lower smoking section of the smoker. I start out with a normal charcoal fire before wasting wood on it. After the fire is ready, place your racks of babyback or spare ribs in the meat compartment of the! smoker. Make sure that the meat is as far away from the fire and heat as possible. If you smoker does not have a divider or some sort of heat diffuser between the fire area and the meat area then try to make one. You can use bricks or foil or just large rocks. The point here is to allow the smoke to get to the meat without allowing so much heat. We don't want to thoroughly cook the meat in this part of the process.

Shut your air valves (my wife has told me this on occasion. She is so nice to offer me smoking tips now and then), leaving only enough air flow to keep the fire at a low smolder. Rotate the ribs every couple of hours from rack to rack and turn them as well. Add wood as necessary to keep the fire alive.

After about 3 to 5 hours of smoking, bring ribs inside to cool. Double wrap smoked ribs with a quality foil. Seal them good. Wrap each slab individually. Refrigerate overnight or for several hours. The ribs should not be cooked at this point, but they should have about a quarter of an inch of smoke penetration on all sides.

Put ribs into oven at a very low temperature, I suggest 225 degrees. Cook for 5 to 7 hours. The key here, guys, is to leave the ribs in the foil. Just place the foiled ribs onto a cookie sheet or in a large cake pan before cooking in the oven. Guys, this is going to be great. Try these babies with some warmed barbeque sauce and you will see. Enjoy.  You can see the full recipe for smoked ribs here.  Try them with a good barbeque sauce.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 02:57 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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