Rib Time


I'm fortunate enough to live in the BBQ capital of the world:  Kansas City.  With somewhere around 100 BBQ restaurants in the KC metro, there's no shortage of choices.  Sometimes you just want to do things yourself, however.

Baby back ribs (more formally known as pork loin back ribs) are one of my favorites.  Here's a quick look at how I do it.

Start with a rack of ribs.

Don't forget to pull that membrane off the back side.

Mix up some rub.  I'm using the Best Ribs In The Universe recipe.

Best Ribs In The Universe Rub – 1/4 Batch
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup non-iodized table salt
1/8 cup brown sugar, dried
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Accent (MSG)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Mix it up.  Put it on by hand or use an old shaker.  Put it on both sides.  You don't need a ton of this rub, it's potent.  Some folks like to use mustard as a coating to help adhere the rub.  That's fine, you won't taste the mustard.  Sometimes I do that, sometimes I don't.

Get a good, even coat on them.

Get the smoker fired up to about 225.  I'm using a pellet smoker with Cookin Pellets Perfect Mix pellets.  It's a mix of 100% hardwood hickory, cherry, hard maple, and apple.  I've also got a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker.  I use whichever one fancies me that day.

Once it's up to temp, put those ribs on, bone side down.

Leave 'em alone for 3 hours.  No peeking!  If you're looking, you're not cooking!

After 3 hours, flip those ribs over.

I'm gonna stay true to the B.R.I.T.U recipe here.  Turn the smoker up to 250 to 275.  After an hour, it's time to see if they're done.  

Some people stick a meat thermometer in the meat between the bones and call them done at around 195 to 203.  I'm a simple man and I just try to pull the ends of the bones apart.  When the meat starts pulling away from the bones, they're done.  Do whatever makes you happy.  

If they're not done, leave 'em on and check again every 15 or 30 minutes or so.  This was a pretty large rack at 4.5 lbs. so it took another hour to finish.  BBQ is done when it's done, you can't always rush it.

Once I hit temp, I put some sauce on it.  Leave 'em dry if you want but I like 'em wet.  In this case, it was a 50/50 mix of local honey and some Cowtown BBQ Sauce (a.k.a. Joe's KC sauce).  Brush it on both sides.

After about 15 minutes or so that sauce should be set.  Pull those ribs off, it's time to eat!



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