The BBQ ribs recipe on this page is from the category of BBQ pork rib recipes. When I talk about ribs, I mean pork ribs (whether I say so, or not). There is a big difference between pork and any other kind of ribs (usually beef).
Beef ribs have their place, though. My mother-in-law always preferred beef ribs over pork ribs. I'm sure many other people do too. But, pork ribs are the ribs of choice, for most Americans, when it comes to a BBQ ribs recipe.
Pork ribs are practically the first thing people think of when they hear BBQ. Probably helped out by the nationwide advertising campaign jingle "I want my baby back, baby back, baby back...". Sometimes I just can't get that jingle out of my head. Everybody seems to know about baby back ribs now.
Isn't it funny how ribs used to be like beef brisket . They were both, at one time, thought of as worthless. They either got ground up as a part of hamburger or thrown out. Not anymore (isn't it great?).
Why were ribs considered trash, anyway?
They didn't have much meat on them,
they were fatty,
they were a lot of trouble to eat,
they were messy,
and they were tough.
Really, they are still like that (sometimes).
If the BBQ ribs recipe calls for the meat to be cooked so that it is tender, and some of the fat melts away to flavor the meat, the rest of those objections become minor for most people. Slow smoking will do that.
Although ribs can be grilled, I prefer the slow smoking method of cooking. It seems to tenderize the meat better than grilling. The trashier the meat, the more important it is to slow cook it.
Speaking of ribs, (and I was) let's define the types. The two types of ribs widely used are spare ribs and back ribs. Back ribs are the portion of ribs cut from the backbone. Spare ribs are the lower half of the ribs that connect to the breastbone.
Another type of ribs are known as a St. Louis cut. These are spare ribs that have had the rib tips cut off, leaving a rectangular slab.
As you know, I like ribs slow smoked. So let's get started. There is no set way to cook ribs. They can be grilled, slow smoked, or anything in between.
I have even heard of a BBQ ribs recipe (or two) that calls for ribs to be boiled. There is something about that scenario that just doesn't set right with me. It evidently works OK, though.
But, to me.... it's kind of like cooking meat and milk together. I guess there is nothing wrong with it.... and I know a lot of people do it. But me....personal opinion here....I'm just not going to. I can't even explain why.
Ahem....Sorry for the detour.
This is a BBQ ribs recipe that I have used a lot. Please come up with variations to make it better for your own taste. After all, that's what this site is all about, creation.
Before we get into all of the ingredients and such, please remove the membrane from the ribs. It is the lining on the inside (cavity side) of the ribs.
This is an important step in my BBQ ribs recipe. It doesn't melt away like fat does. You can't eat it either. And besides, it keeps the flavors of the rub from penetrating on that side.
I start by using a rub. Here is my example you might want to try.
1/8 c brown sugar
1/8 c salt
1/8 c onion powder
1/8 c paprika
1 Tbs black pepper
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs dry mustard
I usually rub on a little oil or Worcestershire sauce (or both) onto the ribs first. Then the rub will stick to the ribs when it's applied. This can be done several hours ahead of time if you want. Most of the time, though, I apply the rub to the ribs and put them on the smoker as soon as it is ready. Your BBQ ribs recipe can be any way you want it.
I set up a my barrel smoker with a fire at one end and the meat at the other end. An offset smoker is ideal. The intake vent is at the bottom of the fire end. The exhaust vent is at the top of the ribs end.
With that type of ventilation, smoke is drawn over the meat. I leave the ribs on between 4 to 6 hours at 225 degrees (F). Usually 4 hours is enough.
Since I don't usually use a mop, I don't put the ribs directly onto the grill to start with.
Here is something that you may or may not want in your BBQ ribs recipe. You may prefer using a mop instead of all of the other stuff that follows. You've always got tons of choices (don't you just love it?).
I put the ribs in a pan with a small amount of moisture in it. Add about a cup of water, beer, apple juice, or whatever you like in the bottom of the pan.
Add just enough to put moisture into the air during cooking without soaking the meat. As the ribs cook, more moisture is added to the pan from the fat melting away.
Another technique I use is to tent foil over the ribs. Attach the foil to the backside of the pan (side opposite the fire) and to the sides so that the fire side is open to the smoke. The foil captures smoke on it's way out, and circulates it around and over the ribs.
Reposition the ribs several times during smoking to expose all sides to the heat and smoke circulation. After a couple of hours you will probably then want to take the ribs out and place them on the grill.
Leave them at the end opposite of the fire. Reposition them as needed throughout the rest of the cooking time. I usually set the pan toward the fire end of the smoker and let the juices evaporate into the smoker for added moisture.
During the last 15 to 30 minutes you may want to put on some BBQ sauceSometimes I will do that. But sometimes I will serve them as is, with BBQ sauce at the table. They are always a hit. Either way you go will be alright.
I have also put a ham glaze on them. That is very good (good and sweet). These are some of the details that you can decide on and incorporate into your BBQ ribs recipe.
I always strive to end up with ribs as good as the Texas Roadhouse . They are my personal favorite.
Happy smoking to you all.
Say, I better have another drink, hadn't I? Oh.... and you have one too.
Let me know of your successes. Contact me if you have a question, too. Don't forget you can follow site updates with BBQ Recipes Blog . Better yet subscribe to Original Q and get the free ezine delivered directly to your email. Enjoy the free ebook with my compliments.