Always start with a good, meaty slab of ribs.  2 to 2 1/2 lbs is a good size.  Remember to remove the membrane from the backside of the ribs.  Now for the good stuff:

  • Start your smoker and get it to a consistent temperature of 225 degrees.  I find cherry wood chips work best for my flavor profiles.
  • The first step is one you will get different response to.  So people say do it, some people call you crazy for doing it.  But I put a light glaze of mustard on the ribs before the rub.  This helps the rub stick and gives a good flavor.
  • Cover both sides with your favorite rub.  Make sure to use a flavor that  will blend well with your ribs.  Let ribs sit for about 20-30 minutes.  When rub starts to look like a paste, they are ready for the smoker.Food 019
  • Place ribs on smoker.  After 1 hour, baste or “spritz” ribs.  I use apple juice.
  • Once the ribs have 2 hrs of smoke, it is time to remove the ribs and wrap them.  Individually wrap each slab and spritz with apple juice, sprinkle ribs with brown sugar and coat with butter.  This will help keep the ribs moist and tender as they finish cooking.
  • Cook for another 1 1/2 hr and then check tenderness.  I start to check at this time, but it usually takes 2 hrs to get to the right tenderness.  Always better to check early!
  • Now ribs have reached desired tenderness, remove the liquid from each foil pouch.  Save this good stuff for something later!  Re-wrap ribs and place in hot box or wrap in towel and place in dry cooler to rest for about 30 minutes.
  • If you are serving dry ribs, after the resting time, place ribs back in grate for about 15-20 minutes.
  • For wet ribs, apply sauce a put ribs back on grate for 30-45 minutes.  Keep an eye on them so you do not burn or crust the sauce.
  • Your ribs are ready to go!

Competition BBQ Team