What is different or interesting about these ribs? Why post about them, as opposed to others? In every post I try to use a recipe to teach a technique. It's what I do in the book, so it is what I continue to do here on the blog.
These ribs were smoked with a dry rub the day before. I pulled them to chill in the fridge when they were technically cooked, but needed another hour plus to tender up.
The next day, I put them back on the smoker, indirect heat, for 30-40 minutes, then glazed them once hot and left them for another 40 minutes or so.
This is a great way to prep ribs for a party, or to have ribs on hand for a weekday dinner. Smoke them on the weekend while you are doing house projects, chill, then reheat and add sauce for dinner on Tuesday. I actually think the spice and smoke sink in to the meat better this way.
The rub: Use any simple spice rub you have on hand. I grabbed kosher salt, cumin, chili powder, and a small amount of paprika and tossed my racks in them. Last month I reviewed Charbroil's Basic Rub, and liked it for it's simplicity. If you are going for "wet" or glazed ribs, the rub doesn't need to stand alone, and you don't need a lot of competing flavors with the sauce.
The meat: I used baby back ribs, but spares really do well with this technique. When making ribs for a party, you can easily misjudge how long spare ribs need, and have the rest of the food timing thrown off. By smoking them a day ahead, you have more control of the end time.
I'll be honest...I didn't take off the membrane. I usually do, but the first one was so thin, it kept tearing. I was in a rush to get them in the rub and to make it on time for pick up at my son's pre-school. Know what? It didn't matter.
The equipment: I used my Big Green Egg! She's a beaut, especially on these rainy, colder months. Eggatha keeps her heat like a champ. I only smoked two racks, so no other equipment (rib rack, indirect plate, drip pan) was needed. I made a small charcoal fire in one spot, and place my racks indirect from the fire.
The wood: Cherry wood trimmings from my yard, of course.
The glaze: Now here is where you really can mix it up. I use 50% preserves with 50% barbecue sauce, store bought, or home spun. Heat it up and whisk together. The owner of Ole Ray's Apple Cinnamon Barbeque Sauce sent me a case of his sauce once after he read that I recommended it in Woman's World Magazine. It was a sweet gesture, but I get so many bottles of sauce here and there, my fridge has little else. I wanted to move some of the product, so I used it in my glaze. His sauce is a sweeter, molasses-y sauce that works well in a glaze.
The result: Tender, flavorful ribs...by 6pm on a Tuesday.