October 27, 2008
How to smoke ribs

This weekend I decided to smoke some ribs. There are a hundred different ways to prepare ribs. I like to smoke mine.

I bought spareribs which need a little butchering to become baby back ribs. This video describes how to butcher them and this video describes how to remove the membrane.

I save the removed pork to make into my version of burnt ends.

Next, I rub the ribs down with my smoke rub. My recipe for rub is here. I let the rub soak in while I prepare the smoker.

Here is my propane powered smoker. The wood chips go in the iron box just above the flame. I tend to use hickory wood, but for non-BBQ style you can use other kinds of chips like apple or pecan wood for more subtle flavors.

The propane smoke allows me good control of the temperature. You can do it with a traditional two chamber smoker with logs/charcoal and chips, but the temperature control is harder.

The ribs and extra pork placed and ready to smoke.

After two hours of smoking, I take the meat out and place it in a baking tray surrounded by foil. The smoke has flavored the ribs and now the trick is long slow heat to melt all the fat and connective tissue in the ribs.

Placing the wrapped ribs back in the smoker at around 250. You can also cook them in your oven inside, but my wife usually insists on me doing this outside. When you do it inside, it tends to make your whole house smell like a BBQ for hours on end.

I let the ribs cook a long time. This time I smoked the ribs for 2 hours (9 to 11AM) and let them smoke 6 hours (11AM to 5PM). The longer the slow cook, the better.

Here are the ribbed rested and ready to be cut.

You can see the smoke ring on the edge of the rib meat. It is the reddish tint in the meat. This is where the smoke has penetrated the pork and left flavor.

Ribs this tender can be difficult to slice as the meat tends to slide off the bone easily. Be sure your knife is extra-sharp to make the clean cuts.

Here are the leftover bits from the spareribs. I cut them into little bits and they are quite the crowd favorite. Also, the 'juice' in the bottom of the baking tray can be saving and used as a sauce.

I tend to like these ribs 'dry', while my wife loves to put some BBQ sauce on them. My dog like the rib bones a lot. Not much goes to waste.

The only way to perfect your recipe is to try different things and find what you like.

Posted by michael at October 27, 2008 09:20 PM


What brand of smoker do you use?

Posted by: Ocean [] on October 28, 2008 5:48 PM

What happened to your trash can smoker?


Did you upgrade?

Posted by: Bribo [http://www.flickr.com/photos/bribo] on October 29, 2008 4:20 AM

Yes, after a few months with the trash can smoker, my wife bought me one.

It is a Great Outdoors Grill Company Smoker. I can't find a company site, but here's a link to the smoker I have at Walmart.

The smoker works great and would highly recommend it.

Posted by: Michael [http://cruftbox.com] on October 29, 2008 6:13 AM

I assume you could also do "deep pit" in this smoker along with the "smoked" meat. Interesting possibilities for not a lot of money. Smoked ribs for dinner/deep pit for breakfast!

Posted by: Chuck [] on October 29, 2008 10:59 AM
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