Growing up in Michigan, we had a few local joints that served good ribs. It always seemed that we had our year end hockey party at a BBQ place. No wonder my trophies have BBQ sauce all over them. The one thing that I remember always having was really really saucy baby backs. It must be a northern thing to cover your ribs in a super sticky sweet sauce. No complaints here, but i've learned that they do things a little different down here in Texas. I decided to try something a little different last Sunday when I smoked a rack of BB's and left the sauce in the fridge. I learned this recipe at a BBQ school that I took a few years back with Konrad Haskins. I was going thru my cooking log and noticed a little side note I wrote down during the class. It simply read "Best Ribs Ever". These turned out great and will be a "GO TO" for many football Sundays in the near future. Give them a shot if you are looking for something less "SAUCY" next time.
- Rack of Baby Back's
- Veg Oil or Worcestershire Sauce or Tabasco Sauce
- Apple Juice
- Rub (Recipe on Pulled Pork Page)
Set up the smoker or grill for indirect heat at 225 - 250 degrees. I like to use pecan wood for my ribs. Any good fruit wood goes well with pork and can be substituted. This cook will go for about 4-5 hours overall.
Choose a meaty rack of baby backs and remove the membrane from the back. Use a butter knife to pry loose an edge and then grab some paper towel to help peel it back. This little thing is slippery, so the paper towel really helps!!
Once the membrane is removed, I like to apply a little oil or worcestershire sauce or tabasco sauce to help add flavor and hold the rub. Mustard also works, but I chose oil for this one. Apply rub on both sides. I use a few TBS per side. Once the rub is applied, let it set for about 30 minutes.
Once your smoker/grill is at 225-250, it's time to add the wood chunks and add the rack. This will go for about 2 hours before you even think about peeking.
After 2 hours, we can take a "peeky" look. They should start to darken up and get a little crusty. This is a good thing.
Once we hit the 3 hour mark, I like to spray with a little apple juice and add some moisture. It also adds some nice apple flavor which goes great with pork.
After about 4 hours, they start to get a nice shiny glaze because of the sugars and juice combining. The crust has firmed up and has a bit of a crunch to it. Yumm!!!! Depending on the temperature you were cooking at, they might be done. I've had baby backs finish in as little as 4 hours and as many as 6. BBQ is done when it's done. Simple as that.
The apple juice really adds a nice flavor and a nice look to the ribs. I also decided to throw on some stuffed japs. Better known as "ABT's" or Atomic Buffalo Turds. I'll do a post on these later. They were great!
Once I hit 5 hours, it was time for the bend test. If they bend nearly in half, they are done. No need to check for internal temp with ribs. The bend test never fails.
Notice how they bend nearly in half. The crusty top will start to split a little. This is another good sign.
Let cool for about 5 mins and then it's time to slice em up. I like to flip them over to see where the bones are. The meat has started to pull back on the bones a little. Another sign that they are done.
The pink ring on the ribs are because of the smoke penetration into the meat. A badge of honor for pitmasters. :)
These ribs were crusty on the outside and super juicy in the middle. I almost ate the entire rack by myself. This is a winner and easy to do. Give it a shot. Thanks for reading!