Never Fail Pork Ribs

This takes some work but the ribs will be a hit at your next event!  I use my Bradley Electric Smoker for this recipe but you can use any smoker.  I encourage you to modify the recipe and procedure to fit your tastes and available equipment. 

Step One – Remove the silver skin

Flip the ribs over exposing the underside of the rack of ribs.  Using a small sharp knife, slip in between the first bone and the thin film.  Carefully separate the skin from the bone giving you enough of the skin to grab.  Carefully peal the skin off the rack of ribs, this will take some force.

I am asked about this first step all the time.  I did a test, on some ribs I did this and some I did not.  The people that had the ribs with this step missed did not like the ribs as much.  So, do this step!

Step Two – Brine

·         1 cup kosher salt
·         1 cup brown sugar
·         2 tbsp lemon pepper
·         2 tbsp  mustard powder
·         1 tbsp garlic powder
·         1 gallon (cold)

Use 1/3 of the water, add the salt and sugar, heat and dissolve. Do not bring this to a boil.  In a large container add the water/salt/sugar mixture and another third of the water and stir in the rest of the spices.  Add the ribs. Use the last third of the water to cover the ribs.  Cover the container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Step Three – Rub the ribs

A good rub is all about your taste.  I have listed mine below but I recommend that you experiment to come up with your favorite concoction.  This recipe is enough for about 4 racks.

·         1 Cup Brown Sugar
·         ¼ cup salt
·         4 tbsp Garlic powder
·         4 tbsp Onion powder
·         4 tbsp Paprika
·         2 tbsp White Pepper
·         1 tbsp Cayenne powder
·         1 tbsp Cumin
·         1 tbsp Mustard powder
·         1 tsp Ginger powder
·         1 tsp Nutmeg

Mix well and coat the entire rack heavily.    

One variation is to rub the ribs with yellow mustard then apply the rub.  I am still on the fence about this step.  Try some with and some without!

Step Four – Smoke the ribs

Bring your smoker up to 220 degrees (F).  I like to use apple wood when smoking pork.  Smoke for 4 hours.  No need to do anything with them, just let them do their thing.   I do insert a remote meat thermometer just for insurance.  Note that you may want to reduce the time to 3 hours if you are smoking only 2 or 3 racks.  (You do not want the internal temp to go above 155 just yet)

Step Five – Oven bake

Place the ribs in a disposable tray and add 1 can of beer to the tray.  Tightly cover with tin foil and bake for 2 hours at 220 degrees (F).  The ribs are done when the meat pulls away from the bone tips.

Step Six – BBQ

Just before you are ready to serve the ribs, remove them from the oven and place them on a medium heat BBQ.  I first BBQ the meat side till I get grill marks and the crust hardens a bit (do not burn them).  Then I flip the ribs and add bbq sauce.  See my sauce recipe on this web site.  Grill till the bbq sauce caramelizes (do not burn the ribs).

Step Seven – Serve

I cut the slabs into 2 rib sections and plate.  I always have a choice of a mild and hot bbq sauce* for those that want to add more sauce while eating. 

*I add 1 tbsp of Cayenne and 4 dashes of pepper sauce to the bbq sauce to heat it up

Tip:  To my basic bbq sauce recipe, I add 3 tbsp – Lemon juice and 1 cup honey.



Anonymous said...

Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

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ol smokey said...

instead of beer try apple juice, and add some mustard to your bbq sauce