The best smoked pork ribs ever – a recipe for delicious, smoky, tender, and rich pork ribs that are great for picnics and cookouts!
One of the “contributors” I am most happy to have this year is one you’ve seen the work from around Sweet C’s regularly – my husband.
Luke is an amazing cook – he comes up with tried and true methods to grill with ease, loves making curries and vegan meals, and makes delicious roasted veggies!
Today Luke is sharing his method for the best smoked pork ribs ever – delicious, smoky, slightly sweet and a touch spicy ribs that are fall-off-the-bone good, and full of flavor.
The secret here is the method – slow and low – and your attention to detail.
Be sure to trim off the silver skin underbelly from the ribs to get the best texture and flavor- and really be sure to not overcook, so the meat doesn’t dry up.
You want to render the fat, but not completely cook it off!
The Best Smoked Ribs Ever
- two-three racks of pork ribs
- lum charcoal
- wood for smoking (oak, pecan, fruit wood, or mesquite)
- 2 TBSP garlic powder
- 2 TBSP onion powder
- 2 TBSP season salt
- 2 TBSP ground pepper
- 3 TBSP paprika
- 3 TBSP chili powder
- 2 TBSP cumin
- 2 TBSP celery salt
- 2 TBSP cinnamon
- 2 TBSP cardamom
- One half a beer
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- remaining rub
- Mix ingredients for rub together in a bowl.
- Remove pork from packaging, pat dry with paper towels and allow to come to room temperature. I like to trim off excess fat and silver skin at this point. You do want to keep about ¼” of fat on the top called the fat cap. As your meat slowly cooks, this melts and keeps the meat moist.
- Apply rub, and refrigerate over night. Soak wood chips or blocks over night in water.
- Remove meat from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
- Next morning, prepare lump charcoal in smoker using newspaper and charcoal chimney. I do not use lighter fluid or compressed charcoal briquettes because I believe the leave a petroleum taste on the meat.
- While the coals come to temperature, combine the ingredients for the mop and put in a spray bottle on plastic container.
- When coals are glowing and grey, add the ribs to the smoker. Keep the meat as far from the fire as possible. If you have a barrel smoker with a fire box, keep on the opposite side of the grill surface from the fire box. If you have a conventional smoker or Weber-style kettle grill, build small fire on one side of kettle and keep meat on the other side.
- Add handful of wet wood chips/block to fire. Cover and let cook.
- You’ll likely need to check the fire every 30-45 minutes. After an hour of smoking you should start mopping your meat every time you check the fire.
- I like to use a silicone basting brush for this. The inexpensive fibre brushes that are commonly sold at big-box stores begin to come apart quickly and in my experience often shed bristles on the meat.
- I also rotate my meat every hour to ensure that all sides get even exposure to the heat and smoke. This is particularly important if you’re using a conventional kettle grill for your smoking.
- If you have an outdoor temperature probe, use it to track the internal temperature of you meat. After several hours, your meat may “stall” around 150F. I usually keep smoking mine. In Texas, they wrap them in foil with a cup of mop to finish.
- You’re shooting for your meat to get to 185F. Once you hit that mark, remove your meat from the smoker, double wrap in foil and let sit in an unheated over for an hour to hour and a half depending on fat content of the meat.