Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Friday, June 28, 2013

Spicy Smokehouse Barbecued Ribs

I love smoked meats, but I don't have a smoker.  Which meant no smoked ribs at my house... until we figured out this process to smoke meat on our gas (or charcoal) grill!

First you will need woodchips.  You can buy them at home improvement stores or where you can buy a grill.  Or specialty meat shops and sometimes even at the grocery store, which is where I get mine.  I like to use hickory (for more hearty meats) and apple (for meats that are more delicate).  {Amazon sells lots of different kinds of woodchips that you can experiment with!}

Start by soaking woodchips (typically in water, but you can also use wine, beer, whiskey, and even fruit juice) for at least an hour prior to usage.

While your woodchips are soaking, you've got time to get the ribs ready.

Smoked pork ribs should have a dry rub.  I like to smoke mine with a spicy dry rub and serve with barbecue sauce on the side.  You don't really need the barbecue sauce because this is so tender and juicy, but I've found that some people kind of insist.  This is my favorite dry rub:

Love in the Kitchen's Sweet and Spicy Dry Rub

  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried orange peel
  • 1-2 tablespoons cayenne pepper


Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  {The rub can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several weeks.}

Now it is time for the ribs.  I used Country-Style Pork Ribs, which are cut from the blade end of the loin close to the pork shoulder. They are meatier than other rib cuts. They contain no rib bones, but are instead contain parts of the shoulder blade.  More meat, and easier to eat.

Evenly coat the ribs in the dry rub.  I've placed them in a foil lined dish, and coated one side of them.  Then I turn them over and spread the dry rub evenly over the other side as well.

Let the ribs rest for about 20 minutes to allow the dry rub to really adhere.  Meanwhile, start up your grill!

This method works on either gas or charcoal grills.  Ribs grill best with wood smoke and by cooking them slowly at low heat. We achieve this consistent low heat by grilling our meat indirectly. This simply means we turn up the heat on one side of the grill and we lay our meat down on the opposite side.

Setting up your gas grill is pretty simple. If you have two burners, turn one of them on and leave the other one off. If you have three burners, turn off the two burners on the edges, or if you are having issues maintaining your goal temperature of 250 degrees, turn one of the edge burners on and leave the other two off.

Placing wood chips directly on the flame will cause them to catch fire and burn out quickly; producing a messy pile of ashes and very little smoke. Instead, make a tray out of aluminum foil and put your soaked and drained woodchips in that.  {Simple - and once you are done, you can easily and neatly dispose of the tray!}

Now that everything is ready, it is time to turn the burners on and play with fire! Place your woodchip tray directly on top of one of the burners you will be using, and turn that burner up to high heat. Wait until you see some smoke coming out of the grill {waiting is key as opening the lid to check will only delay the process by letting the heat escape}. Once you see smoke coming from the grill, turn the burner to medium-low and place the ribs on the grate over the burner not in use.  Remember - slow cooking, indirect heat. Maintain a temperature of 250- 275 degrees while the ribs are cooking.  {a grill thermometer like this one is really helpful} Don't worry if your wood chips burn out before your ribs are done.  The ribs will have tons of flavor from the time it was smoking.

While your ribs are cooking, spray or baste your ribs with apple cider vinegar every 30 minutes or so.  This will help them from getting too dry

The ribs should be fully cooked within 2 - 3 hours.  But how do you know? You can't use a meat thermometer because it won't read accurately as you cannot probe the meat deep enough without hitting the bone. {Bones emit heat and will give an inaccurate reading.} But, we do have a couple of ways to check if your ribs are done:

  • Stick a toothpick between two bones. If it goes in and out of the meat without resistance, they are done.
  • Cut into the meat with a knife and check to make sure there is no pink juice near the middle of the meat.

What you should have now are some amazing smoked ribs.  Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce {here's a good one to try} with buttery corn on the cob on the side.

Nothing says summer like dinner from the grill!

zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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