Right before the end of cooking, chef Tyler Florence likes to sprinkle his ribs with more rub—"like Cheetos dust," he says.
3 cups applewood smoking chips
1 1/2 slabs pork spareribs (about 8 lbs. total)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons celery seeds
6 tablespoons hot paprika
6 tablespoons chili powder
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
How to Make It
Soak chips in water 20 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, light a full chimney of charcoal briquets. When they're ash-covered, bank to one side in cleaned firegrate of a large (22-in.) charcoal grill. When coals are 250° to 350° (you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking-grate level only 8 to 10 seconds), sprinkle 1 cup soaked chips over coals. Next to coals, set a large disposable aluminum pan and fill it halfway with warm water. Set cooking grate on top.
Cut the full slab of ribs in half. Combine dry-rub ingredients; rub 3/4 of it onto both sides of ribs. Set remaining 1/4 of rub aside. Lay ribs on cooking grate over drip pan.
Smoke ribs, covered, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add 8 to 10 briquets to the lit coals (enough to keep heat constant) and 1 cup chips. Turn ribs over. Cook, covered, 45 minutes to 1 hour; add another 8 to 10 briquets and 1 cup chips. Turn ribs and cook for 30 minutes to an hour, or until meat is starting to pull away from tips of bone.
Meanwhile, mix vinegar, 1 tbsp. water, and the lemon juice in a small bowl.
When meat is almost done, use a spray bottle or paper towels to thoroughly baste top of ribs with wet rub, then sprinkle with remaining dry rub. Cook ribs a few minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Make ahead: Dry rub can easily be doubled or even tripled. Store it, airtight and at room temperature, for up to a month.
Pack dry rub onto the meat. The little bits of fat on the meat's surface are going to melt to form a nice crust.
Never walk away from your grill. Out of sight, out of mind; you're going to have something burn every single time.
Cook over the cool zone. Large cuts like ribs will burn over direct heat. To create a cool, indirect-heat zone, bank the lit coals to one side of the firegrate, leaving the other side empty. The empty side is your cool zone. On a gas grill, turn one burner off and put the ribs over it; then lower the other burners to get the right heat.
Use a water-filled drip pan. Put this in the empty section to catch the fat as it melts, preventing flare-ups.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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