Yield
Makes 6 servings

Notes: These ribs were part of an August 1993 story on Texas barbecue, where barbecue means slow-cooked smoked meats with sauce. Back ribs are cut from the pork loin; sometimes they're called baby back ribs. Metal rib racks are available where barbecue equipment is sold.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a bowl, pour enough hot water over wood chips to make them float. Drain chips to add to barbecue.

Step 2

Mix ground chilies, paprika, pepper, and salt.

Step 3

Wipe ribs with a damp towel, then rub all over with the chili mixture.

Step 4

Prepare barbecue for indirect heat.

Step 5

If using charcoal briqiets, mound and ignite 40 briquets on the firegrate of a barbecue with a lid. When briquets are dotted with gray ash, in 15 to 20 minutes, push equal amounts to opposite sides of firegrate. Add 5 more briquets to each mound of coals now and every 30 minutes while cooking. Set a drip pan on firegrate between coals.

Step 6

If using a gas barbecue, turn all burners to high and close lid for 10 minutes. Adjust burners for indirect cooking (no heat down center) and reduce heat to low.

Step 7

For charcoal smoke, add 1/2 cup soaked wood chips with the 5 briquets every 30 minutes of cooking. For gas smoke, as soon as you turn on heat, place 1 cup soaked wood chips in the barbecue's metal smoking box or in a small, shallow foil pan directly on heat in a corner of the firegrate; add 1 more cup chips after each hour of cooking.

Step 8

Set barbecue grill in place.

Step 9

Lay ribs on grill but not directly over heat. If there is not enough space for all the ribs, set them upright in a metal rib rack on grill but not directly over heat. Cover barbecue (open vents for charcoal) and cook until meat pulls easily from bones, about 2 1/2 hours. You don't need to turn ribs on a charcoal barbecue, but on a gas barbecue turn ribs occasionally, even in metal rack.

Step 10

Transfer ribs to a large platter; cut between bones and serve with sweet and tangy sauce

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