The Ultimate Smoky, Sweet Ribs

Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett  

For tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone good barbecue ribs, fire up your smoker--or grill--for The Ultimate Smoky, Sweet Ribs. These ultimate ribs smoked the competition!

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Total:
Recipe from Southern Living

More From Southern Living

Recipe Time

Hands On: 45 Minutes
Total: 15 Hours, 10 Minutes


Ingredients

Preparation

  1. 1. Rinse slabs, and pat dry. Remove thin membrane from back of each slab by slicing into it and pulling it off. (This will make ribs more tender.) Rub both sides of slabs with Smoky Dry Rub (about 3 to 4 Tbsp. per slab), pressing gently to adhere. Wrap each slab in plastic wrap, and chill 8 to 12 hours. Soak wood chips in water 30 minutes.
  2. 2. Prepare smoker according to manufacturer's directions, bringing internal temperature to 225° to 250°; maintain temperature 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. 3. Drain wood chips, and place on coals. Place slabs, meat sides up, on cooking grate; cover with smoker lid.
  4. 4. Smoke slabs, maintaining temperature inside smoker between 225° and 250°, for 3 1/2 hours.
  5. 5. Remove slabs from smoker. Place each slab, meat side down, on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. (Foil should be large enough to completely wrap slab.) Bring up edges of foil to contain liquid. Pour half of Rib Braising Liquid over each slab. Tightly wrap each slab in foil. Return slabs, meat sides down, to smoker. Cook, covered with lid, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, checking for tenderness after 1 hour.
  6. 6. Remove slabs; unwrap and discard foil. Generously brush both sides of slabs with Sweet-and-Spicy Barbecue Sauce.
  7. 7. Return slabs to smoker, and smoke 20 minutes or until caramelized.
  8.  
  9. FOR CHARCOAL:
  10. 1. Pile hot coals on one side of grill, leaving other side empty. Let grill heat up, covered with grill lid, 10 minutes or until inside temperature reaches 225° to 250°. (Don't have a built-in gauge? Insert a thermometer in top air vent of grill. Stay between 225° and 250°, adjusting vent as needed.)
  11. 2. Prepare recipe as directed in Step 1. Omit Steps 2 through 4.
  12. 3. Place soaked and drained chips directly on hot coals.
  13. 4. Grill slabs, meat sides up, on unlit side of grill, uncovered with grill lid, 3 1/2 hours, keeping inside grill temp between 225° and 250°. Proceed with Steps 5 and 6.
  14. 5. Return slabs to unlit side of grill, meat sides up; grill, uncovered with grill lid, 20 minutes or until caramelized.
  15.  
  16. FOR GAS:
  17. 1. Light one side of gas grill, heating to 250° (low) heat, leaving other side unlit. Keep inside grill temp between 225° and 250°.
  18. 2. Prepare recipe as directed in Step 1. Omit Steps 2 through 4.
  19. 3. Place soaked and drained chips in center of a 12-inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and wrap tightly to form a packet. Pierce several holes in top of packet; place directly on lit side of grill.
  20. 4. Grill slabs, meat sides up, on unlit side of grill, covered with grill lid, 3 1/2 hours, keeping inside grill temp between 225° and 250°. Proceed with Steps 5 and 6.
  21. 5. Return slabs to unlit side of grill, meat sides up; grill, covered with grill lid, 20 minutes or until caramelized.
  22.  
  23. FOR OVEN:
  24. 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare recipe as directed in Step 1, omitting wood chips.
  25. 2. Remove plastic wrap from slabs. Wrap each slab, meat side down, in heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  26. 3. Bake foil-wrapped slabs, meat sides down, on a large baking sheet at 350° for 1 hour. Unwrap slabs, and pour Rib Braising Liquid over them. Rewrap slabs in foil, and bake l more hour.
  27. 4. Remove slabs from oven, unwrap, and discard foil. Cool slabs 30 minutes.
  28. 5. Position oven rack 10 inches from heat. Increase oven temperature to broil. Brush Sweet-and-Spicy Barbecue Sauce on both sides of each slab.
  29. 6. Broil slabs, meat sides up, on baking sheet 10 inches from heat 5 to 6 minutes or until ribs are caramelized.
  30.  
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