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Most everyone thinks that their ribs are the best. All I know is that mine are better than Jim’s.

  • Couple racks of pork ribs (Baby Backs)
  • Yellow Mustard
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Paprika
  • ¼ Cup Garlic Powder
  • ¼ Cup Onion Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Course Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Black Pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • Chipotle powder (optional)

Equal parts:

  • Apple Juice
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Pineapple Juice
Start the night before by rinsing ribs and trimming any excess fat. You don’t need to go overboard removing fat – in fact you want some to keep the ribs moist. On the bone side there is a thin membrane. To remove this slide a butter knife, screw driver or long finger nail under it and carefully pull it away from the meat. The membrane is slippery so you might want to grip it with a paper towel. This is optional but removing the membrane lets the rub and the smoke flavors penetrate the meat from both sides. Like all things, the more the penetration the better!

Mix all rub ingredients in small bowl. Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapenos. They give the ribs a nice smoky heat. Use accordingly! Coat ribs lightly with mustard. Sounds silly, but the mustard adds a little tang to the ribs and helps the rub stick. Wrap the rib slabs individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

About 6 to 7 hours before dinner take about the ribs and start the fire. If using a water smoker, fill the water pan with a mixture of water, apple juice, vinegar and a can of beer.

If using a grill set it up for indirect heat and fill a drip pan with the same stuff. Alternatively, you could also just use water. See notes at the bottom for indoor cooking.

The target temperature is 225° to 250°. When the heat is right add wood chips/chunks to the fire (Apple or Hickory is best) and put the ribs on. If you use a rib rack to cook the on end they will cook more evenly and it will be easier to mop them. These take about 5 hours so be patient. Add coals as needed to maintain the target temperature. Mix mop ingredients and mop the meat every hour or so. The easiest way to apply the mop is with a spray bottle, you can also use a barbecue mop designed for this. About an hour before the ribs are done, take them from the racks and wrap them in heavy aluminum foil. Then place them back on the rack for the last hour. The foil concentrates the flavors and helps tenderize the ribs. If you leave them in the foil for an hour or so the meat will literally fall off the bones. To long and they will be mushy. When done, take them off and vent the foil by tearing it open to let the steam escape. Let them rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

The ribs are done when they easily break apart.

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