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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

BBQed Spice Rub Pork Ribs

Today we are going to take a look at a way to make delicious, smokey pork ribs on a standard charcoal BBQ that is actually, with a little practice, very easy.

This technique works with either baby back ribs or side ribs, although side ribs need to be cooked longer.

We are also making them with a spice rub as opposed to a sauce, though they can, of course, be served with any BBQ sauce you like.

To begin we have to prepare the ribs for the BBQ and you want to do this at least 4 hours before you cook.

First, take your racks of ribs and remove the thin membrane from the back of them. This is generally very easy to do, and while some dispute whether you should or need to do this, for ribs being done with a spice rub I think it is a must. (If buying your ribs from a butcher you can ask them to remove it for you.)

Then cut your racks in half to make them more manageable.

There are countless spice rub variations out there that you can use, or you can buy some store bought ones, but the one I used had the following ingredients:

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup paprika

1/8 cup garlic powder

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon mustard powder

1 or 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want them)

2 tablespoons Montreal style chicken spice

Blend all these together thoroughly and then spoon onto and rub into the ribs so that it covers them entirely. This is a slightly spicy blend full of flavour.

The amounts given above should work for 2-3 racks of ribs.

Place the seasoned ribs in a container, covered, in the fridge for at least 4 hours. If you can leave them for as long as 12 hours, all the better!

When you are almost ready to get started prepare your charcoal BBQ to cook using the indirect method. As we have covered in a previous post, this means separating your coals or briquettes into two piles, one on each side of your BBQ, with no coals in the middle.

When your coals are ready, put your seasoned ribs in the middle of the grill where there are no coals.

Open a cold beer, turn on some music, and enjoy the summer while your ribs cook! You want to cook baby backs around 1 1/2 hours and side ribs 2 to 2 1/2 hours, turning the ribs once. There is absolutely no need to turn them more than once, so don't!

You want to regulate the smoke and heat by opening and closing (with the flue still open) the lid periodically. I find 5 minutes open followed by 10-15 minutes closed (repeating continuously until done) is the formula that works best.

While it should not be necessary with such a relatively short cook time, if you need to you can add charcoal to the sides as required.

These ribs will be smokey, tender and an absolutely perfect patio or backyard summer dish.

Let sit around 5 minutes and slice into individual riblets. Serve with BBQ sauce on the side if you wish. These go best, in my opinion, with classic ketchup style sauces, but it is, of course, up to you! They are also terrific on their own (which is actually how I prefer them).

Needless to say, they go great with beer!


(This recipe was first posted on The Left Chapter blog, July 2, 2016)



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