Smoked Ribs

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Smoked Ribs
Submitted by: Erick Hemphill

 Prep Time: 20 minutes
 Cook Time: 6 hours
 Servings: 3 servings per rack cooked


  • Full racks of spare or babyback ribs
  • Rick's Rib Rub or any sweet style pork rub
  • HD aluminum foil
  • 20 lbs. hardwood lump charcoal
  • Pecan or Oak chunks for smoke flavor (not pellets or shavings)
  • Charcoal chimney
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce


Start with about 10 lbs. of lump coal in the smoker and carve out a crater in the middle to dump hot coals into. Fill the charcoal chimney and light it up. Once the coals in the chimney are glowing almost all the way to the top, dump the chimney into the crater in the smoker's fire box. This should provide good clean heat for about 4-5 hours. It will burn slowly from the inside out. As the smoker levels out at 225-235 degrees, throw in a couple chunks of wood.

Any time you need to add more coal to keep the smoker temperature up, light it in the charcoal chimney first and dump it in once the coals are hot. This will help prevent wild temperature swings and dirty smoke. You may need to add another chunk or two of wood every hour or so as well.

While you're waiting on the smoker to come to temperature, prepare the ribs. There is a thin membrane on the bone side of the ribs that needs to be removed. Using a dry paper towel can help get a grip. With a little practice you can peel it off in big chunks.

Rub a thin layer of mustard on the ribs to help the rub adhere. Apply the rib rub liberally. Every surface, nook, and cranny should be well coated in rub. You should not be able to see the meat through the rub.

With the smoker at 225-235 degrees, place the ribs on the grate bone side down. Leave them alone for 3 hours. At the 3 hour mark, wrap the ribs in foil and put them back on the smoker. At the 5 hour mark, unwrap the ribs and put them back on the smoker bone side down. Let them cook for another 30 minutes, then brush them moderately with BBQ sauce on the meat side. There is no need to brush the bone side. Let the sauce caramelize for 20-30 minutes, then pull them off the smoker.

Slice the rack between each bone and serve.