Saturday, April 18, 2009

BBQ Pork Loin Back Ribs

This little piggy came from the market
This little piggy came homeThis little piggy came out of the Big Green EggThis little piggy was Yum!***
This recipe is based on my first successful attempt at baby back ribs about 6 years ago. I went old school today and I know it didn't taste this dang good back then! I guess I've just gotten better! Here's the short version and one video tip.

2 racks loin back ribs (aka baby back ribs)

1 teaspoon granulated garlic, coarsely ground (not garlic powder although you can use it)
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Chili powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne
1/2 teaspoon White pepper
2 teaspoon kosher salt, coarse (very important to use coarse for texture)
2 tablespoon turbinado sugar (aka Sugar In The Raw)

1/3 c apple juice
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1/3 c yellow mustard
1/3 c brown sugar

Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. I made a quick video to show you how.

Thoroughly coat both sides of the ribs with the rub. Toss them on a smoker, bone side up (or grill set up for indirect heat) at 225f grate temp. [Another tip: Since heat rises, there is usually a difference between the temp where your temperature probe is and the level of the grate. With the Big Green Egg, it's about 25 degrees so if your thermometer reads 250f, the grate temp is really about 225f. Get to know your cooker.]

Baste both sides every hour with the mop. This should be the only time you open the cooker, in order to keep temps stable. Remember the adage, "If you are looking, you are not cooking!".

The ribs should be done between 4 (way early) and 6 (a bit long) hours. Today, these ran right at 5 hours.

How do you know for sure? You can't exactly stick an instant read thermometer into ribs to get an accurate read due to the thinness of the meat and bones. One thing you'll see is the bones start sticking out as the fat content renders down. But the best way to tell is to grab about 1/3rd of a rib end with tongs and lift the rib up. If it bends easily at the half way point, they are done!

If you like your ribs "dry" or "naked", they're done at this point. If you like wet ribs, baste them with your choice of BBQ sauce and let them cook for another 20-30 minutes.

***My real camera is coming back from Nikon as we speak, so no more of these crappy point and shoot pics.

For printable recipe, click here:
Baby Back Ribs