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


  1. I'll take mine nekkid of course!

    btw ... I got a phone call at midnight. MIDFNNIGHT. CAN you imagine? I'll have to tell you allllllll about it.

    : D

  2. ps ... stop making ribs for your family when I'm not around! K Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the tip to remove the membrane! I've got a couple of racks in the freezer to fix soon, and I never knew how to remove that membrane. If I tried, I'd probably chop off a finger. This looks easy!

  4. You just reminded me to send in my entry to the State of Michigan BB-Q cook-off- it's in July... 8 catagories- long two days!

  5. I saw a show on this the other day, that is why I made short ribs instead...I love ribs to death, and yours are sending back to the far side! You cracked me up over at TMI...left you a message...

  6. Brandi - You can eat them dressed however you like!

    Brandi again - What the hell are you doing awake at 4am? This 5 day flight schedule is screwing you up.

    Beth - Oh sure it LOOKS easy after the millionth time trying. I wish someone had shown me this way 6 years ago when I was trying to peel it off from one end using pliers! (not kidding)

    BuffaloDick - 8 categories? Is that the Silver Lake or whatever they call it event? I just have to know what the 8 categories are. All I can come up with is
    1 - pulled pork
    2 - pork ribs
    3 - brisket
    4 - chicken
    5 - anything but
    6 - dessert
    7 - guess - beef ribs?
    8 - guess 2 - bbq wolverine? ha ha

    Chef E - And these were awesome, best ribs I've made in 2009.

  7. Chris, first of all the ribs look mouth watering yummy!! I know they have to taste unbelievable Second, thank you for posting the Youtube video. I struggle with removing the membrane every time I cook ribs!! Thank you for sharing.....

  8. You have sexy hands.

    Sexy hands all over meat.

    Sexy hands all over meat with a cool southern accent.


    Or you know...something less disturbing than what I just wrote. ;)

  9. You sure know your ribs - these look mouth watering good. Thanks for teaching how to remove the membrane.

  10. I like all the spices you used for the rub and the ingredients for the wet sauce. Looks like they came out perfect. Nothing like the smell if ribs cooking in your own back yard!

  11. Ahh man. Now you got me wanting ribs. They look incredible!

  12. Ginger - I used to hate dealing with it too, but this method seems to work so much better than from trying to start at one end.

    E - Well Ms. E, I dooo declare, you have me blushing and such! ;)

    Pam - Any day I can actually teach you something about cooking instead of the other way around, is a good day for me:)

    Katherine - The one thing better is the smell of a pork butt that has cooked all night. Now that smell is magical....sigh, now I want pork butt too.

    WhiteTrashBBQ - I have one word for ya: BubbaQ! Take that puppy for a test drive;)

  13. The ribs look awesome. And I really appretiate the membrane removal video - you don't know how much I struggle with getting that off. Your technique looks so much simpler!

    And I prefer my ribs wet. But heck, ribs are good either way!

  14. Great tutorial on removing the membrane. I am jealous of your big green egg.

  15. I can't wait to try your recipe! My daughter doesn't really like ribs, but if I cover them in Karo Syrup after they are finished cooking she will tolerate them.. Your recipe looks promising!
    Digital Kitchen Scale

  16. Tried this recipe and it was UNBELIEVABLE!!! I highly recommend it.

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  19. Awesome website! Love seeing a great personalized website about cooking. Keep up the good work.

  20. That was the shit
    too funny .
    Awesome way to get it done finger inside all thy way through, then just pull!

  21. Quick question, are you flipping the ribs hourly, or do they remain bone side up throughput the cooking process? I ask in reference to the second picture.

    1. Not anymore. This is a pretty old post. To see my current technique for the past few years, I'd point you to this post on ribs ( But the short answer is I cook my ribs bone side down while they are naked and only put them meat side down if/when I wrap them in foil.


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