I stink…

of glorious hickory wood smoke. I had purchased some new charcoal and bought a book to improve my smoking technique. Yesterday I went to Costco and bought some ribs to smoke today.
Ribs from Costco

I prepared them by taking off the membrane on the back and then rubbing them with brown sugar.
Ribs coated in brown sugar
The juice from the meat combines with the brown sugar to make syrup. Off they go to have a nice nights sleep in the fridge. You can let them sit over night because there is no salt on them which would start curing the meat. You can watch the technique here.

The next day they come out of the fridge and get a coating of basic rub all over.
Ribs coated rubs

Rubs are kind of like magic tricks you can never tell anyone how they are done. Some pit masters have super secret ingredients that they have tried and tested over years and years. Me I got mine out of a book, Barbecue!: Sauces, Rubs and Marinades and it is not even an exciting one:

From the section on American Rubs (I think there might be a joke there somewhere).
Basic Barbeque Rub.
¼ cup coarse sea salt
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup paprika
3 tablespoons ground pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes (I used onion powder)
½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon celery seeds

It is going to take about 6-7 hours for the whole process. One hour to setup and get the smoker up to heat ready for the ribs. Five to six hours of smoking time and then an hour with the BBQ sauce on the meat to finish. To get a long burn out of the smoker I have followed my new mentor’s book, Weber’s Smoke: A Guide to Smoke Cooking for Everyone and Any Grill written by Jamie (the Weber Daddy) Purviance.

Weber's Smoke

Lay down a chimney starter worth of lump wood charcoal.

Charcoal stoke

Then load another ½ chimney with lump wood charcoal and light it up.

Lit charcoal stoke

And when it is white on the edges distribute it around the unlit charcoal. Now you need to boil some water for the water pan. When the smoker gets to heat then add two lumps of hickory to the charcoal and go get the ribs.

Ribs in the smoker

For the next six hours – worry and fret that all this work will not be in vain. The thing with smoking is that you are never supposed to take the lid off and have a sneaky peak, because you let all the heat and smoke out. They have been in the smoker for almost five hours and I have been out there every hour making sure we have enough heat and water, but I cannot see the ribs grrrrrrr! Be right back; have to make sure we are up to heat….

Taking the smokers temperature

Finally they are done, well smoking anyway. They look burnt, but in pit masters terms that is a really good bark. When the smoke mixes with the brown sugar syrup and spicy rub they produce a kind of spicy candy like coating, but the meat inside is moist and delicious.

Smoke bark on ribs

I then brought them inside and sauced them on the bone side with my favourite BBQ sauce, Cattlemen’s Kansas City Classic BBQ Sauce. then into a oven at gas mark 5 for 20 minutes. BTW Costco has this in stock, but hurry cause I am going to buy it ALL! Then the same treatment for the top side and here they are finally done.

Sauced ribs

The smoke flavour was immense and the combination of the sauce and the bark made them really sticky. The rub gave them a nice little after burner in the back of your mouth. All in all a result.

Just Ribs

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