Savory and Sweet Smoked Ribs with a Classic BBQ Sauce
There is a whole world of rib rivalry in the US. I’ll share a recipe for my favorite ribs, which steals from all of the best methods.
COOK TIME4 hours
TOTAL TIME5 hours
Ingredients for the meat, rub, and basting liquid:
- 2 slabs of baby back ribs (approximately 2 lbs each)
- 1/2 cup brown or raw turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup smoked paprika
- 1-1/2 TBS kosher salt
- 1 TBS ground black pepper
- 2 tsps garlic powder
- 2 tsps onion powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or chili powder (your preference)
- Basting liquid of either red wine vinegar, stout, or apple juice
- Water for smoker
- Hickory or apple wood chips
Ingredients for the sauce:
- 2 TBS grapeseed or canola oil
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small can tomato paste (6 ounces)
- 1 TBS yellow or brown mustard
- 2 cups water
- 1 can tomato sauce (28 ounces)
- 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses or raw honey
- 2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
- 3 TBS apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsps kosher salt
- 1-1/2 tsps ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1.Place ribs meat-side down. Use a paring knife to cut and remove the membrane covering the rib bones. Peel it off by grabbing the cut end with a paper towel. Watch a tutorial video if needed.
2.Mix dry rub ingredients and rub onto all sides of the ribs. Let the ribs rest and reach room temperature for 30 minutes.
3.Preheat electric smoker to 225˚F. Add water to the pan on the bottom shelf and fill the side "drawer" with dry wood chips (use soaked chips for milder smoke).
4.Place ribs, meat side up, on smoker's wire racks. Cut if necessary to fit. Smoke for 3 hours, adding wood chips for smoke as needed.
5.Prepare sauce while ribs smoke (recipe below) or use your preferred jarred sauce.
6.After 3 hours, lay 2 sheets of foil on a surface. Put a rack of ribs on each foil sheet. Baste with your chosen liquid using a spray bottle or brush. Wrap ribs completely in foil.
7.Return wrapped ribs to smoker and cook for an extra 1 to 1-1/2 hours until internal temperature hits 160°F. Serve with sauce on the side.
8.Optional: If you want saucy ribs, coat the top with sauce and smoke for another hour. This is known as the 3-2-1 smoking method.
Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce:
1.In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onions until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
2.Stir in tomato paste and mustard. Cook, stirring constantly, for around 5 minutes.
3. Add the 2 cups of water, tomato sauce, molasses, Worcestershire, vinegar, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Whisk until smooth. Simmer this on low for up to 2 hours or until thick.
Nutrition Information: YIELD: 6
SERVING SIZE: 1
Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 1235 TOTAL FAT: 66g SATURATED FAT: 21g TRANS FAT: 1g UNSATURATED FAT: 42g CHOLESTEROL: 220mg SODIUM: 2875mg CARBOHYDRATES: 89g FIBER: 5g SUGAR: 72g PROTEIN: 64g