Ahhhhh… juicy ribs, the heavenly food of the Redneck Gods! Spares should be trimmed to St. Louis style. They just have a little better flavor and once you have trimmed them a couple of times, the process gets really easy. There is some cartilage and you take your knife (the sharper the better) and just slide it down the length of the rack. Voila, you’ve just trimmed them up.
Most folks pull the membrane off the back of the ribs. You can achieve this by using a dull knife to get under the membrane. Then, using a paper towel and your fingers, pull hard to remove. Next, slather the ribs with cheap yellow mustard and then cover the mustard with your favorite rub.
Pro Tip: Remove the back membrane to microwave it for one minute to pull it out easily with a spoon.
Learn More About How Mustard Tenderizes Smoked Meat in our expert food smokin’ article!
Allow Time for the Rub Melt Into the Ribs
I really like the Dizzy Pig Swamp Venom, but Smoke and Spice has some good recipes for the rub. Let the rub melt into the ribs. It’ll take 10 minutes or so. Now, wrap them in plastic wrap, and into the fridge for a few hours to overnight. Don’t forget to do the little tailpieces you cut off, because we will use them later. Unwrap the ribs, recoat with some more rub to fill in any spaces needing attention, and set them aside. Warm up the Bradley to 275-300 F (135 C- 148.9C) for about one hour or so. This lets the cabinet get nice and hot. Place cut-in-half racks on smoker racks. The two larger ends of the ribs go together and the two smaller ends go together. Now the little tail pieces go on a separate rack. Total three shelves for two racks of ribs.
Into the Smoker They Go
Place them in the smoker, tailpiece at the top, then smaller pieces, and then bigger pieces. Shut the door as fast as you can and start your smoke for 3-4 hours, depending on what wood you are using. Now you must watch the temperature for a little while.
Stabilize the temp to 225 F (107.2C) and find something else to do other than watch the smoker. After 4 hours, open the door and turn rack 2 and 3 front to back, and take the water bowl out. Fill and replace the water bowl with hot water, after dumping out the burnt pucks.
At this point, the water bowl is to just trap the stuff dripping off the ribs. Continue cooking, until the rib bones will begin to twist easily away from the meat. This usually takes 6-8 hours in total. However, each smoking session has a life of its own.
Keep the Vent About 1/3 Open
My suggestion is to buy a strong flashlight and shine through the vent to see how your ribs are progressing. By the way, the vent should have been about 1/3 open. The meat will begin to pull back from the bones at the ends around 1/4-1/2″ when they are done, but this is not always the case.
Never rush the ribs and remember to check frequently. This method should produce some mighty fine ribs but, here is another way. It’s the same until the cooking part:
First, only preheat the cabinet with the puck generator, not the heating element. Place the ribs in the cabinet the same way. Pour on 3 hours of smoke with top vent all the way open. Remove ribs from the smoker and wrap them separately in foil, except for the trimmings. Do a separate pack for all the trimmings. Add a little apple juice to each packet. Wrap tightly and return to Bradley or a preheated oven. Either way, 200 F (93.3C) for two hours. If using the Bradley, don’t forget to plug the heating element back in, and bump the temp up when you remove the ribs.
After two hours, take ribs out and carefully remove them from the foil, as there is a lot of steam inside there. While they were in the foil, inside the oven, or Bradley, you got your charcoal grill ready and have it stable at about 300 F (148.9C). Place ribs on grill and brush with your favorite sauce. Do it with just enough sauce each time to make them look wet. Don’t glob it on!
Cook for 10 minutes, brush again, cook 10 min, brush again, cook 10 min and remove from the grill. Brush again. Let stand for 10 minutes and serve with sauce on the side. The two hours in the oven can be a tad much, depending on how hot the Bradley was, the weather, and the ambient thing you know. So, if it’s really hot outside, maybe 1 1/2 hours in the foil.
We hope you learned some valuable information about smoking juicy ribs and don’t forget to check out the Bradley Food Smoking Blog for expert food smoking tips from the pit masters!
Original recipe by RIBMAN.