Prep 1 hr 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Rub and Ribs
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 -5 lbs baby back rib racks (2)
- 1 -2 lemon, cut in half and seeded
- louisiana hot sauce, to taste
- 8 tablespoons salted butter
- 1⁄2 cup louisiana hot sauce
Gorgonzola Cheese Dip
- 3 ounces gorgonzola, rind removed, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- 1⁄2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 large scallion, white part minced, green part finely chopped
- coarse salt
- 4 celery ribs, rinsed
- 1 1⁄2 cups wood chips, soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained (preferably hickory)
- Make the rub: To a small bowl, add the salt, lemon pepper, garlic powder, mustard, and cayenne; mix with your fingers, breaking up any lumps.
- The ribs: place a rack of ribs, meat side down, on a baking sheet; remove the thin, papery membrane from the back of the rack by inserting a slender implement, such as a butter knife or the tip of a meat thermometer, under it.
- The best place to start is on one of the middle bones.
- Using a dishcloth, paper towel, or pliers to gain a secure grip, peel off the membrane; repeat with the other rack.
- Sprinkle the rub over both sides of the ribs, rubbing in onto the meat.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the ribs on both sides, patting it onto the meat with a fork.
- Drizzle a tablespoon or two of hot sauce over the ribs, patting it onto the meat with a fork.
- Cover the ribs with plastic wrap; refrigerate them while you make the sauces and set up the grill.
- Butter sauce: melt the butter in a small saucepan over med-high heat.
- Stir in ½ cup hot sauce; bring to a boil.
- Remove from the heat; set aside.
- Gorgonzola Cheese Dip: put the cheese in a mixing bowl (nonreactive); mash to a paste with a fork.
- Gradually stir in the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and scallion whites.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste (cheese is quite salty, so be careful).
- Transfer dip to serving bowl; sprinkle with scallion greens; chill until ready to serve.
- Set up grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium; place a large drip pan in the center of grill under grill grate.
- For gas grill, place the wood chips in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then decrease heat to medium.
- When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate; place the ribs bone side down in the center of the grate over the drip pan and away from the heat.
- Cover the grill and cook the ribs until well browned, cooked through, and tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours in all.
- When the ribs are done, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the bones by about ¼ inch.
- Lightly brush the ribs with some of the butter sauce (rewarm it if needed) two or three times after they have cooked for 45 minutes (a basting brush works better than a mop for this sauce).
- Transfer the racks of ribs to a cutting board; let the ribs rest for a few minutes, then cut the racks into individual ribs and place in a large bowl or arrange on a platter.
- Reheat the remaining butter sauce until it is boiling; pour sauce over the ribs and toss to mix.
- Serve the ribs with Gorgonzola Cheese Dip and the celery.
- **To cook on a smoker, set up and light smoker according to manufacturer’s directions; preheat it to low; place ribs in the smoker bone side down and smoke until cooked through 4-5 hours, lightly basting the ribs with butter sauce during the last 30 minutes; you will need to replenish the wood after the first and second hour of smoking, and to replenish the coals every hour.