I actually got the basic idea from a Weber's Charcoal Grilling cook book, although I used a totally different barbecue sauce. This is the first time I've ever slow cooked ribs over charcoal and believe me - it really does make a huge difference. We've been doing ribs for years by boiling them, and then baking or barbecuing them and we've always enjoyed them. But slow cooking them over live fire just seems to add something that you can't get anywhere else! If you've got the time, and they're done right, you are going to love these!
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 (2 -2 1/2 lb) baby back ribs, racks 2 - 2 1/2 pounds each
- hickory chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes (2 large handfuls)
- 1 cup kraft chick'n rib barbecue sauce
- 1⁄2 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons liquid honey
- 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup apple juice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 -3 tablespoons barbecue sauce (from above)
- In a small bowl mix rub ingredients.
- Season ribs all over, putting more on the meaty side than on the bone side. Do not press spices into the meat. Put ribs in a rib rack all facing the same direction.
- Make sure the charcoal in your barbecue covers no more than 1/3 of the grate. Place a large disposable drip pan on the other side of the charcoal grate. Fill the pan about half way with warm water.
- Drain 1 hand full of hickory chips and place them on top of the charcoal. Put the cooking grate in place. Place the rib rack over the drip pan as far from the charcoal as possible, with the bone sides facing the charcoal. Close the lid. Close the top vent about halfway. Let the ribs cook and smoke for about one hour. Maintain temperature between 250°F and 300°F by opening and closing the top vent. Meanwhile, make the sauce and the mop.
- In a small saucepan mix the barbeque sauce ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes over medium heat, and then remove the sauce pan from the heat.
- In another small saucepan mix the mop ingredients. Simmer over medium heat for a few minutes to melt the butter, and then remove the saucepan from the heat.
- After the first hour of cooking add 8 - 10 charcoal briquettes and the remaining handful of hickory chips (drained) to the fire. At the same time lightly baste the ribs with some mop. Leaving the lid off for a few minutes while you mop the ribs will help the new briquettes to light. Close the lid and cook for another hour. During that time maintain the temperature at 250°F - 300°F by opening and closing the top vent.
- After another hour of cooking add 8 to 10 more briquettes to the fire. Remove the ribs from the rib rack, spread them over a clean work surface, and based them generously with the mop sauce. You may add 2 more tablespoons of barbecue sauce to the mop sauce if you wish. Put them back in the rib rack, again all facing the same direction, but this time turned over so that the ends facing down earlier now face up. Also, reposition any ribs that appear to be cooking faster to the back of the rib rack, farther from the charcoal. Let the ribs cook for a 3rd hour. During that time, maintain temperature of 250°F - 300°F.
- After 3 hours of cooking, check to see if any racks are ready to come off the grill. They are done when the meat has shrunk back from most of the bones by 1/4 inch or more. When you lift a rack by picking it up from one end with tongs, the rack should bend in the middle and the meat should tear easily. If the meat does not tear easily, continue to cook the ribs. The total cooking time could be anywhere from 3 to 4 1/2 hours. Not all racks will cook in the same amount of time. Baste the ribs with the barbeque sauce and, if desired for crispiness, cook them over direct heat for a few minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and tightly cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 - 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with the remaining sauce on the side.