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Barbecued Baby Back Ribs, American

2008 Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 4 pounds baby back pork ribs (about 4 half racks)
  • Disposable 9-by-6-by-1-inch aluminum broiler pans
  • 2 cups hickory wood chips, soaked in water 1 hour, drained
  • 3 cups good-quality purchased barbecue sauce
Preparation Instructions

Mix first 6 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Sprinkle most spice mixture over both sides of ribs, patting with your fingers to adhere. Cover and refrigerate ribs at least 2 hours.

If using charcoal barbecue: Mound charcoal briquettes in barbecue and burn until light gray. Using tongs, carefully divide hot briquettes into 2 piles, 1 pile at each side of barbecue. Place empty broiler pan between piles. Sprinkle each pile with generous 1/2 cup hickory chips. Position grill at least 6 inches above briquettes. Position vents on barbecue so that chips smoke and briquettes burn but do not flame and temperature registers 350 degrees F.

If using a gas grill: Set up for indirect grilling and place wood chips in the smoker box or wrap in foil and place on one of the burners. With some gas grills, you need to preheat the grill to high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to the desired temperature.

Place ribs in rib rack and place on grill. Cook until meat pulls back 1/4 inch from ends of bones and meat is very tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes. On a charcoal grill, you'll need to add 10 fresh coals to each side after 10 minutes. Don't over-cook. I like a rib that has some chew to it.

During last 10 minutes of cooking, brush both sides of ribs with sauce. Cook ribs directly over fire to caramelize sauce. Transfer ribs to platter. Sprinkle ribs with a little more spice mixture and brush with more sauce. Let ribs rest 5 minutes Serve, passing remaining sauce separately, if desired.


Oven Method - Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rub and marinate ribs as described above. Place in roasting pan and roast ribs until well-browned and meat is very tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cover ribs with foil if beginning to dry out. Brush with sauce during last 10 minutes of baking. Serve as described above.

Contributed by, 2008

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