Make the most tender and moist ribs you have ever eaten by using a combination of methods including a dry rub, indirect cooking, smoking, apple juice and the sauce of your choice.
This recipe comes from Ray Lampe's book Dr. BBQ's Big-Time Barbeque Cookbook.
For a downloadable PDF file of this recipe click here.
Using either baby back or St. Louis cuts, take the membrane off the inside using a table knife and pulling the membrane off. This makes for more tender meat and allows flavors to penetrate more deeply.
In a mixing bowl, combine one half cup salt, one half cup turbinado sugar, one quarter cup brown sugar, a tablespoon ground garlic, tablespoon of ground onion, two tablespoons paprika, two tablespoons chili powder, two tablespoons ground pepper, two teaspoons of cayenne pepper, one tablespoon of thyme, a tablespoon of cumin, and one teaspoon of nutmeg. Take a spoon and stir all these dry ingredients together.
Spoon some of the spice mix onto the ribs and rub into the meat. Rub spices into both sides of ribs.
Prepare the wood by cutting it into smaller pieces and placing them into water to soak. Then place the charcoal coals on one side of the grill (the indirect method of cooking ribs) and add some of the wet wood on top. The idea behind wetting the wood is that you want the wood to smoke and not burn.
To keep the ribs moist, set a pan on the side of the grill and add a little bit of apple juice. You can also use wine or water or other kinds of fruit juice but apple juice imparts a particularly nice flavor.
Lay the ribs on the grill, bone side down and place the top on the grill. Close any grill vents (try to get the temperature down to about 325 degrees) and cook for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.
Remove the ribs from the grill and brush on some honey.
Take a foil pan and put about an inch of apple juice in the bottom. Cut the ribs in half if necessary, and put them in the pan. Cover with aluminum foil.
Keeping the temperature at about 325 degrees, place the foil pan on the grill, put the top on the grill and cook for one more hour. Place the ribs on the cutting board and brush on some sauce - either home-made or prepared.
Place ribs back on on the grill, put a little more sauce on the rib side and cook for just a few more minutes then remove. Serve the ribs as slabs or cut into individual ribs.