Start Your Chimneys! What makes great BBQ?? Practice, Practice, Practice! Smoking pork spareribs is not hard to do if a person follows a few steps. Following the steps of legendary pitmasters never hurts! BBQ food blogs, magazine and newspaper summaries, BBQ grillmaster books, friends, and family have helpful hints, tips, experience and knowledge ready to be tapped for the novice wanting to become expert. Personally, I did not have any family in love with BBQ'ing nor did I grow up around friends that enjoyed in-depth BBQ. I started because I LOVE BBQ everything! and I want to make the BBQ myself. What is truly in a league all it's own is the different aspects of BBQ. The marinades, dry rubs, sauces, types of wood for smoking, flavors wanting to be achieved, how long to smoke meat, how long to grill without smoke, direct grilling, indirect grilling, temperature regulation for briquette grills (which is my grill of choice), and the list continues. When a person states he or she is a BBQ'er, generally this person specializes in an area of BBQ, such as easy dinner, direct heat, grilling or in-depth smoking meats using in-direct heat. I am a late bloomer in the grilling work and I like the ease of weekend indirect heat grilling, having the luxury of picking the right meat, deciding on the right dry rub, and whether I will be using a homemade BBQ sauce or one of my favorite prepared BBQ sauces on the store shelf. There is something to be said about homemade everything and I think personal pride has a lot to do with the decision.
I loved redipping the ribs in the Lip Smakin BBQ sauce because the flavor takes on new depths.
The rib and sauce recipe below is all about taking the extra steps to get a Southern BBQ pitmaster flavor...maybe not legendary "yet" but practice, desire, and a love for great BBQ may put me in the ranking some day!
The sauce has citrus and peach flavors with undertones of seasonings and smoke that takes BBQ to another level. Try not to be too sidetracked with the list of ingredients because, combined, the sauce works amazing with the flavor of the dry rub and pork spareribs. You just have to dip a juicy, tender rib, still slightly hot, in the sauce....even though you know you already have the BBQ sauce on the ribs. There is a noticeable difference with dipping. You will get a sweet peach undertone flavor not achieved with just brushing the ribs and caramelizing the sauce on the meat at the end. Trust me and give the Lip Smakin rib sauce an extra swipe!
Dave Anderson has a grilling book out called "Back Roads and Side Streets". I found an outline of a great southern pork spare rib recipe that I changed to fit my own flavor along with the BBQ sauce mentioned above, but again, changed to fit what I like. By the way, I am still learning what the heck I like!
Trying for Legendary Pit BBQ Ribs
(adapted from Dave Anderson)
Rib Rub (makes 6 cups worth but you only need 1 cup for the recipe)
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup granulated garlic
1/3 cup chili powder
1/4 cup lemon pepper
1/4 cup onion salt
1/4 cup celery salt
2 Tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons whole celery seeds
1 teaspoon crushed cloves
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup Mrs. Dash original blend
2 (4- to 5-pounds) racks spareribs
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup minced dried onion
1 cup Rib Rub
Lip Smakin BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
First Prepare rib rub by thoroughly mixing all ingredients. Store in airtight container.
The night before smoking, trim your ribs of all excess fat. Place them in a large plastic bag and pour in Italian dressing to coat. Seal bag well. Refrigerate for 4 hours, turning occasionally. Remove and wipe off dressing. Sprinkle each rib with pepper then 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup of the onion flakes. Wrap each rib in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning remove from wrap and wipe sludge off ribs. Generously coat front and back of ribs with Rib Rub and using your hands, rub seasoning into meat and set aside. The smoking process will take 6 hours. Using a chimney charcoal starter get about 15 briquettes red hot. Place coals on one end of grill and place 1 pound of green hickory or mesquite around coals. Use water-soaked hickory or mesquite chunks if you can't get fresh-cut wood. I used some soaked apple wood chunks between hours 2 and 3 of the grilling process.
Keep internal temperature of the grill at 200 to 225 degrees. Add more charcoal and hickory or mesquite chunks every hour as needed. Place ribs bone side down but not directly over hot coals. After 3 hours, remove ribs from grill and wrap in aluminium foil. Hold in covered grill at 180 to 200 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until fork tender.
Next build a real hot bed of coals over the entire bottom of grill. Be careful because this step goes quickly. Place ribs back on grill to add char flavor. When meat becomes bubbly it is done. Make sure to char off bone side membrane until it becomes papery and disintegrates. Slather with BBQ sauce. Let heat caramelize sauce.
Lip Smakin BBQ Sauce
(adapted from Dave Anderson)
2 thick strips hickory-smoked bacon
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup peach schnapps
1 large jalapeno, finely diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup chopped sweet apple
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup frozen pineapple juice concentrate
3 Tablespoons molasses
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 1/4 cups dark corn syrup
1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Maggi seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Kahlua
1 teaspoon liquid hickory or Mesquite smoke
Fry bacon in a large saucepan until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Eat the bacon. Fry onion in the reserved drippings over medium-high heat until caramelized or dark golden brown; do not burn. Reduce heat to medium. Deglaze pan with the water. Stir in peach schnapps, jalapeno and garlic. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the mixture is of a syrupy consistency, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and place the mixture in a blender with the balsamic vinegar, apple, orange juice concentrate, pineapple juice concentrate, molasses, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and lime juice. Process until pureed and return to saucepan.
Add corn syrup, tomato paste, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chili powder, Maggi Seasoning, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper and cayenne and mix well. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat. Stir in Kahlua and liquid smoke. Store, covered, in refrigerator. Makes about 4 cups.
Pork spareribs are meaty and filling. You might even have leftovers for the next day!