All month long I’ve been looking forward to the first Patriots playoff game to smoke up some ribs for the crew. Babyback ribs were on sale so I picked up three racks and looked at the forecast yesterday which said the rain and snow was supposed to stop between noon and 2pm today.
Well fast forward to today and there’s no rain at all, instead it’s a full on sideways huge wind snowstorm.
Not to be deterred by the weather we forge ahead!
Babybacks were on sale at Stop and Shop yesterday but they didn’t have them in yet and would be frozen so I went to Market Basket, paid a little more from them but they were in the case unfrozen.
Took the ribs out of the cryovac and gave them a thorough rinse.
Next piercing the sinewy membrane on the bone side of the ribs and peeled off the membrane. This is not difficult at all. just carefully slide your knife under the membrane til you get to the other side and once you have enough lifted away from the meat take a paper towel to help you grip the membrane and pull it away from the rib. It may take one or two trys to get it all off but this step should not intimidate you. It’s alot easier than it looks.
Once the membrane is off pat the ribs down with a paper towel to get them dry of any excess moisture from when you washed them.
Next slather a small amount of yellow mustard on the ribs which is used to help adhere the rub to the ribs. You won’t taste the yellow mustard it’s simply used to aid in adhering the rub so there’s no need to go out and purchase some fancy expensive mustard for this.
Now for the rub. I use the Paul Prudhomme rub for just about everything. It’s fantastic. Apply liberally on all sides and let the ribs rest for a couple hours.
Next to set up the Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.
The wind is driving the snow sideways . Going out for ten minutes my sweater is completely drenched with wet snow. Took about ten minutes just to get the chimney lit.
Set up the smoker using the minion method with the charcoal basket at the bottom of the smoker hollowed out and the inside circumference of the charcoal basket lined with briquettes, cherry wood chips and apple chunks. Once the 1/3 of a chimney of briquettes got going I dumped them into the center of the charcoal basket, looking for a gradual build up in temperatures to 225-250.
So now that the pit temps hit 200 we toss the Ribs on
Luckily last weekend I bought a nice plastic cover for the Maverick remote temperature gauge/ These things don’t like to get wet and today probably would have fried the unit if it wasn’t in the plastic housing. $2.99 cents at Ocean State Job Lot was a good insurance policy for the sensor to stay dry.
Two hours in I wasn’t satisfied with the color, and the Weber Smokey Mountain had been cruising along at 225. I opened the fuel door and saw quite a bit of charcoal had been used up. Figuring we needed another two hours of heat and looking for a little more heat I fired up 2/3 a chimney of briquettes and added them to the charcoal basket. I also mixed up a container of a couple of tablespoons of Stubbs BBQ sauce, a couple of ounces of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of tabasco sauce and spritzed the ribs.
The snow has stopped, it’s just raw and cold out but the extra lit charcoal has helped the temps on the pit climb.
2:45PM Pull the ribs off the pit and foil them.
A drizzle of honey, a drizzle of Sweet Baby Rays and a light sprinkle of brown sugar. Ribs foiled meat side down and back on the smoker.
3:30 Update Unwrapped the ribs and put them back on the pit. Was careful to collect the drippings from the foil to add into the final BBQ sauce for an extra kick. Dipping my fingers into the drippings all I can say is OMG. Difficult to have patience but we’re gonna let the bark firm up for another 45 minutes or so. Pit temp is 350
3:40 Update Just gave the ribs the final spritz with a combination of the drippings from the foil, The stubbs, the tabasco sauce and apple cider vinegar mixture. Opened all the vents to try to get everything to caramelize as much as possible. Will pull off at 4:00PM
The money shot-