Smoked Ribs Preparation
Smoking Ribs Like the Pros!
This sure-fire, step-by-step smoking ribs recipe will get you those authentic, "down-on-the-ranch", succulent smoked ribs the "pro's" cook.
We have teamed up with Amazon.com to answer the often asked question, "Where do I get a grill (thermometer, tongs, rib rack, etc.) like that? Just mouse-over the blue links to see our suggestions we've learned from years of backyard research.
The 6 Secrets
Great Tools (grill, tongs, thermometers, etc...)
Lets start with the stuff you'll need...
Patience Low and slow is the real secret to smoking ribs. We're talking low heat at 225-250°F (107-121°C) for an extended cooking period. This is not the fastest method, but the "bestest"! You'll need a full bucket of this virtue when doing ribs for smokers. Figure about 1.5 hours/pound.
Meat Try to buy fresh! If the frozen (or "previously frozen") vacuum packed "slab-o-ribs" is all that is available, it will do fine as long as they are not "enhanced" with water, salt, flavorings and goodness knows what else.
Spices Use the best spices you can afford. There is a huge difference in a successful barbecue rib recipe final result when you use old, been-in-the-cupboard-way-to-long, "buck a bottle" spices, and the top quality stuff (this is one important difference between a "tenderfoot", and top competitors).
Smoker The vertical "wet-pan" type is the most popular backyard smoker, so we wrote this smoking ribs recipe from our experience with this fun cooker. You can buy these wonders at any "big box" store, hardware store, or try the garage/yard ("jumble") sales for a real bargain! Our favorite economical, easy to use backyard smoker is this vertical propane model or its stainless steel vertical smoker brother.
Wood chips/chunks For smoking ribs (or any meat in a smoker) always use only seasoned (never "green") hardwood chips/chunks like Hickory, Oak, Mesquite, Cherry, fruit woods, etc., to suit your taste. These are generally available during the summer, wherever barbecue accessories are sold.
Never use softwoods such as the conifers fir, pine, spruce, cedar, cypress, oleander,etc. Many trees and bushes/shrubs are toxic to humans, so stay with the known traditional woods used by the experienced "smokers".
Oven thermometer To ensure the success of a smoking ribs recipe, this tool is the only way you will really know what's going on inside your smoker! Our two favorites are the Taylor Connoisseur Oven Thermometer, and the Taylor Precision 5932 Classic Oven Thermometer. They are both very accurate, durable (stainless steel), and exceptionally reasonable in price.
Instant Read probe-type thermometer Be safe and ensure the meat has reached the ideal temperature of 205 F (93 C). This will assure you get those tender, luscious ribs you pay a dearly for at the local "rib joint"! Our "hands down" choice for speed of read, accuracy, and price is the CDN Proaccurate Stainless Digital Thermometer. The only instant-read thermometer that that we know to be faster, and another choice of professionals (albeit rather expensive), is the Splash-Proof Super-Fast Thermapen - Instant Read Thermometer, Perfect for Barbecue, Home and Professional Cooking
Mop tool This is optional, but boy, it sure makes basting a whole lot easier! Yep, a mop...just a miniature version (12-14" long) of a string-mop you might have for cleaning the kitchen! For ease of cleaning, and long reach, we prefer this Sauce Mop with Removable Head. More on this subject in the "Prepare a Mop?" section, below.
Tongs To handle those ribs (or any BBQ meat), long and strong is the secret, so we ditched the ones that came with our numerous BBQ tool sets. We prefer, and suggest, no-nonsense professional types like the Lodge Camp Dutch Oven 16-Inch Stainless Steel Tongs, or the Oxo Good Grips 16-Inch Locking Tongs.
Rib Rack The answer to cooking ribs with limited real estate! You nee
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