This is the real deal here folks. Of all of the BBQ that we do here, we are most proud of our ribs. This recipe uses only 5 fantastic local ingredients and involves no pre-boiling, wrapping, or foiling.
Most importantly these ribs will not “fall off the bone”. Ribs that do that are overcooked. You should be able to bite through the rib with little to no effort and have just the meat in your bite come away from the bone.
If ya’ll think we are snobby about the beer we drink just wait till we get started on ribs. I promise, guarantee, and know that if you follow these instructions you will have perfect ribs, all the time, every time.
2 slabs of St Louis Cut Spare Ribs
Olive Oil (We love Red Stick Spice Company’s Jalapeno Garlic)
Your favorite Rub (We are using Frogbone’s excellent BBQ rub)
1 cup Pineapple Juice
1 ½ cup of your favorite BBQ Sauce (Jay D’s Louisiana BBQ Sauce is perfect for this recipe)
10oz Pepper Jelly (We are using Woodies Goodies because it works with the Pineapple Juice)
A quick word on buying ribs
First of all, St. Louis cut just means that the sternum bones have been removed from the bottom of the ribs. You can do this yourself, but this is usually how you will find ribs in the store. The real secret to tasty ribs is fat. Buy the fattest, heaviest pack of ribs you can find. This makes a huge difference. The fattest rack is always the tastiest.
Prep the ribs. There is a thin layer of “silver skin” on the back of ribs. It doesn’t make a huge difference in terms of eating and cooking, but it is a pain to cut through and it can prevent the rub from penetrating the meat on the back side.
To remove it, make a small incision at the “top” of the rib rack to expose a “lip” that you can grab. Then, using a paper towel, grab the end and pull back toward the “bottom” of the rib rack. The pictures make it easier to explain.
Rub the ribs. This is fun and easy. It is also done just before you put them on the smoker, there is no need to let them sit overnight. Give them a drizzle of Olive Oil and a very generous coating of rub.
Smoke the ribs. We cook ribs as low as we can on the Weber Smokey Mountain (Method Here). We never want the temperature higher than 225, 215 is ideal. The cook will take at least 4 hours, potentially up to 6. You aren’t going to use the digital thermometer to check for doneness, either. We will cover that in a bit.
Make the Sauce. Add the Pepper Jelly, BBQ Sauce, and Pineapple juice to a pan and reduce down at a low heat for about an hour or so. Stir occasionally, uncovered, until about a third of the sauce has cooked out of the pan. It should be sticky, shiny, and not too thick.
Sauce the ribs. Start checking for doneness at the 4 hour mark. How? With a toothpick. You will start to see the ribs pull back from the bones. This tells you it’s time to start checking with the toothpick. You want the toothpick to enter the rib easily with very little resistance. Do not check for doneness on the ends of the ribs as the ends cook a bit faster. Check in between the center ribs. When the ribs are very close to done, about 20 minute or so, hit them with the sauce.
Time to eat! You can’t rush perfection. Don’t panic and pull the ribs early. If one slab finishes first, that’s ok.
And remember, you want to bite through the rib without having the whole thing collapse on you, like so…