Smoking meats is a very old concept. Food was smoked to enhance its taste, as it is believed that smoke from the wood releases all natural juices of the marinated meat. Baby back ribs are taken from the top of the pork rib cage between the spine and the spare ribs, just below the loin muscle. These ribs are mostly preferred for smoking because they have meat between the bones and on top of the bones, which allow the marinate to sink right in. This also helps in cooking meat well and evenly.
How to Smoke Baby Back Ribs
To begin with, one needs a container to hold a source of the smoke, within which food is to be kept and smoke trapped. The smoke source includes wood chips, wood pellets, or wood splinters, which helps to produce a steady stream of smoke. Also, the type of wood that is being used, makes a whole lot of difference to the ribs. To keep the smoke coming during the entire duration, add charcoal or briquettes. One can purchase wood from stores. A bowl of water is usually placed above the fire to raise humidity which makes the meat more succulent. Now that the reason for smoking is clear, let's prepare the marinate.
- 2 pounds, baby back ribs
- 1 tablespoon, balk pepper powder
- 1 tablespoon, onion powder
- 2 tablespoons, garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon, red hot chili powder
- 1 tablespoon, dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons, sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon, cumin powder
- ¼ cup, brown sugar
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the ribs. Now, it's time to prepare the rib rack. Hold the rib in one hand, and slice a cut into the rib's membrane. Peel the membrane off the back of the ribs. Pull it off completely. If the membrane is left, it will not allow the marinade to sink in well. Rinse each rib under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Set it on a large plate. Rub the dry marinade on the ribs on all sides, making sure all sides are coated well. Set it aside for twenty minutes. Then, shale off the excess dry marinade and refrigerate overnight.
Where possible use a smoker rather than a gas grill to bring out the smoked effect. In the smoke source container, place wood chips, charcoal, or pellets, in the center of the base of the smoker, directly over the burner. If one is keen to smoke using water, place the water container on the burner, and place the rack on which ribs are to be placed. Most smokers come with their own water container fixtures. Arrange the ribs in the center of the rack and cover with the lid, to trap the smoke inside. Leave a little opening. Once you notice the smoke escaping from the smoker opening, close the lid completely. Smoke the ribs on medium heat for one hour.
In a separate bowl, mix ¼ cup distilled vinegar, ¼ cup water, and ¼ cup Dijon mustard. Remove the ribs and place them on an aluminum foil. Drizzle this entire mixture on them. Seal the foil and bake in a preheated oven at 250 ºF.