this will be my third attempt at spare ribs, evolving a method that has been working very well for me. as of 0000 on 26jul08, i've got the ribs cut, the membrane on the bone side trimmed off and the ribs prepared and waiting in the fridge until morning. like the last two times, i have brushed on a light film of yellow mustard, then applied durkee's st. louis style rib rub before covering with saran wrap and refrigerating overnight. if anyone figures out a "home-made" rub that duplicates durkee's, without all the salt and also without the added smoke flavoring, please let me know. i plan eventually to do some experimentation of my own in an attempt to achieve this goal, but it will probably have to wait until winter. in any case, tomorrow i will fire up the ECB and throw the ribs on when it gets warmed up good. i intend to cook between 230 & 250 degrees, never more or less, if i can help it, until they are done. i really like the dr. pepper/soy sauce mop, and this time will use low-salt soy sauce in an attempt to get more flavor with less blood pressure. i also liked the effect that a little olive oil in the mop had last time, but will use much less of it this time, say 40% dr. pepper, 40% soy sauce and 20% olive oil. i will only mop once an hour, rather than once every half hour, and the last hour, when the ribs will be pretty well basting themselves, i will not mop. another variation is that, while i will be rotating and turning them halfway through cooking the same way i have been, i will start them out bone-side-down rather than bone-side-up, as i have done in the past. however, i will try a finishing glaze the last 15 minutes or so. i haven't done this before, so it will be an interesting experiment. the finishing glaze will consist of 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/3 cup of yellow mustard, simmered for half an hour or so before being brushed on both sides. evidently, the trick is to put it on soon before the ribs come off the fire, so that the glaze glazes via carmelization, but doesn't burn. we'll see if i'm any good at it. no sauce planned for these ribs, as i have found it to be unnecessary due to all of the flavors already present from the rub, the smoke etc. another difference is that, due to availibility, i will be using briquettes rather than lump charcoal that i have used in the past. after a nasty experience with wal-mart briquettes, i am using and will only use kingsford briquettes, which i will light not with lighter fluid, but with a chimney charcoal starter that i picked up last week. as for the smoke, it will most likely be hickory again, although i am thinking of maybe trying maple or apple, maybe.....i am going for a deep smoke ring again, so i will put the cold ribs in a warm smoker (220-230 degrees) and trust that no creosote will develop, since it hasn't the last two times. that's it so far, i will be interested in seeing if the little tweaks here and there improve the final product. will update as time progresses. as always, any suggestions, feedback etc. appreciated.