I have a new method for ribs. I have been cooking ribs traditionally for years. I make damn good ribs. I typically use the 3-2-1, 2-2-1, 2.5-1.5-1, straight 4-5 hr cook, with water, without, etc... The best ribs with the best bark were last night. I accidentally stumbled upon this method. Let's call it the 2-2.5, I was cooking for the whole family several months ago. I couldn't get all the ribs on my smokers. I ended up putting two racks in the oven TO START WITH!. I finished them on the smoker when the other meat came off. We had all eaten by the time they were ready so I only tasted them. The texture and flavor was great but I was full and didn't think much else about it. I'm back in the kitchen experimenting last night and BAM!!! TRUST ME AND TRY THIS ONE TIME!!!! I guarantee you will change your method for cooking ribs.
I used baby backs.
1. I remove the membrane
2. Salt both sides of the ribs generously, then lightly season both sides with enough rub to cover the rack. Add a THIN layer of mustard to both sides and lightly season again.
3. Lightly cover the ribs with enough brown sugar to cover the whole rack. I don't think you can use too much.
4. Placed the ribs meat side down on some tin foil with about 4 Tbs of juice. (I used pineapple mango, u can use whatever you like)
5. Wrap them good and bake in the over at 250 for at least 2 hrs. I have only done this twice and last night I went 2hrs and 10 mins. I wouldn't go less than 2hrs but probably not more than 2.5. This will make them very tender. Then longer your bake them the more 'fall of the bone' they'll be.
(I start getting my coals/smoker ready the second hr the ribs are in the oven. That way the smoker has a stable temp when I'm ready for it)
6. Remove them from the oven. Lightly season them with more rub and brown sugar. ( I add enough brown sugar to lightly cover the whole rack, use as much or little as you want. More sugar means more bark) Wait maybe 5 mins and let the sugar melt and disappear before step 7.
7. Place them on then smoker and pour the wood to it. I personally like a combo of pecan and mesquite, 2-1 ratio. Don't kill it with the smoke but keep it smoking for the next 2-3 hrs. Cook at 250-275 for 2-3 hrs. Make sure you slowly increase your temp after 2 hrs if your bark isn't looking dark enough. when your bark is nice and dark but not burned. Take them off eat em!!!!
8. Be careful not to eat your fingers!!!!
I usually don't sauce my ribs, I don't have to. They are stupid good. Slightly sweet and spicy but you can still taste the meat.
I make my own rubs and use commercial rubs. LIGHTLY season your ribs if your rub has a lot of heat or smoked spices. Or if it has notable amounts of chili powder. You can ruin your ribs with too much spice and smoke. TRUST ME, I've ruined a bunch over the years.
Mistake #1. Not baking them long enough or too long. Try 2hrs to 2hrs 15mins.
Mistake #2. Don't use too much rub, especially if it has much heat or strong spices, you won't taste the meat. Don't be afraid to use the brown sugar!!! I use a rub with brown sugar in it and I use EXTRA on the ribs!!!!
Mistake #3. Watch your smoker temp!!! Keep your temp at grate around 250 for the first two hrs. Gradually increase your temp to improve your bark it you need to. Check every 15 mins or so. I had my temp at 300 when I pulled them off last night but I let it creep up to that temp.
Mistake #4. DON'T OVERSMOKE WITH HICKORY!!!! It can ruin your ribs. I've made that mistake several times.
Best ribs I've made yet!!! Follow this one to the 'T" and you WON'T regret it!!