My wife and I always try to cook something nice on Sundays, but it wasn't until 9:00 this morning that we decided on ribs on the smoker. I got the smoker ready while she ran to town to get the ribs.
About 1/3 can of charcoal to get the wood started.
Some good ol' red oak.
Getting a good bed of oak coals ready.
Sure is good to see some green after a long cold winter.
We mixed up a simple rub and sprinkled it liberally onto the ribs, which we had rubbed in EVOO to make the rub stick:
1 - heaping tbsp Kosher salt
2 - heaping tbsp coarse ground pepper
1/2 - tsp chili powder
1/2 - tsp garlic powder
1/2 - tsp onion powder
1/2 - tsp paprika
Then, with the smoker dialed to 275 degrees, I placed the ribs (meat side up) on the smoker with the thickest part of the rib slab closest to the fire. A pan underneath to catch the drippings. Used a small water pan near the fire to keep the smoke chamber humid and the ribs moist. Smoked at 275 for 2 hours, then spritzed with apple cider vinegar and squirted some of my Ol' Uncle Doug's homemade BBQ sauce on it and smoked for another 1/2 hour. Time to foil, spritzed and sauced the foil and placed ribs on the foil meat side down. Spritzed and sauced the bone side and wrapped tightly. Two more hours in the foil, then checked to see if it was done. I opened the foil and using a toothpick like you would use to check a brisket, I poked the thickest part of the ribs in the middle. The toothpick went in with no resistance, they're done. Without the water pan the ribs would have been a little firmer, but if you like it falling off the bone moist and tender, use the water pan.
Bulldog standing guard on high alert...
10 minutes later...
Wood pile is slowly dwindling down. I'll need to cut some more soon to get it started drying.
Red oak on the left, white oak on right.
The garden is coming along nicely. Oh, look! The ribs are done.
So tender and moist, it was hard to handle. I love the flavor and smell of oak, either red or white. And, in the side-fire-box smoker it imparts the perfect amount of smoke flavor. It's never too strong or too mild. It's great for butt, chicken, and ribs. Were they good? The were great. The rub seasoning, apple cider spritz and sauce blended well to make some of the best ribs I've ever done, according to my family. And considering how much they ate, they weren't just saying that to be polite.