Baby Back Ribs

Simple, yet delicious. And a relatively quick cook, typically finishing in 6 hours or so. Good choice for tailgate parties if you have the time.

You can make these as simple or as complicated as you want, using store bought rubs and sauces, or choosing to make your own. You can also choose to have the meat fall off the bones, or leave it with a little bit of a tug off the bone.

Start with as many slabs of baby back ribs as you want to cook. I typically get the 3 pack from Costco. Remove the membrane on the back of the ribs. The easiest way I have found to do so is to peel a corner up with a sharp knife, then grasp it with a paper towel and pull to remove. Those Costco ribs don’t have much of a membrane to start with, but those from a local butcher typically do.

Rub both sides of the ribs with your favorite rub, or use my pulled pork rub recipe. Wrap the ribs in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to cook, set your smoker for 225. Place the ribs on a rib rack, fat side up. Let them cook for 3 hours without touching them. After 3 hours, you’ve got a decision to make. If you want them to have a bit of a pull, leave them on the rib racks and start spritzing with a mix of pineapple juice, water and white vinegar. Use 2 parts juice to 1 part water and 1/2 part white vinegar. If you are cooking 3 racks, I would use 1C juice, 1/2C water and 1/4C vinegar. If you want them to fall off the bone, wrap each rack in a double layer of foil. Before sealing the foil, add about 1C brown sugar to each rack and drizzle with honey and about 1/4C of pineapple juice.

If you wrapped the ribs, after 2 1/2 hours of being wrapped (5 1/2 hours into the cook), remove from the foil and place back on the grill. If you left them in the rib rack the entire time, remove them from the rack and lay flat on the grill. Sauce up one side using your favorite BBQ sauce, or make this one from scratch. Let cook for 15 minutes before flipping, saucing and cooking the other side.

Eat immediately after pulling from the grill.

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