Yummy Sticky Finger-Licky Baby Back Ribs
3 racks baby back ribs (~ 4 to 5 pounds total) - from Sam's
2 T kosher salt
2 T brown sugar
1 T sweet paprika
1 T sweet smoked paprika
1 1/2 T freshly ground black pepper
2 t dry mustard
2 t garlic powder
1/2 t celery salt
1/2 t ground clove
3/4 c Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey
1 c ketchup
1 c cider vinegar
1 c (packed) dark brown sugar
1 c onion, finely minced
2 T worcestershire sauce
2 T Frank's Red Hot
1 T freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t sweet smoked paprika
1/4 t ground clove
Mix everything together using your fingers.
Mix everything together in a sauce pan and simmer a couple of hours. It will smell funky at first because of all the booze, but it mellows out.
Sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon, but not much thicker. Set aside and let cool to room temp.
Remove membranes from ribs.
Coat with rub. Use it all.
Set aside at room temp for two hours.
Light a chimney of charcoal.
Place two chunks of sugar maple on each side of the weber.
When coals are completely lit, pour the hot coals evenly over both sides.
Wait. Wait. Wait.
Wait. Wait. Wait. (this is the hard part)
Wait. Wait. Wait.
When you can hold your hand 3-4 inches over the fire and count 5-6 "Mississippis", it's ready.
Seriously, I can not stress how important it is that you wait.
If you jump the gun and put the ribs on too soon, you WILL burn the shit out of them.
Trust me on this.
Put the ribs in a rib rack in the center of the grill (no coals beneath).
Cover the grill with all vents wide open.
Do not peek for 1 1/2 hours.
Check for doneness:
When the meat has shrunk back about 1/4 inch from the ends of the bones of pork baby back ribs, the ribs are done. Another test?
Try pulling two ribs apart with your fingers. If the meat tears easily, the ribs are done.
Note: if the meat falls off the bone, the ribs are overcooked.
More tests for doneness
If the ribs are not done, continue cooking them until they're done.
When the ribs are done, remove them from the rib rack and baste both sides with the BBQ sauce.
Arrange ribs in the center of the grill (without the rib rack, overlapping if necessary), away from the fire.
Cover and cook 10 more minutes.
* Based on the rub from "First-Timer's Ribs" in Steven Raichlen's book "Ribs, Ribs, Outrageous Ribs".
** Based on the sauce "Still house barbecue sauce" in Steven Raichlen's book "Barbecue Bible".
The Johnson Family Cookbook