Date Posted: 7/10/2005
For the Rub:
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Kosher Salt
½ Cup light (or dark, if it's all ya got) Brown Sugar (Dried out a little by laying out on a cookie sheet room temp. several hours, or slightly warmed)
5 Tablespoons + 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
2 Tablespoons + 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
4 Teaspoons MSG (Accent)
4 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
4 Teaspoons Black Pepper, freshly ground (important)
4 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
4 Teaspoons Onion Powder
Slabs of Babybacks (as many as you need), backskin removed
If the backskin hasn't been removed from the ribs, don't go any further until you remove it. You can get it started with a fingernail, the grab the loosened portion with a dry paper towel, and the skin will peel right off.
Two hours before cooking, sprinke the ribs with the rub on both sides (starting with the concave side). Don't go crazy with it; just a nice coating. If you've mixed the rub correctly and used quality ingredients, after about an hour you will notice red liquid being drawn to the surface. This is a good thing.
This is best done in a smoker with a water pan, such as the Weber Smokey Mountain. Start two chimneys full of briquettes. After about 20 min. pour one chimney in the charcoal grate, cover with a good, thick layer of natural lump charcoal, then pour the second chimney over that. Assemble the smoker and fill the water pan. Put two chunks of white oak and two chunks of cherry wood in the smoker (do this now, not when you put the ribs on. Too much smoke isn't good for ribs, but the essence of the wood will remain throughout the cooking process). When the temp in the cooking chamber drops below 250F, put the ribs on, using both the upper and lower racks if necessary. Open the charcoal door and toss in a couple of handfuls of alder chips.
Keep and eye on the cooking temp to ensure it stays in the 200-250 range (225 is optimum). Don't lift the lid until four and a half hours have gone by. At that time, check to see if the meat has pulled away from the ends of the bones and the fibs feel pliable. You may have to let it go an extra 45-60 min. if they're not quite there -- use your judgment.
Remove from the smoker, slather on your favorite sauce (or just leave them dry, "Texas Style"), serve, and graciously accept the accolades of your adoring guests.
This is a variation of a recipe developed by a champion BBQ'er, which I have adapted to my own tastes over the years.