Date Posted: 5/16/2014
• 6 pounds spareribs
• 2 cups cider vinegar
• 2 cups apple cider
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• 2 bay leaves
• 6 tablespoons hot sauce
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 cup Dry BBQ rub, whatever floats your boat, as this is done to individual taste.
As I said, this recipe was originally shared by Al Roker, but I have modified it through the years to my taste and experience.
Trim your ribs, removing the fatty flap and tips.
I like to cut my ribs into 2 or 3 Rib sections, this makes them easier to serve
In a shallow, non-reactive pan large enough to hold the ribs, mix together the cider vinegar, the cider, the garlic, bay leaves, the hot sauces and salt. Put the ribs in this marinade, turn to coat, place ribs in container, pour remaining liquid in pans with ribs cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 16 hours, turning several times during this time. I prefer the time to be the full 16 hours, and rotate the ribs in the pan at least 3-4 times. The Vinegar breaks down the meat and makes it much more tender.
Two hours before you are going to grill, remove the ribs from the pan and pat dry. Discard the marinade. Sprinkle the ribs all over with dry rub, (Any Rub that you like will do. I prefer a sweet Apple Rub, but this is to your taste) patting it on with your fingers. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 ½ hours. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
Place the ribs in throwaway Aluminum pans. I prefer to smoke them on a Vertical Smoker. If you use a Vertical smoker and use more than one pan I move each pan from top to bottom every hour.
Smoke the ribs for 10 hours at low heat. If you are going to use a gas or charcoal grill you can do this on indirect heat and it works just as well, you just may have to cut your cooking time down to 8 hours. Keep the heat LOW LOW LOW, this is not a race!
About 5 hours into cooking you will find that the aluminum pans have a lot of liquid in them. Drain most of this out, but leave about a half inch in the pans. Mop the ribs with a wet mixture of this juice and return them to the smoker.
With about 1 hour left in cooking, you have a choice. First drain the pans of all the fluid. If you like Dry Ribs (Memphis) then apply a dry rub to the ribs once more. If you like them wet like me, then mop them with your favorite sauce and return to the smoker or grill for one more hour.
After at least 8 hours of cooking the ribs are ready to eat.
Now you may be saying this is a long time to do it. Backtrack from when you would like to eat dinner. If you want to eat Dinner at 6 PM on Saturday then this will be your timeline.
Place Ribs on Smoker at 8 AM
Wake up at 5:30 AM to get ribs dry rubbed, and smoker up to temp.
Start Marinating the Ribs in the Vinegar on Friday! Do not shorten the time in the Vinegar. This is the part that makes them so tender.
I originally got this from Al Rokers Bad Ass Book of BBQ, but through the years have Bastardized it to my taste, and follow the rules for his Memphis Style, only to make the KC Style with an hour to go. When done right, the bones just slide out, and plastic utensils are more than enough to eat these with.