Mesquite Smoked Ribs

Its BBQ and smoking season in Texas, we gather around the pit for the best tasting grilled and smoked meats and veggies all year ’round. We Texans are very competitive when it comes to our barbecue… homemade dry rubs, sauces, different cuts of meat, and technique, vary from each pit master. There is nothing better than pulling off that hot and smoky rack of ribs and cutting each rib, watching the delicious juices run onto the cutting board and your hair smelling like mesquite smoke. Logan made these with a unique dry rub he concocted himself. Now if you do not have a smoker and would prefer to make these in the oven, you can do so but part of the flavor comes from the smokiness (can use liquid smoke if you desire). I will put instructions for both below. We did not add BBQ sauce, however that would be a nice addition. Happy Spring!

Pork Rib Types

  • St. Louis Style Ribs (this is what we used)
  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Spareribs
  • Country Style ribs

How to prep your ribs:

  • Position the ribs meat-side down. Insert a paring knife under the membrane that covers the back of the rack. Loosen the membrane with the knife. Grab the membrane with your fingers and peel off completely.

Ingredients for Dry Rub

  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (can add more if you want extra spice)

Ingredients for wet basting

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions for Preparation

  • For the dry rub, mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • Lay ribs on a large cookie sheet or a roasting pan, baste with brush both sides of the rack of ribs (this recipe was for 2 racks).
  • Rub all over both sides of the ribs with the dry rub.

How to Smoke Ribs (4.5-5 hours)

  • Soak medium to large size mesquite (or wood of choice) wood chips in water 1 hour, then prepare your grill for smoking filling the smoker box with one-quarter each of the wood chips. Start the charcoal in the smoker box until charcoal appears grey/white indicating a healthy heat.
  • Once the grill reaches 250 degrees F, lightly brush the grates with vegetable oil and place the ribs on the cooler side of the grill, meat-side up. Close the grill and let smoke 1 hour.
  • Replenish the smoker box with another one-quarter each of the wood chips. Close the grill and let smoke 1 more hour. At this point, baste ribs again with a bit of apple cider vinegar/water mixture (can use a spray bottle if you choose). Repeat this process every hour until the ribs are dark brown and tender and the meat starts to shrink away from the bones, about 2-3 more hours. Remove the ribs from the grill and let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.

How to Cook Ribs in Oven (3.5-4 hours)

  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
  • Place ribs, meat side down, in baking dishes.
  • Cover the baking dishes with aluminum foil and place in the oven.
  • After cooking for 3.5-4 hours, drain off the drippings. Flip the ribs over using two spatulas (and an extra set of hands if you have them) so the meat side is up. Be careful, as they may be so tender they fall apart.
  • If serving with BBQ Sauce, put a layer of BBQ sauce on the ribs and return to the oven uncovered for an additional 20-30 minutes.
  • Let Rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.

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