Charcoal BBQ Method: Low & Slow (smoking)
Prep Time: 45mins | Cooking Time: 5 hours | Marinating Time: 2 hours
2 racks baby back ribs, about 1.2KG each
Olive oil for brushing
1 fresh lemon, cut in half
For the rub:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 handfuls of wood chips
1. Placing the rib racks meat-side down, use a paring knife to peel off the membrane covering the back of the rack. Simply insert your knife underneath the membrane, loosen the membrane and pull it off the rack with your fingers.
2. In a deep bowl, mix all ingredients for the rub and stir until all of the spices are evenly distributed. First give the ribs a scrub with the cut end of the lemon before rubbing on the mixed spices. Place the ribs in a resealable plastic bag, cover in a plate and refrigerate overnight or at least for 2 hours.
3. Soak the wood chips for the smoking in a large bowl of water for about an hour. Leave the wood inside water until it becomes saturated with water. The soaking with water makes the wood to smoke when added to the grill instead of charring and burning up fast.
Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and allow to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
4. Prepare the grill and allow it to heat up to 250°F. Add a handful of soaked wood chips to the lit coals. Place the grate on the kettle, close the lid, and wait for the smoke to start pouring out. Your grill is ready when smoke starts coming off the grill and the temperature gauge is around 250°F. Brush the grates with olive oil and then arrange ribs on the cooler side of the grill with the meat side facing up. Close the grill and let the ribs smoke for 2 hours. Minimise the number of times you open the grill lid as opening the lid frequently will lower the grill temperature and lengthen the time it will take for the ribs to get done.
5. After the first 2 hours of smoking, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and re-wrap again in another sheet of aluminum foil. Toss in few wood chips into the burner and if you are using a charcoal grill, replenish the charcoal as needed to maintain a steady temperature between 250° to 300°F. Place the wrapped ribs back on the grate and cook for another 2 hours. Wrapping the ribs twice with aluminum foil will help to trap in moisture that will steam the meat neatly. The meat will come out well cooked, tender and juicy, and will easily separate from the bones.
6. After the 2 hours have elapsed, unwrap the ribs from the foil and place them once again on the grill for 30 minutes to get that classic deep brown crispy coating.
7. Now remove your perfectly cooked and flavourful smoked baby back ribs from the grill, allow to cool down for about 8 minutes and serve with BBQ sauce & any side of your choice.