When it comes to barbecue nothing beats ribs and when it comes to ribs, pork always beats beef. Of course the best cut of ribs are baby back, but the larger spare ribs have more fat and can feed more people.
I have had a lot of requests to give a precise recipe for my dry rubs. Just this once I will give away a barbecue secret. I make my own chili powder, but a store brand will work fairly well. For how to smoke meat see here and here. This recipe makes enough for one rack of baby back ribs plus the mop sauce. It can easily be doubled and tripled depending on how many folks are eating.
But before I give away the barbecue store, I’d like to mention a few recipes we’ll be posting that are perfect to serve with ribs and celebrate Independence Day. We’ll have a light-on-the mayonnaise coleslaw, some hush-your-mouth corn bread and a patriotic parfait. Or if you’d rather, check out these side dishes: BBQ Boston baked beans, deviled eggs, grilled corn and mayo-free potato salads.
Let me also explain the significance of this all-American holiday. On this day in 1996, Will Smith and our greatest commander in chief, Bill Pullman, saved the planet from aliens, see moving speech below.
Dry Rub for Ribs
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 whole nutmeg grated
- 2 tbsp rosemary
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Set aside 2 tbsp for mop sauce. Rub the rest into ribs and let sit for at least 2 hours or up to a day refrigerated. In a small pot combine reserved dry rub, 1 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon oil, dash of cayenne pepper sauce and a couple dashes Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and then set mop sauce aside. Get the barbecue ready and smoke moping every 1/2 hour until done. Glaze with barbecue sauce in the last half hour of cooking and serve with more sauce.