A long time ago, an early reader of this blog kindly gave me an old smoker of his. I didn’t get round to using it and it rusted quite badly. I’m going to get it fixed, but I finally decided to try smoking stuff anyway…
I’ve had a rack of ribs sitting in the freezer for a couple of weeks, so I took it out. I made a rub with lots of paprika and chili powder, some tumeric, garlic salt, sugar, cocoa powder, black pepper. I used my pestle and morter to crush a couple of dried smoked chipotles (without seeds) and threw those in for good measure. I then rubbed the ribs and returned them to the fridge for 5 or so hours.
I filled a starter chimney with hardwood charcoal and got that going. I took a bunch of hickory chips, soaked them in apple cider vinegar and water for about an hour. When the coals were ready, I put half in each side of my Weber grill, added a drip pan coated with aluminum foil in the middle, and threw the hickory chips on.
I put the ribs in a rib rack and put the whole shebang in the middle of the grill. I needed to regulate temperature, so I opened the holes at the top of the grill slightly and stuck in a candy thermometer. Initially, the temperature was far too high (near 350F), so I closed the holes as far as I could with the thermometer still in there, and got it down to 250F, where I tried to keep it. When it went too far down (it was down to 175F at some point), I added more coals to both sides from another batch in the chimney, plus some more soaked hickory chips.
After a little less than three hours, I took the ribs out of the rack, slathered my bbq sauce all over them and put them straight on the grill for another 20 minutes or so.
In the meantime, DurmOnion made a lovely succotash out of some tomatoes from the garden, and corn and butter beans from Brinkley.
The ribs came out incredibly smoky and really fantastic. I has smoky burps until I went to bed about three hours later – I’m a burpy kinda guy! This was probably some of the best straight-up meat I’ve ever made. I will be smoking more stuff soon