If the thought of yet another backyard bash centered around ribs leaves you yawning, get ready for a surprise. We’ve rounded up seven recipes that utilize a number of different varieties of the bone-in meat and draw on flavors from all around the world. Whether you like your ribs spicy, sweet, or saucy, these dishes will wow both you and your friends.
1. Smoked Baby Back Ribs
Any rib roundup needs at least one classic recipe for smoked baby backs. Steven Raichlin’s version from The Barbecue! Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, which he shared with Epicurious, gets maximum flavor by turning the grill into a smoker. All you have to do is a build a fire on one side, then toss in some soaked wood chips right as you add the meat to the other half of the grill. If you’re using charcoal, you’ll have to occasionally replenish your coals.
This dish includes a recipe for a mop to brush over the ribs as they cook. While it’s not necessary, it adds a nice vinegary tang that really highlights the pork flavor. Don’t worry about the lack of sauce with this recipe, because the ribs are flavorful and juicy enough to stand alone. Besides, most folks in Memphis are strictly against sauce.
Ribs and rub
- 3 racks baby back pork ribs or 2 racks pork spareribs
- ¼ cup sweet paprika
- 4½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4½ teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons celery salt
- 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons dry mustard
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ cups hickory wood chips, soaked in water 1 hour, then drained
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- ½ cup yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons salt
Directions: Remove thin, papery skin from backside of each rib rack by pulling it off with your fingers. Use a kitchen towel or a pair of pliers to get a firm grip, and remove in one sheet.
Combine paprika, black pepper, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, celery salt, cayenne, garlic powder, mustard powder, and cumin in a small bowl, and mix to combine. Rub two-thirds of mixture over ribs on each side, and transfer to a roasting pan. Cover and let sit in refrigerator 4 to 8 hours.
Mix together vinegar, mustard, and salt for mop. Set aside.
Prepare grill for indirect grilling and set a large drip pan in the center. If using a gas grill, add drained wood chips to smoker box when preheating. If using charcoal, add chips directly to coals right before beginning. Set rack into place, and brush with oil. Arrange ribs on grate over the drip pan. Cover grill and smoke ribs for 1 hour.
Uncover grill, and brush with mop sauce. Re-cover grill, and continue to cook until ribs are tender and almost done, 15 to 30 minutes longer for baby back ribs, 30 minutes to 1 hour for spareribs. If using charcoal, add 10 to 12 fresh coals to each side after 1 hour. About 15 minutes before ribs are done, season with remaining rub.
Cut racks in half, and serve.