First Pork Ribs Experiment
Pork ribs! Just hearing it said out loud can make your mouth water with thoughts of messy deliciousness sticking to your fingers as you bite into one of the best meats to ever to be kissed by smoke! According to my wife ribs are one of nature’s most perfect foods, along with potatoes, so it was only a matter of time before I had to try my hand at cooking them in my Weber Smokey Mountain, and the time was now!
I went to Sam’s Club and picked up a package of pork loin ribs, brought them home, and coated them up with a heavy coat of dry rub. I then covered them in aluminum foil and placed them in the refrigerator while I prepped the WSM.
For pork I love to use hickory chunks! It gives the meat such a wonderful flavor and I figured if it works for packaged bacon, it has to be good for ribs, shoulders, and tenderloins because after all, smoke is just another ingredient in BBQ! I’ve discovered that soaking the wood chunks in water for an hour or more provides the best smoke to cook with. The soaked wood obviously takes longer to burn which makes the smoke last a little longer.
Once I had the WSM up to a consistent 225 degrees, I added the wood chunks and placed the three racks of ribs on grates. Weber makes rib racks (which I picked up at Home Depot) and they work great for placing on the smoker. They definitely save space so that all three racks of ribs could go on the top grate.
After 2 and half hours, I took the lid off the smoker to take look. They looked amazing, and the meat was just starting to shrink away from the rib bone so I decided to give them a good heavy bath in homemade BBQ sauce. An hour past and I knew that they were just about finished so I gave them another coat of BBQ sauce, replaced the lid, and waited another 15 minutes before I took them off the grate.
My mouth was watering as I took them into the kitchen and began cutting them into manageable pieces. I had to sneak a bite (one of the benefits of cutting up the meat, right?!) and I’m pretty sure my eyes rolled to the back of my head! At the dinner table, I knew my biggest challenge was to impress my wife. As she took the first couple of bites she said “Wow! These are spicy!” I, too, had noticed that there was a little zing to them, but I have a higher tolerance for spicy foods than she does, so I didn’t think much about it. But the more she ate, the hotter the spice became! That didn’t stop her from eating them, we just agreed to take the spices down in my BBQ sauce and not use so much rub on the next batch of ribs I smoke.
The weirdest thing, however, was when we both ate them the next day (I love leftovers!) and we both agreed that the ribs tasted perfect, not spicy at all! I’m not sure why that happened, why the spice cooled off the next day, but it’s definitely something that I’m going to have to experiment with and find out what made this batch of ribs so hot. And honestly, I can’t wait to try again!!