3 large slabs (about 5 pounds total) baby back ribs, OR 2 medium to medium-small slabs (about 5 pounds total) spare ribs
cup barbecue spice
About 2 cups hickory wood chips
About 1 1/4 cup barbecue sauce.
Lay ribs on baking sheet. Sprinkle both sides evenly with spice. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 5 hours or up to one day.
One hour before cooking, place wood chips in bowl and cover with water.
About a half hour before cooking, heat half the burners on one side of the gas grill on high. (If your grill has three burners, heat two.)
To set up the grill, pour 1 inch of water into a baking pan (a 13-by-9-inch pan works well) and set over hot part of grill, the lighted burners. Drain wood chips. Wrap in foil. Poke six holes in foil, and set next to water pan directly over high heat.
When wood chips begin to smoke, lay ribs curved-side up over cooler part of grill (unlighted burner). Use a rib rack to stand up ribs when doubling or tripling the recipe so all will fit. Close grill. Turn temperature to medium. Cook 1 1/4 hours for baby back ribs, 2 for spare ribs, until beautifully reddish-brown and meat is tender when tested with fork. If grill has thermometer, it should stay about 325 F during cooking. Brush ribs with barbecue sauce, close grill and cook 10 minutes longer.
To serve ribs: Remove ribs to cutting board. With large knife, cut between bones. Serve with remaining barbecue sauce. Heat barbecue sauce in microwave, so it does not cool off the ribs.
Hickory House Barbecue Sauce
2 garlic cloves
1 C. ketchup
1 to 1 1/2 T. vinegar, preferably the smaller amount
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 C. brown sugar, well packed into cup
1/2 to 1 t. barbecue spice, store-bought or homemade (you can substitute chili powder)
1/4 t. ground black pepper
Salt, if necessary
Peel garlic cloves and press through garlic press into small saucepan. Add 3/4 cup water and all remaining ingredients. Gently simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. The sauce is then ready to use.
Recipes from Rick Bayless
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