BBQ29/17:St Louis-Style Spare Ribs:
I was chatting to @ArtustWimthag and @ChrisABBQ about meat and butchers the other week and they both recommended I contact Mark from @bobsbutchers for the BBQ cuts which can be hard to find. I have wanted to do ribs again for a while and have also wanted to find some meatier ribs as the baby back ribs I have done in the past haven’t had a lot of meat on them. The guys recommended St Louis-Style Spare Ribs so I added them to the order and picked the Hang Fire recipe from their book.
I made a bit of an error the day before the cook. I had ordered 2x racks and was planning to cook both but I had only got 1 rack out of the freezer mainly because they were so big and thick I was convinced it must be 2 racks! Not to worry, I will try another recipe/method with the other rack.
The night before the cook I made the Hang Fire Almost All-purpose rub (fine sea salt, paprika, soft light brown sugar, garlic granules, onion powder, coarsely ground black pepper, chipotle chilli powder, celery salt, ground all spice, cumin seeds and fennel seeds). My daughter was keen to help so she was counting the number of spoons of each item and was on stirring duties!
I already had a good amount of the Hang Fire Smokehouse Barbecue Sauce left to use from a previous cook but this cook used almost all of that up so I will make some more soon (it’s really good!).
On the day of the cook I removed the membrane from the back of the ribs using a bit of kitchen towel to get a good grip and it came off easily. I then rubbed some American mustard all over the ribs and used my shaker to apply the rub to all surfaces of the ribs. It was quite hard to get the edges so I used my hands to rub it in on those sides then put the meat in the fridge for an hour.
I set the smoker up with a bag of heat beads and poured in a lit chimney of Green Olive Charcoal, once it was up to 225F I added some chunks of Hickory and Oak (I probably should have just used one kind but it smelt good!) and added the meat (curved side down).
After each hour I added more wood chunks until the 3 hour mark where I wrapped the ribs in foil with a bit of apple juice and cider vinegar inside.
After another 2 hours (5 hours in) I removed the meat from the foil and put it back in the smoker for another hour for the bark to reform (6 hours so far). It was now time to glaze the meat with the BBQ sauce which I had heated up and added some butter to.
I left the ribs in for 15 minutes before applying another layer of BBQ sauce and leaving it for another 15 minutes before applying a final layer and taking the ribs out to rest for 10 minutes once they hit 90C internal temperature. Looks like I got a fair bit of sauce on the bones, I wasn’t overly worried about presentation so didn’t bother foiling the bones.
After leaving the meat to rest for 10 minutes I cut them in half to have a look at the colour of the meat – it was looking good!
I cut through the rack between each bone and it was really looking good now. The colour on the top of the ribs from the rub and glaze was fantastic!
My wife made a mango salad to have with the ribs and it worked really well as a contrast to the spicy bbq food.
Things to change for next time:
Not sure I would change a lot with this one. My Pit Viper is still broken so there wasn’t a steady temperature of 225F through the cook but I was quite relaxed about it, the ribs were big enough to cope with a few temperature spikes!
I really enjoyed the ribs and preferred them to baby backs which I have done before, the rub and sauce combo really added to them. I had some leftovers for lunch the next day and they were really tasty still – dipped in the BBQ sauce!