Classic BBQ Ribs
Key West Spice Company® ISLAND BBQ Seasoning
4 Racks Baby Back Ribs, about 3 lbs. each
BBQ Sauce of choice
Classic Weber Kettle Smoker
Large Disposable Aluminum Pan (Drip Pan)
Wood Chunks of Choice (Apple, Pecan, Cherry, Peach, Hickory, Buttonwood, Sea Grape)
Using a dull knife, slide the tip under the membrane covering the back of each rack of ribs. Lift and loosen the membrane until it breaks, then grab a corner of it with a paper towel and pull it off. Season the ribs lightly with the ISLAND RUB all over, putting more of the rub on the meaty sides than the bone sides. Arrange the ribs in a rib rack, with all the ribs facing the same direction. Allow the ribs to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until the surface looks moist, before grilling.
Fill a chimney starter to the rim with charcoal and burn the charcoal until it is lightly covered with ash. Spread the charcoal in a tightly packed, single layer across one-third of the charcoal grate. Place the large disposable drip pan on the empty side of the charcoal grate. Fill the pan about halfway with warm water. Let the coals burn down to low heat (250° to 300°F). Leave the vents open enough to maintain temperature and regulate air flow.
When the fire has burned down to low heat, add two wood chunks to the charcoal. Put the cooking grate in place. Place the rib rack over indirect low heat (over the drip pan) as far from the coals as possible, with the bone sides facing toward the charcoal. Close the lid. Close the top vent about halfway. Let the ribs cook and smoke for 1 hour. During that time, maintain the temperature between 220° to 250°F by opening and closing the top vents. Meanwhile, mix your BBQ sauce of choice with some water. About ½ & ½ depending on the thickness of your sauce.
After the two hours of cooking, add 6 to 8 unlit charcoal briquettes and a few additional wood chunks to the fire. Close the lid and cook for another hour to two hours. During that time, maintain the temperature of the grill under 250°.
After about 4 hours of cooking, check if any rack is ready to come off the grill. They are done when the meat has shrunk back from most of the bones by ¼ inch or more. When you lift a rack by picking up one end with tongs, the rack should bend in the middle and the meat should tear easily. If the meat does not tear easily, continue to cook the ribs.
The total cooking time could be anywhere between 3 to 4 hours. Not all racks will cook in same amount of time. Lightly brush the cooked ribs with some of the sauce and water mixture and, if desired for crispiness, cook them over direct heat for a few minutes. Transfer to a sheet pan and tightly cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. The ribs can also be stacked together and wrapped in aluminum foil and rewarmed in the oven if being served at a later time. Serve warm with sauce on the side.
Garnish with sliced pickles.
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