I was drawn to this recipe when I was looking for a great way to prepare ribs for a family barbecue a couple of years ago. I liked the idea of preparing the ribs ahead of time so I would have more time to visit with family, I was won over by the great flavor and so were the guests. A few more steps and ingredients than most of my recipes, but well worth your time.
6 pounds spare ribs, trimmed and membrane removed
1-3/4 cups cider vinegar, divided
1-3/4 cups apple cider, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons Louisiana-style hot pepper sauce, divided
1 tablespoon salt
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
3 cups wood chips, soaked in water for 1/2 hour before grilling; drained
In very large glass or non-reactive dish, mix together 1 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup cider, garlic, bay leaves, 2 tablespoons hot sauce and salt. Place ribs in marinade, turn to coat; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 16 hours, turning once during marinade time.
Meanwhile, combine all BBQ Rub ingredients in small bowl.
2 hours before grilling time, remove ribs from marinade and pat dry; discard marinade. Sprinkle ribs evenly with 1/2 cup of dry rub; patting lightly to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours. Remove ribs from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1/2 hour before grilling.
In medium glass bowl, mix together remaining 3/4 cup cider vinegar, 3/4 cup cider and 1 tablespoon hot sauce.
Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat gas grill for indirect grilling over low heat. Add 1 cup soaked wood chips. Place ribs on grill; cover and cook 1-1/2 to 2 hours basting twice with vinegar-cider mixture during cook time. Turn ribs and continue cooking, covered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until ribs are crispy and meat has pulled back from the bone, adding wood chips to heat every hour as needed and basting with vinegar-cider mixture. Remove ribs from grill. Baste with any remaining vinegar-cider mixture; sprinkle with remaining BBQ Rub. Serve as is or with your favorite sauce. 6 servings.
TIP: If ribs are done before you are ready to serve, wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil and keep warm on grill over very low indirect heat for up to 1 hour.
NOTE: BBQ Rub may be stored at room temperature in airtight container for up to 2 months.
Make ahead menu suggestions:
Original source Food Network, revised by Simply Cook