Tag Archives: Pork

Recipe contains pork.

BBQ Spice Rub, BBQ Ribs

Onion icon smallIngredients
For spice rub:

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon smoked (or otherwise) whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chili
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic granules
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika


  • 1-2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 10 – 12 oz. deli style brown mustard
  • Optional – for oven-roasted ribs only: 1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke, blended in with the mustard

Chef's hat icon smallerPreparation

  1. Distribute racks in smoker or oven to allow maximum airflow. Put a roasting pan with 2 – 3 cups of water. plus a box of hickory chips (if using smoker) in the bottom of the smoker/oven.
  2. Preheat smoker or oven to 225˚F.
  3. Grind all whole spices in a grinder until powdered, then add to a medium bowl and whisk together well with all the other spice rub ingredients. Put the rub into a shaker.
  4. Thoroughly salt one side of the ribs.
  5. Drizzle on the mustard in a zigzag onto the ribs, then paint it in evenly with a pastry brush.
  6. Shake on the spice rub so that it turns the mustard coating a brownish red.
  7. Turn over the ribs and repeat: apply the salt, the mustard, and the spice rub.
  8. For ribs in the smoker, place them directly on the racks. For oven-roasted ribs, place the ribs on a rack in a roasting pan or baking sheet.
  9. Cook a total of 4 1/2 to 5 hours, but take a quick peek every hour or so to make sure that there is still water in the pan at the bottom. Top up, if necessary.
  10. At 4 hours, take 3 or 4 temperature readings of the meat with an instant-read thermometer, taking care not to touch the bone with the tip.
  11. When internal temperature is at least 185˚ F, remove from cooker and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes while other sides are put out and plated.
Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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‘Queued – 1

“You’ve seen the sun flatten and take strange shapes just before it sinks in the ocean. Do you have to tell yourself every time that it’s an illusion caused by atmospheric dust and light distorted by the sea, or do you simply enjoy the beauty of it?” John Steinbeck, Sweet Thursday

Barbecued St. Louis Ribs
Barbecued St. Louis Ribs

A couple of months ago, when my friend David got his smoker and we smoked a turkey breast and a couple of chickens, we promised ourselves to do ribs next. Last Saturday, we did.

Lovely Angela (David’s wife and my favorite baby photographers EVER – see http://www.casuallycandid.com), picked up a pack of St. Louis ribs from Costco — three large racks that we cut in half to fit on the shelves in the smoker. St. Louis are the meatier of the pork ribs, but still take that slow, long cooking to make them tender and a good spicy rub to make them flavorful.

We put together a dry rub, grinding the whole spices in a coffee grinder that had been thoroughly wiped out with a paper towel (although I know one BBQ smoker who always includes coffee in his rub). We put it all into one of those red pepper shakers you find at pizzerias to make made it easy to apply it evenly.

Here is how we did the ribs in the smoker, but I’ve been musing on other ways to use it. Even if you don’t have a smoker, I think you could cook ribs in the oven in a similar way (but I haven’t tried it yet myself).

For the oven version, I think I’d add a tablespoon of Liquid Smoke to the mustard, but still slow-cook the ribs at 225˚F for 4 1/2 to 5 hours, or until several places reach 185˚ – 190˚ internal temperature on an instant-read thermometer. (Note: Ashley’s pregnant sister, who’d been craving BBQ, later followed these instructions and said they worked just fine!)

For details of the spicy rub, see BBQ Spice Rub, BBQ Ribs.

I have also promised my friend Rachelle that I would work out a recipe for making a quick and healthy — but flavorful — oven-grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast. Stay tuned. ( I did…For details of a leaner BBQ dinner, see BBQ Chicken Salad.)

Have a beautiful and delicious day! - Barbara
Have a beautiful and delicious day! – Barbara
Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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