Baby Back Ribs My Way

Everybody has their own way of cooking ribs. I prefer them slow cooked on a gas smoker (because of its ability to maintain a consistent temperature) with Mesquite wood chips.

2 Racks Baby Back Ribs (Note: Select thicker/meatier ribs so they stay
moister and juicier)
Arizona Rub (blend of your choice)
Mesquite wood chips (or wood chips of your choice)
Arizona Rub Old Wrangler™ BBQ Sauce (if desired)

Start by cutting racks of ribs into halves or thirds or whatever size fits your smoker. Thoroughly coat on all sides with Arizona Rub (don’t be stingy) and place in pan. (Note: The rub should completely cover the surface of the ribs—especially the meat side.) Cover pan with plastic wrap and let sit room temperature for at least an hour or more. If you are going to let them marinate for more than three hours, refrigerate, but bring back to room temperature before cooking.

While ribs are marinating, soak wood chips in water for at least an hour. (Note: The type of wood chips you use will greatly affect the taste of the ribs. If you prefer a milder flavor, use pecan or apple wood chips. Oak and mesquite are a bit stronger.) There are, of course, many more types available. Drain the wood chips and place in the smoker box and position in the smoker.

Many smokers have a water pan which serves a couple of purposes: they catch grease drippings as well as maintain moisture. So don’t forget to fill the pan with water if your smoker comes with one. Place ribs in smoker and cook at a constant 200 degrees for about six hours or until the meat starts falling off the bone. It’s very important to maintain a consistent temperature or you risk overcooking which can dry out the ribs. We want to keep them moist and juicy!

I really like ribs naked—just the way they come out of the smoker. But if you prefer BBQ sauce, you can brush well with BBQ sauce (KC Masterpiece or Sweet Baby Rays are my preference) before serving. If you prefer, you can also finish on a BBQ for a few minutes to caramelize the BBQ sauce and add a bit more of that just-off-the-grill flavor.

*Cook times are approximate.