David’s Smoked Ribs

Ribs are a favorite of ours. David has been working on these ribs for years, but this is the first time I’ve been his little shadow (stalker) the entire time trying to get as much of a recipe as I could. Since we use a sidecar smoker, giving a correct cooking time is a little tricky, but I’d say allow for 5-6 hours of cooking time, plus an hour of resting. Parts of this recipe are more of a method so you may have to use your best judgment at times.

A tray with parchment paper on top. There are three rigs, a small mason jar of pickles and jalapeños, and ramekins of onions, and coleslaw with a sprig of parsley on top. There is also a side of the homemade bbq sauce.

Ingredients and instructions

Ribs: Cooking Time 5-6 hours + resting
2 Racks of Baby Back Ribs
1/4 Cup Yellow Mustard + 2 Tbsp 1/2 cup apple juice
Seasoning mix:
1/2 cup chili powder
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp mustard powder
1.5 tsp onion powder
1.5 tsp cumin
1/4 cup salt
1 tbsp cracked black pepper

Mix seasoning and set aside Remove Ribs night before cooking. Place on a sheet tray and pat dry with paper towels. Add 1 Tbsp yellow mustard to each rack of ribs and rub over the front and back to coat. Generously season ribs on both sides, then refrigerate overnight uncovered. ** This part isn’t absolutely necessary if you don’t have time. You can just remove them from the package and leave them uncovered overnight, or just skip straight to seasoning before you cook them! ** Air Drying and seasoning overnight help for 2 reasons. 1. The seasoning has a chance to soak into the meat a little bit. 2. Aid drying helps the smoke stick to the ribs a bit more when you put them on your smoker.

Preheat your smoker to 250º Pull ribs from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking to allow them to get to room temperature. Mix the 1/4 cup yellow mustard and 1/2 cup apple juice in a bowl or mason jar. Get a basting brush ready too! Once your smoker is up to temp, put your ribs bone side down on the smoker on the far end from the firebox.

5 hours later…

You want to maintain your temp at 250º and smoke for 5-6 hours. Check the temperature every 30-45 minutes, and baste the ribs with the mustard/apple juice mixture.
After the 1st hour, flip the ribs bone side up and baste them. Leave for an hour, then flip back and continue cooking/basting in their original positioning. In the meantime start working on the BBQ Sauce!

a 8x8 pyrex filled with blended tomatoes and seasoning ready to be reduced on the smoker

Start checking around the 5-hour mark to see if the ribs are ready. To tell if they are done, pick the racks up individually from the middle with a pair of tongs. David’s phrase was “they should bend, not break”. Sometimes one rack may take a little longer depending on the size. Once they are done, remove them from the smoker and rest for 45 minutes to an hour. You could wrap them, but I like the bark crispy. So we usually just put them in an oven I’ve preheated to 170º and then turned off, so they stay warm. Slice up and serve! We’ve been really into this coleslaw recipe Don’t forget your BBQ accouterments! BBQ Sauce, pickles, sliced onions, and sliced jalapenos are a must!


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