The first step is to rinse the ribs. Once they are rinsed remove the silver skin from the ribs and rinse again. The easiest way to remove the silver skin is to start from the center and using your finger or a butter knife, gently lift the silver skin from the ribs.
Removing the silver skin allows the rub to penetrate and tenderize the ribs
Chris over at NibbleMeThis has a great video showing how to remove the silverskin from ribs. You can view it here. http://nibblemethis.blogspot.com/2009/04/bbq-pork-loin-back-ribs.html
Next pat the ribs dry using a paper towel or a lint free cotton towel. Linty ribs are also a no-no.
Now it is time to add the rub to the ribs. I usually mix all of the ingredients in a big resealable bowl. That way if I have any left over, I can store it in the same container. No need to do dishes. After I get the rub mixed together, I place some in a pizza shaker and use that to apply the rub to the ribs. You can get them for $1-2 dollars at pretty much any kitchen store.
My new roommate Kate in her first Savory Reviews appearance. Look at her rubbing down the ribs.
Start on the rib side and generously apply the rub to the ribs. Flip and cover the meat side of the ribs.
Let the ribs sit for 15 - 20 minutes to get up to room temperature and marinate in the rub. During this time preheat your grill. You should only need one burner on. Get the temperature inside the grill to get to about 300-310 Degrees Fahrenheit. If your grill has vertical burners, turn on the burner farthest away from your gas tank. If your grill has horizontal burners, turn on the burner that closest to the back of the grill.
Now this is also the time to start soaking some wood chips. These will be placed in a smoker box on the grill. The smoker box will be placed directly over the flames. Don't worry if you don't have a smoker box. I MacGyver'd one for $0.75. Get a disposable bread pan and fill it with the soaked wood chips.
Homemade Smoker Box
Now cover the pan with aluminum foil. Then using a knife cut 10-15 holes in the foil. This will allow the smoke to escape from the box. A lot easier than purchasing a $15-25 smoker box.
Add holes to the foil to allow the smoke to escape.
I started with three racks of ribs and my modest gas grill was not large enough to hold 3 full racks of ribs. So I had to cut mine in half in order to fit them on the grill without them being directly over the flame. I know I shouldn't have cut them, but I needed three racks and I didn't want them to burn.
Place the ribs meat side down
Place the ribs bone side up on the grill, away from the heat. Placing them bone side up will allow the juices to pool in the ribs and allows them to self baste. Let cook for an hour and a half. Then flip and cook for another hour to an hour and half. The ribs should take between 2.5 to 3 hours to cook. Mine took 3 as I had the grill stacked with ribs. If you have less meat on the grill it will cook a little faster.
Flip so that the ribs are meat side up
You know when the ribs are done when the bones are extending from the edge of the ribs, and when you pick them up from one end and they fold over on themselves. You can always do the chef test and try one. The meat should pull cleanly from the bone, but should not fall from the bone. There should be a little give.
Ready to eat
When the ribs are done, serve them dry or wet. To sauce the ribs, remove them from the grill. Turn on the other burners to medium and let the grill preheat. Then baste the ribs, flip and grill them until the sauce sets on the ribs. Should take about 4-5 minutes with 2 flips. I usually sauce the meat side and then flip the ribs. I then sauce the bottom of the ribs and shut the lid. After 2 minutes, I flip the ribs and then sauce the meat side. I shut the lid and then wait 2 more minutes. I then remove them from the grill and serve them.
Sauced and ready to go
I served these with some grilled potatoes, coleslaw and spicy pickles.