Tag Archives: Ribs

Best Of: Labor Day Edition

Here is some good reading for you for this Labor Day Weekend!

  • In case you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, the draw has taken place for the Jack Daniels 23rd Annual World Championship Invitational BBQ.  BBQ Backyard has posted a list of the qualifiers.  Congrats to all who were selected!
  • I normally don’t post reviews to a review of a cleaner, but wait until you see what Cyndi Allison is cleaning
  • Check out this great interview from Grilling With Rich with Shane Draper, one of the up-and-coming superstars on the BBQ circuit.
  • If you’re not sure how to trim that big rack of spare ribs down to a St. Louis style cut, check out this video from Nibble Me This.
  • And finally, here is a first-person perspective from Kevin Sandridge of The BBQ Smoker Site on what it was like to judge a Sam’s Club regional.

Arrrr, matey! I be tryin’ Pirate Jonny’s BBQ Rubs!

I had a chance recently to try out the Caribbean Cowboy Steak Rub from Pirate Jonny’s with quite a bit of success.  Based on how that turned out, I was really excited about trying out 2 more of their rubs — original BBQ rub and Caribbean Barrr-B-Q rub.

As I believe I mentioned before, Pirate Jonny’s is based out of Tampa, FL, and specializes in BBQ and Caribbean spices and seasonings.  Their offerings range from a basic BBQ rub to a Cuban Mojo seasoning.  The Caribbean Barrr-B-Q rub placed 2nd in the 2011 National BBQ Association Awards of Excellence for BBQ rubs.  Today I will be featuring the Caribbean Barrr-B-Q rub as well as the Original BBQ rub.

Naked Observations

When taking a first look at the rubs, they looked very similar to one another in terms of color and composition.  The original BBQ rub was a little bit clumped together due to the amount of brown sugar.  The Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub contained not as much in the way of brown sugar as well as other spices to give it the unique flavor that it has.

Original Rub

Original Rub

Original Rub Close-Up

Original Rub Close-Up

Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub

Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub

Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub Close-Up

Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub Close-Up

The next step, naturally, was to take a taste test.  To completely oversimplify it, the original BBQ rub trends on the sweet side while the Caribbean Barrr-B-Q rub trends on the spicy side.  However, to leave it at that does the spices injustice.  The seasonings have a lot of Caribbean influence, especially in the Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub.

To the MEat of the Matter

I’ve been on a rib kick lately.  I wanted to use this seasoning on some baby back ribs.  However, the sample packs that I had did not really adequately season them like I wanted.  Then a thought occurred to me…  use ‘em both together!!  I slathered the ribs using Famous Dave’s Original BBQ sauce and then applied the majority of the original BBQ rub.  After refrigerating overnight, I then applied the Caribbean Barrr-B-Q rub to the ribs just before putting them in the cooker.

Seasoned Ribs, Ready to Go!

Seasoned Ribs, Ready to Go!

I went with a 2-1-1 cooking method for these ribs where I cooked the ribs uncovered for 2 hours at between 225 and 250 degrees.  Then I foiled the ribs and added some brown sugar and honey and cooked for an hour.  In the final hour of cooking, I unfoiled the ribs and added a glaze of BBQ sauce from Draper’s BBQ.  During this last hour, I also glazed the ribs with 30 minutes remaining.

Finished Product

Finished Product

The ribs had a beautiful dark red color to them, and they had an excellent flavor!  The seasonings did not overpower the meat but worked cohesively with the ribs.  Even my wife, who does not normally eat meat with bones in it, devoured her share of ribs.

The aftermath

The aftermath

Would I recommend these rubs?  Oh yeah!  If I had to pick a favorite, I would probably pick the Caribbean Barrr-B-Q Rub.  To me, that rub has an excellent balance of sweet, salty, and spicy to make it an excellent seasoning to use on your BBQ.

Pirate Jonny’s can be found on the web at http://www.piratejonnys.com, where they also have an online shopping cart.  You can also find Pirate Jonny’s on Facebook.  If you become a fan of  Pirate Jonny’s, tell ‘em Big Wayner sent you!

Review: Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce

Normally I would try to put in some kind of catchy, witty opening that would eventually segue into talking about the product that I’m reviewing.  However, today’s product really doesn’t need any kind of fancy lead-in.  So without any further delay, let’s take a look at Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce!

Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce

Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce

Butcher BBQ is the brainchild of David Bouska.  Based in Chandler, OK, Butcher BBQ began in 1982 as Bouska was learning the ins and outs of beef, pork, and poultry while working at a meat market.  In 2006, Bouska hit the local competition circuit with very good results and decided to take his products on the market.  To this day, Butcher BBQ is one of the more successful teams on the competition circuit.  Butcher BBQ has an extensive line of injections, rubs, and sausage spices.  But to the best of my knowledge, this is Bouska’s only entry into the sauce market.  So let’s check it out!

Naked Observations

At first glimpse, the sauce appears to be a classic KC style thick and sweet sauce.  It has a nice dark red color.  However, when pouring it out, the rate at which it pours out of the bottle indicates that there is another ingredient that slightly thins out the sauce.  I looked at the ingredient label, and sure enough distilled vinegar and apple cider vinegar are listed as two of the ingredients.

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Swatch

Sauce Close-Up

Sauce Close-Up

When taking a sample taste, I find that there many different levels of sweetness.  With some sauces, there is just one predominant level of sweet (usually from high fructose corn syrup).  With this sauce, there seem to be multiple dimensions of sweetness that balance out well with a slight tang.  There is not much heat (if any) in this sauce.

To the Meat of the Matter

Plain and simple, ribs.  Spare ribs trimmed down to St. Louis style cut, to be exact.  I used the sauce as my finishing glaze on ribs that I cooked as part of a company BBQ.  If you’re interested in reading exactly how I cooked them, you can find a full write-up here.  Needless to say, the ribs ended up with a beautiful color, and I only had five rib bones left over out of nine racks of ribs.  I’d say it was a success!

Ribs finished with Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce

Ribs finished with Butcher BBQ Sweet BBQ Sauce

Pile of Ribs.  Apologies for the fuzzy picture.

Pile of Ribs. Apologies for the fuzzy picture.

I would definitely recommend this sauce to anyone.  It has an excellent flavor that will work great on most meats.

Butcher BBQ’s website is http://www.butcherbbq.com.  From there, you can order any of their products online.  You can also find Butcher BBQ on Facebook.

Review: Hak’s Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

It’s not everyday that you get the chance to review the product of a TV show contestant.  I got the chance to today with trying out Hak’s Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce.

Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

The sauce is the creation of Sharone Hakman, whom many of you may know as one of the contestants from the first season of MasterChef.  Hakman made it to the next-to-last week of the season before being eliminated.  He has since used the wave of publicity from the television show to launch his own line of BBQ sauces.  The chipotle bourbon sauce is the first in the line of sauces, and a Thai chili tamarind sauce and a habanero pineapple sauce is slated for release later this year.  Now… on to the sauce!

Naked Observations

The first thing I notice about the sauce is the style of bottle that is used to contain the sauce.  The sauce is in a glass bottle that is somewhat reminiscent of a whiskey or bourbon bottle.  The sauce pours out very, very thick with a deep, dark red color.  The consistency of the sauce is broken up by the bits of caramelized onions distributed throughout the sauce.

Sauce swatch -- Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Sauce swatch -- Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Closeup of sauce swatch

Closeup of sauce swatch

When I took a taste of it, there were many flavors going on within the sauce.  There is a balance of sweet, spicy, heat, and tang.  The sauce also contains that distinct taste found in alcohol-based sauces.  I did have to take a couple of tastes — the first one did not have a lot of heat, while the second one did.  Shaking the bottle before pouring the sauce out should help in evening the flavors.

To the Meat of the Matter

I confess that I had to do a couple of different tests for this sauce.  My original test about 2 or 3 weeks ago was to use this sauce as a finishing glaze on some grilled sausages.

Sausages.  Pay no attention to that crusty one.

Sausages. Pay no attention to that crusty one.

Frankly, the sauce did not add a lot of flavor to the sausages.  I was a bit disappointed, to say the least.  But then I  decided that I would put the sauce away for another test run.  That time came today when I decided to make a rib trimming sandwich (using spare rib trimmings from my catering gig), and I used the sauce in more of a condiment style.

Rib Trimming Sandwich using Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Rib Trimming Sandwich using Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

This test seemed to let the flavors of the sauce shine more.  I could taste the different flavors from the sauce that were added to the meat, yet the meat was not overpowered at all by the sauce.

One thing that could be a potential deal-breaker is the price of the sauce.  The website for Hak’s BBQ Sauce has the sauce listed for $8 per 12-oz. bottle (plus $2.99 shipping) or 3 bottles for $18 (plus $10.95 shipping).

Overall, I think this sauce definitely has some potential.  This would work well on larger cuts of meat (burgers, chops, ribs).  However, the price point for the sauce definitely puts it in the “gourmet sauce” realm and out of the reach of a lot of potential customers.

The website for Hak’s BBQ Sauce (where you can purchase the sauce) is http://www.haksbbq.com.  You can also find Hak’s BBQ Sauce on Facebook.

Best Of: July 17-24

Geez, it’s been hot!  Hope you’re all staying cool.  Here are a few links to check out to keep you out of this ridiculously hot and steamy weather:

  • Robyn Medlin Lindars (affectionately known as GrillGrrrl) explains what the big deal is about the reverse sear with this recipe.
  • Paul Height of No Excuses BBQ cooks up some beautiful ribs, now that he has plenty of time to do so.
  • Two of my favorite people are tag teaming to run a contest.  Check out this blog post on how you can enter to win a really sweet Draper’s BBQ gift set courtesy of Kevin’s BBQ Joints.
  • And to toot my own horn, I survived my first pseudo-catering gig

Ribs for 30, Or How My First Pseudo-Catering Gig Went

Today was THE day I had been anticipating for quite some time.  About a month ago, a co-worker and I volunteered to cook for the entire office (around 30 people).  The original plan was for us to just cook pork butt, but it ended up that I volunteered to cook ribs while my co-worker would take care of the pork butt.  So here’s how that went…

First step — two days ago, I bought a whole bunch of spare ribs from Restaurant Depot (9 racks) and trim them to a St. Louis cut.

Spare ribs, trimmed to a St. Louis cut

Spare ribs, trimmed to a St. Louis cut

Last night, the ribs were slathered in Famous Dave’s Rich and Sassy BBQ Sauce and lightly seasoned with Willie’s Hog Dust Original Blend BBQ Rub.  After being slathered and seasoned, the ribs went into the refrigerator for the night.

Slathered and Seasoned

Slathered and Seasoned

This morning started early as I woke up at 3:45am to fire up the smoker.  At 4:45am, the smoker was up to 250 degrees, and in went the ribs!  The ribs cooked at between 225 and 250 degrees using oak wood.

Lots of ribs, about 2 1/2 hours in

Lots of ribs, about 2 1/2 hours in

At the three hour mark, I re-seasoned the ribs and put them back in the smoker.  At four hours in, I pull the ribs, add some dark brown sugar and honey, and foil them.

Ribs prior to brown sugar and honey drizzle

Ribs prior to brown sugar and honey drizzle

After another hour, the ribs were unfoiled and glazed with sweet BBQ sauce from Butcher BBQ.  The ribs were pulled after a grand total of 6 hours in the smoker.

About to be sauced

About to be sauced

The finished product.  Bad lighting, but it had beautiful color!

The finished product. Bad lighting, but it had beautiful color!

When the ribs were finished, they were wrapped in foil and placed in a towel-lined cooler for transport.  Once on-site, the ribs were sliced and ready to serve.

Yours truly slicing the ribs

Yours truly slicing the ribs. Picture courtesy of the company president.

Ready to serve.  Crappy cell phone pic.

Ready to serve. Crappy cell phone pic.

So how did it turn out?  If I go by how much food was left, it was a success with there only being five ribs left.  Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with one woman declaring it the best ribs she’s ever eaten.  Now if that doesn’t boost my ego, nothing will!

So that was my first experience with cooking for more than 3 or 4 people.  Except for the whole “getting up at 3:45am” part, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would not hesitate to volunteer to do it again!

Review: Midwood Smokehouse — Charlotte, NC

A couple of weeks ago, I heard rumor of a new BBQ joint opening up in Charlotte.  As I read more and more about it, I started getting excited and determined that I just had to check this new place out soon.  Well that new place is Midwood Smokehouse, and I took the opportunity today to check it out before having to head in to the office.

Midwood Smokehouse

Midwood Smokehouse

Nestled in the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte, NC, Midwood Smokehouse is the newest restaurant opened by longtime Charlotte restauranteur Frank Scibelli.  Scibelli is the brain child behind several popular Charlotte restaurants such as Big Daddy’s Burger Bar and Paco’s Tacos and Tequila.  As noted in an interview with Charlotte Magazine, Scibelli’s restaurant fully intends to produce serious, authentic BBQ using a cooker fueled by nothing but wood (thank you for the correction regarding this).  To accomplish this goal, he traveled around North Carolina to research the state’s well-known pork barbecue joints, and he also collaborated with James Beard award winner Robb Walsh on the intricacies of Texas barbecue (read: brisket).  My task for today was to see how close he came to meeting this goal.

While the location of the restaurant may be in a trendy part of the city, the interior decor was inviting.  A mirror behind the bar stated the daily specials as well as some rather interesting one-liners:

The bar with its specials

The bar with its specials

Good Wood, Big Racks, Great Times

Good Wood, Big Racks, Great Times

Since Midwood Smokehouse has been open for less than two weeks, the menu was a little limited.  However, plenty of options were still available, ranging from Eastern Carolina style pork to brisket to sausage made on the premises.  After perusing the menu, I ordered a half-rack of ribs (St. Louis style) with a side of BBQ baked beans.  I requested that the ribs be sauced.  In addition, I ordered an additional side of bacon-wrapped jalapenos stuffed with cheese (which I lovingly refer to as ABTs, or atomic buffalo turds).  The server was very pleasant, taking her time to go through several of the menu options and offer her personal recommendations.  After about 10 minutes, my order arrived.

My order -- ribs

My order -- ribs

The first thing I notice is that the ribs were served with sauce on the side instead of being glazed on the ribs (as I expected).  The food certainly looked appetizing, and I will get to my thoughts on the food shortly.  As I was taking pictures of my food, the general manager came over to my table.  I introduced myself to him (as I emailed him a few days ago about arranging a time to see their smoker), and he immediately offered to bring me a sampling of their other menu items.  How could I possibly refuse?  As if I wasn’t already starting to feel full enough, out comes a sampling of pork, brisket, prime rib, sausage, and other goodies.

A sampling of meats

A sampling of meats

Smoked Prime Rib and Brisket

Smoked Prime Rib and Brisket

In addition, I also got to sample all of the sauces that Midwood Smokehouse offers as well as a small sample of collard greens.  Now on to the verdict…

The ribs had an excellent flavor. The meat was not too smoky, and I could actually taste the pork rather than an overabundance of rub to mask the flavor of the meat.  However, there were two things I immediately noticed:

  • The back membrane had been left on the rack when it was cooked.
  • The rib meat pulled right off the bone without any resistance, which signified that they were a bit overcooked.

The sausage was a very mild sausage.  It had a bit of a crumbly texture.  Since I’m not an expert on how authentic Texas-style sausage should taste, I won’t give an opinion on that.  The brisket was good, with a nice texture and taste.

The pork was, in short, PERFECT!  It had a perfect savory flavor, and the texture was on point (and not mushy like a lot of Eastern Carolina style pork can be).  Honestly, the pork did not need any sauce, but I decided to try it with the vinegar-based sauce.  The sauce added an extra dimension to the pork.

Finally, the prime rib…  why didn’t someone introduce me to smoked prime rib before?  Completely and totally droolworthy!  This one is definitely on my repeat list.

So would I recommend this BBQ joint?  Absolutely, with no reservations whatsoever!

The website for Midwood Smokehouse is http://www.midwoodsmokehouse.com.  You can also find them on Facebook here.  They are located at 1401 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28205.  

Midwood Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Review: Draper’s BBQ Smokin’ Sauce and A.P. Rub

One of the new up-and-coming stars in the BBQ sauce and rub scene is Shane Draper of Draper’s BBQ.  He has embraced social media as a primary platform for marketing his sauce and rub, and it has been a resounding success!  After reading several reviews of his products (including reviews done by Kevin Kelly of Kevin’s BBQ Joints and Wilfred Reinke a.k.a. the Oshawa Ogre), I knew this was a product I had to try.  Shane was gracious enough to send me a bottle of his Smokin’ Sauce and A.P. Rub to review.

Draper's BBQ Smokin' Sauce and A.P. Rub

Draper's BBQ Smokin' Sauce and A.P. Rub

Before I start on the rub and sauce, let me give some background information on Draper’s BBQ.  Draper’s BBQ (or DBQ for short) is located in Western Kentucky and is the result of three generations of BBQ knowledge and devotion.  When Shane’s sauce placed 8th overall in the tomato-based sauce category at Memphis in May, he knew that this was the writing on the wall to get his products out on to the market.  You’ll see the phrase “Three generations of pride and flavor in a bottle” on every bottle of sauce and rub, and Draper’s takes that phrase very seriously.  (If you’re interested in the full story, you can read it here.  It’s a very well-written piece, and my quick summary doesn’t really do it justice.)

Naked Observations

One of the things I like to do whenever I review a sauce or a rub is to see how it looks and tastes by itself.  This doesn’t necessarily give a clear indicator of whether or not a product will be excellent, but it does set the table for how a product may fare later.  First off, the rub…

Close-up of Draper's BBQ A.P. Rub

Close-up of Draper's BBQ A.P. Rub

When I read the ingredients label on the rub bottle, I saw that the first two ingredients listed were sea salt and turbinado sugar.  I am a HUGE fan of using turbinado and demerara sugar as ingredients.  Taking a close-up look at a sample of the rub, you can see that there is a nice uniformity to the different components of the rub.  Also, the color is a very nice orange shade that works beautifully in BBQ.  When I took a taste of the rub, I found that the sweet and salty flavor profiles of the rub worked together very well.  All in all, I was very pleased with the balance of flavors contained in the A.P. Rub.

Draper's BBQ Smokin' Sauce

Close-up of Draper's BBQ Smokin' Sauce

I did the same thing with the Smokin’ Sauce.  It is a very thick sauce that pours out quite slowly (thanks to the molasses, honey, and ketchup components).  The color is a very deep crimson red, and you can see specks of pepper and spice distributed fairly evenly throughout.  I took a taste of the sauce, and I determined that there is a LOT going on in the sauce!  There are multiple flavors going on that you taste all at once.  I detected flavors of molasses and honey, picked up hints of the ketchup that is being used, and tasted something that I thought was cinnamon.  I looked at the ingredients list, and sure enough cinnamon and nutmeg are listed as ingredients in this sauce.  A “Kraft BBQ-er” (and by that term, I refer to a person whose primary sauce of choice is Kraft BBQ Sauce) may be a bit confused with all the flavors going on in this sauce, but I found it to be excellent and complex.

Maybe it was my imagination, but I thought I read somewhere that the two products were manufactured to be used together.  My next instinct was to try tasting them together.  When I combined the A.P. Rub with the Smokin’ Sauce and tasted them together, things clicked!  The flavors of the rub were a perfect complement to the sauce!

Let’s Stick It On Some Meat

Of course we all know that the most important thing about sauces and rubs is how well do they work when used on some form of meat.  My meat of choice for the day: RIBS!!  Anytime that I have an opportunity to do ribs on the smoker, I seize that opportunity.

I trimmed down a rack of spare ribs to a St. Louis style cut.  After removing the back membrane, I lightly coated the ribs with vegetable oil (since I was out of mustard) and dusted both sides of the rack with the A.P. rub.  The rack (along with the trimmings which I used to play around with some other combinations) went on the smoker, and the ribs cooked at 250 degrees using oak wood.  After about 3 hrs and 40 minutes, I gave the ribs a nice glaze using the Smokin’ Sauce.  Twenty minutes later, the rack came off.

Ribs using Draper's BBQ A.P. Rub and Smokin' Sauce

Ribs using Draper's BBQ A.P. Rub and Smokin' Sauce

Nice Rack

Nice Rack

After resting for about 15-20 minutes, it was time to dig in!  The ribs were a touch overcooked, but that’s no fault of Draper’s BBQ — that one lies squarely on my shoulders.  The flavor is what I’m here to talk about, and WOW!  Flavor-wise, these were probably some of the most flavorful ribs I’ve eaten.  I was able to taste the meat of the rib, and the rub and sauce enhanced those flavors rather than overpowered them.  To me, that’s the mark of a very good sauce and rub.

Overall, I would highly recommend using both of these products.  I would also recommend using them together to obtain optimal flavor profiles.

If you are in the Western Kentucky area, you can find Draper’s BBQ products in certain stores.  A listing of these stores can be found here.  Their products are also available for purchase online at the BBQ Pro Shop or through their own online store.

Website: http://www.drapersbbq.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Drapers-BBQ/105461296168040
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/drapersbbq

Confessions of a First-Time KCBS Judge

As a lot of you probably already know, I like barbecue a little bit.  If you didn’t know that… well now you know.  In October of last year, I finally broke down and joined the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS).  Soon after joining, I learn that there would be a judging class in November of that same year not too far from where I live.  I took the class and joined that elite society known as KCBS judges.

With my newly anointed judgedom, I set off in search of competitions to which I could apply to be a judge.  One of the first competitions I was accepted to judge for was the Firehouse BBQ Cookoff in Kings Mountain, NC.  For those who are interested in the results, you can find them here.  As the day grew closer, I started to get a little more nervous.  Even though the judging class was very thorough in covering what to expect for judging a competition, I was still not sure what to expect.

For those of you who do not know, KCBS-sanctioned competitions have four main meat categories: chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket.  These categories are judged according to set criteria.  Each individual contest may have additional ancillary categories, but they each have the four meats.

Once I walked in and was given my assigned table, it was like an episode of Cheers — where everyone knows your name.  The others at the same table as me were all very friendly and pleasant to talk to and made this newcomer feel welcome!  Once again, my perception of BBQ people being absolutely genuine held true!

Now to my opinions on the food… it was all excellent!  Each piece of chicken, rib, serving of pork, and brisket was all very tasty.  Obviously some were more tasty than others.  The one thing I did notice — especially with ribs and chicken — is that an overly sweet sauce was used as a glaze on the meat.  Now I don’t mind sauce on chicken or ribs… but the sauces seem to take away from the meat rather than enhance it.  The sauces seem to be just sweet and didn’t really have any depth to them.  I’m not sure if this is a trend in competitions nowadays.  Maybe one of the competitors can give me some insight into it.

All in all, the money and time invested in becoming a judge was absolutely worth it!  The Firehouse BBQ Cookoff was well organized and fun to judge.  I’m looking forward to future competitions and hopefully applying to judge the Firehouse BBQ Cookoff again!

Did Someone Say Ribs?

Let me start this off by saying…  my in-laws rock!  While I had to go in to the office to work this past Saturday, they, along with my wife, worked out in our yard and got it in decent shape.  For all the hard work that they did, I had to pay them back somehow.  And how does someone with a passion for BBQ pay back a favor?  Why, with BBQ, of course!  And luckily for me, the requested meat was ribs!

Now the big question…  baby backs or spares?  After much deliberation, spares won out.  This entailed a trip to my local Sam’s Club and purchasing a three-pack of spare ribs.  I trimmed the ribs down to a St. Louis style cut and then seasoned them three different ways.

The rib racks

The rib racks

I’ll describe the rack preparations starting at the top and rotating clockwise.  I applied lemon juice to the first rack and sprinkled liberal amounts of Willie’s Hog Dust to the rack .  By the way, Willie’s Hog Dust works great on pork butt.  The second rack (the one oriented vertically) was slathered in Uncle Kenny’s Spicy BBQ Sauce and covered liberally with Spicy #13 Rub from Bandiola Spice Company.  This rack was thus dubbed the “Hot Rack”.  The final rack was slathered in Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce and rubbed with Plowboy’s Yard Bird Rub.

The racks were put in the smoker (along with the trimmings from the spare ribs… lesson here: leave no meat behind) to cook at 250 degrees Fahrenheit using Kingsford competition briquettes and oak wood.  After about four hours, the ribs were done.  And they sure looked good!

Ribs are done!

Ribs are done!

Since I used sauces in the rib preparation, I decided to pass on glazing the ribs before pulling them out of the smoker.  As you can see, there is a nice rich deep red color to the ribs.  It was perfectly done, with nice bite marks being left with each bite.  Obviously everyone else agreed, even my wife (who is adamantly opposed to eating meat with bones in it)…

The survivors...

The survivors...

Now I confess I’m a bit of a heat lover.  I think that most every food can benefit from a bit of spice and heat.  While I was pleased with how all the racks turned out, I was especially pleased with the results from my Hot Rack.  The combination of  Bandiola Spice Company’s Spicy #13 Rub and Uncle Kenny’s Spicy BBQ Sauce gave the ribs a sneaky back heat that I really enjoyed!

Hope this inspires you to get out and fire up the cooker this coming weekend and cook those ribs that you’ve been meaning to cook for so long now!