This crowd-pleasing ribs recipe was passed along to me by my former boss at WZID, Pat McKay. It’s best made on a warm, sunny afternoon when you can carve out about four hours to luxuriate in the sights and smells of slow-smoking pork ribs. Adult beverages are optional, but encouraged.
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 31/2-41/2 hours
3 racks of pork ribs
(baby back or St. Louis-style)
about 3 pounds each
1/3 cup Spanish paprika
3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
3 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Directions/Part 1: Prep and Slow Cook
Use a knife at back of the rack and carefully separate and remove the membrane from the bones, working from top to bottom. Use a paper towel to get a firm grip. Now, generously coat both sides of the ribs with the rub mixture and place them in a rib rack that fits in an oven roasting pan. TIP: Line the pan with foil for easy cleanup.
Place the ribs in your smoker on very low heat — 225° F for at least three hours. Keep the cover on the grill/smoker. Low and slow is the pit master’s mantra. TIP: Do not use briquettes. And no lighter fluid. Pick up a bag of lump charcoal. My preference is Big Green Egg charcoal. It lights easily and you won’t need to soak wood chips in water for smokiness.
2 cups real maple syrup
½ cup prepared horseradish, drained
2 heaping teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Enthusiastically whisk ingredients in a medium bowl.
Directions/Part 2: The Payoff
After 3-4 hours of low-heat cooking, remove ribs from the cooking rack and lay them directly on the grill. TIP: Cut racks in half at this point. They tend to fall apart if left fully intact. Slather those bad boys with your glaze, turning from time to time. This is where you are adding “the bark,” the crunchy, caramelized finish. Don’t blacken them, but rather slowly let the sugars work their magic, leaving a darker, crunchy, gooey coating. This may take about 10 minutes. Turn up the heat if you feel the bark isn’t developing as you’d like. Just don’t dry out the ribs in the process.
About Mike Morin
You may know Mike Morin from his 20 years on the radio at WZID and local hosting gigs, but he is also an avowed foodie. Like most men of the house, he is king of the grill and uses his Big Green Egg to get the job done. These succulent ribs are the perfect for cooking outdoors in August.
As a retired 50-year radio and TV personality, Morin turned to baking and barbecuing. He bought a turbo-charged Viking stand mixer and, soon, Morin was inspired to up his cooking skills. After he took classes with the experts at King Arthur Flour in Vermont, he became hooked on bread making. He eventually won baking competitions, including a statewide mac and cheese contest, and some blue ribbons at the Deerfield Fair thanks to his chocolate infinity cookies and chocolate infinity zucchini loaf cake. His latest creation is baking cupcake pizzas.