- 2 racks baby back ribs (about 4 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
MOP SAUCE (OPTIONAL)
- 2 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 cups hickory chips or chunks, soaked in cold water
- Wash the ribs and blot dry. Remove the thin papery skin on the back of each rack of ribs. (Pull it off in a sheet with your fingers, using a corner of a dish towel to gain a secure grip.)
- Combine the ingredients for the rub in mixing bowl and stir with your fingers to mix. Rub 2/3 of this mixture on the ribs on both sides. Transfer the ribs to a roasting pan and let marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the mop sauce.
- Place the ribs on the grill over the drip pan and cover the grill. Start basting with mop sauce after 30 minutes, basting every 20 minutes. Cook the ribs for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours until done. The ribs are done when the meat is very tender and it has shrunk back from the ends of the bones. If using a charcoal grill, replenish the coals after 1 hour.
- Transfer the ribs to a cutting board or platter. Mop one final time with mop sauce and sprinkle with the remaining rub. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce on the side.
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