- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground dark-roast coffee
- Kosher salt
- 2 racks St. Louis–cut pork ribs (6 pounds), membranes removed from the underside of each rack
- 7 cups oak chips, soaked in water for 1 hour and drained
How to make this recipe
In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar with the pepper, chile powder, cinnamon, cumin, coffee and
1/3 cup of salt. Season the ribs all over with salt, then rub both racks with 1 cup of the spice mix.
Light a hardwood charcoal fire and set up the grill for indirect cooking; you’ll need to replenish the coals periodically to maintain the heat. Close the grill and, using the air vents to control the fire, bring the internal temperature to 250°.
Scatter 2 cups of the oak chips over the hot coals. Set the ribs meat side up on the grill opposite the coals. Close the grill and smoke the ribs at 250° to 275° for 2 hours, adding coals as necessary to maintain the heat; add another 2 cups of the oak chips to the hot coals after the first hour.
Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet. Layer two 36-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil on a work surface and set a rack of ribs in the center, meat side up; wrap tightly in the foil. Repeat with 2 more layers of foil and the remaining rack of ribs. Set the rib packets meat side up on the grill opposite the coals. Close the grill and cook the ribs at 250° to 275° for 2 hours longer, adding coals as necessary to maintain the heat.
Transfer the rib packets to a baking sheet, then unwrap the ribs, discarding the foil. Scatter 2 cups of the oak chips over the hot coals. Return the ribs meat side up to the grill opposite the coals. Close the grill and smoke the ribs at 250° to 275° until very tender, 1 hour. Add coals as necessary to maintain the heat and scatter the remaining 1 cup of oak chips on the hot coals halfway through smoking.
Transfer the ribs to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut into sections and serve.
The spice mix can be stored in an airtight container for 1 week.
Pair these barbecued ribs with a smoky, bold Washington state Syrah.