St. Louis Spare Ribs

Famous Dave's Recipe

Serves 4-6

Rib Rub (use 1 cup)
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup garlic seasoning
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup lemon pepper
1/4 cup onion salt
2 tablespoons fresh coarse ground black pepper
2 tablespoons whole celery seeds
1 teaspoon crushed clove
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup Mrs. Dash seasoning mix
1/4 cup salt

2 spareribs racks
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup minced dried onion
1 (20 oz) bottle barbecue sauce (recipe specifies Dave's but use your favorite)

Mix rib rub ingredients (first 14 ingredients) and store in an airtight container.

The night before cooking, trim the ribs of all excess fat and place them in a large plastic bag; pour in Italian dressing to coat; seal bag well, refrigerate for 4 hours, turning occasionally; remove and wipe dressing off then sprinkle each rib with pepper then 1/4 cup of the brown sugar and 1/2 cup of the onion flakes. Wrap each rib in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Next day: remove from wrap and wipe sludge off ribs; generously coat front and back of ribs with rib rub and, using your hands, rub seasoning into meat and set aside. Smoking takes 6 hours.

Prepare about 15 briquettes until they're red hot; place coals on one end of grill and place 1 pound of green hickory around coals (use water-soaked hickory chunks if you can't find freshly cut hickory). Keep internal temperature of the grill at 200-225 degrees and add more charcoal and hickory chunks every hour as needed.

Place ribs bone side down but not directly over hot coals; after 3 hours, remove ribs from grill and wrap in foil; hold in covered grill at 180-200°F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until fork tender. Build a really hot bed of coals over the entire bottom of the grill.

This goes fast- place ribs back on grill to add char flavor; when meat becomes bubbly it's done. Slather with barbecue sauce and let the heat caramelize the sauce. According to Dave, this caramelizing with the charring and slow smoking is the secret to tender, smoky ribs the way it's in the deep south.