I was a little worried about sharing a recipe for ribs so late in the season. It is technically fall. Ah, Autumn! Changing leaves, cooler temps, and pumpkins! I love everything about it. But it's 85 degrees in VA today. It really doesn't feel like fall. And to be fair, fall is still grilling weather here in the mid-Atlantic. So even though ribs are normally considered summer-time food, you're getting them in the fall. Aren't you lucky?!
Now I'm not gonna sugar coat this.....it takes all day to make good ribs. Really, it takes at least two days. So this isn't something you want to get into on the spur of the moment. You want to give this a little thought, give yourself a little time, and make sure you have the room in the fridge to store the racks of ribs overnight. But don't get me wrong, these are worth it. WORTH IT! Tender, juicy, smokey. And if you use the BBQ sauce I shared with you last week it's also sweet and spicy. Though you can absolutely use whatever sauce you like.
Some tips on making a good rib:
- Use spareribs. Sure, there are other types you could go with. A lot of folks like baby back ribs. But spareribs are better. They're bigger, meatier, and have the right amount of fat you want to melt into the meat to make them tender and juicy.
- This recipe is written for a gas grill because that's what we have. But you could do this on a charcoal grill just as easily. If you do, just put all of your hot coals onto one side of the grill to mimic the set up of the gas burners.
- The longer you can leave the spice rub on the ribs before you begin smoking the better. Give it a full 24 hours if you can.
- Don't skimp on their time in the oven either. I know you'll want to eat them as soon as you can. But try to resist. I've given a range of times in the recipe below because each rack of ribs is different. But you really can't overbake these. They just get more tender. So leave them in there as long as you can stand it!
- When it's time to flip your ribs make sure you flip them, switch them, and rotate them to make sure each rack gets even heat and smoke coverage. I've included this handy homemade, and a little shabby, infographic to help you out.
So on to the recipe! If you make these, please come back and let me know how they turned out.
Hickory Smoked Barbecue Ribs - SCD and Paleo
Makes 2 racks
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 4 tablespoons date sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 2 racks pork spareribs (2 1/2 - 3 lb), membrane removed
- 2 cups hickory wood chips, soaked in water for at least 15 minutes then drained
- 3 cups barbecue sauce, 1 cup reserved for serving
- Combine the spices (paprika, date sugar, salt, pepper, and cayenne) in a bowl. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and then rub each rack thoroughly with the spice rub. You may have a bit left over. Wrap the racks tightly in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Place your soaked smoke chips in your smoker box, or in a foil packet with vent holes cut into it. Place the smoker box over what will be the primary burner under the grill grate. Turn all grill burners to high and heat the grill until the wood chips have been smoking about 5 minutes. Turn the burners on the grill side opposite your wood chips off. And your primary burner (with the wood chips on it) should be set to medium-high. Throughout the process you will want to maintain 300 degrees.
- Unwrap your ribs and place them meat side down on the cool side of the clean, oiled grate. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the ribs. Close the lid and cook for about 2 hours, until the ribs are a deep red color. Halfway through grilling you should flip, switch and rotate the racks to insure even smoking. If you need to add more wood chips to your smoker box do it when you flip the ribs. 20 minutes from the end of the grilling time heat your oven to 250 degrees with the rack in the middle position.
- Remove the ribs from the grill. Brush them with 1 cup of your preferred barbecue sauce. Wrap them tightly with foil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake them for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. The meat should be tender and should give no resistance when a fork is inserted. The ribs should remain wrapped while they rest for 30 minutes. Finally, unwrap the ribs and brush them with the remaining sauce. Slice and serve with reserved sauce.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase the products linked from this page I will receive a small commission on that purchase. This does not affect your purchase price. I do not link to, or recommend, products that I do not personally use and approve.