I’ve been barbecuing on my Weber Smokey Mountain for a few years now. It’s a very easy smoker to use, and turns out some excellent barbecue. Over the years, I’ve developed a system that allows me to consistently produce mouth-watering ribs on the WSM.
I usually get a hankering for some barbecue every couple of months. Sometimes, it coincides with a holiday weekend or a “Big Game” weekend. Sometimes, other people just ask me to smoke up a batch of ribs for a party. Sometimes, it’s “just because”.
Whenever I smoke a batch of ribs, I don’t just do one or two slabs. My Weber Smokey Mountain cooker has a large enough capacity that I can smoke up to 10 slabs of ribs at a time. Why waste space or smoke? It takes just as long to cook 7 slabs as it does to cook 2.
My #1 tip for good ribs is to start with good meat. Always go for meat labeled “Natural” or “No Artificial Ingredients”. Avoid anything that says “Enhanced”. Bad meat will ruin your barbecue.
Another important tip that I cannot emphasize enough is, “NEVER BOIL”. You’re not making stock, you’re making barbecue. All you need for tender ribs is good meat, low heat, and time.
Watch all the tips in this video I made on YouTube
As far as seasonings go, I make a dry rub consisting of equal amounts of kosher salt, white sugar, fresh ground black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, plus a tiny bit of celery salt. Rub that on the ribs and let that marinate at least an hour before smoking. Don’t let them marinate too long, though, or you’ll end up with hammy tasting meat.
Like the dry rub, smoke itself is a seasoning. I start off by using lump charcoal instead of the more commonly found briquettes like Kingsford. I find that briquettes give an off smell when burning that I’d rather not have on my meat (your mileage may vary). I also use smoke wood like pecan or cherry to add a little “sweetness” to the smoke flavor.
I will usually shoot for an average smoker temperature of 225 and let it go for 3.5 to 4 hours. After that I will wrap it in foil and put it in a cooler if I’m delivering the ribs in a few hours or put them in the freezer for later. Of course, for quality assurance purposes, I’ll have to eat a slab of ribs right off the cooker!
You can watch some of my other cooking videos by going to my YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=murky2