Memphis Style Baby Back Ribs
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Grill Dome Admin
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 2 to 3
Pork ribs are sections of intercostal meat and bone cut from the hog’s rib cage and backbone. They are usually large, flat, rectangular slabs that include ribs, meat and layers of fat. Baby Back ribs are located on the loin of the hog and are much smaller than Spare ribs which are the actual hog ribs. Although full slabs of untrimmed Baby Backs are available in most meat markets, this recipe uses commercially trimmed racks containing six to eight ribs each and weighing about eight ounces. At the Rendezvous, one of Memphis’ premier smokehouses located in an alleyway across from the famed Peabody hotel, ribs are served “dry” with two varieties of house sauces available in squeeze bottles for those who prefer their ribs “wet.”
  • 2 trimmed racks Baby Back pork ribs
  • ½ Cup Rib Rub (your favorite brand or this Rendezvous Style Rib Rub)
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • 3 – 4 Hickory chunks, 1 – 2 Mesquite chunks
  1. Prepare Grill Dome:
  2. Fill the Grill Dome firebox about 1/2 full of lump charcoal. Using an electric igniter or three small pieces of SuperCedar fire starter, light the charcoal. Add one chunk of mesquite and two chunks of hickory to the charcoal. Prepare the Grill Dome for indirect cooking and allow the temperature to stabilize at 225° F. (This will take about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of your Grill Dome and the amount of fuel. For my ET, the bottom vent should be open about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch and the top vent about 10% to maintain a low temperature.)
  3. Prepare ribs:
  4. Using a butter knife or a Phillips head screwdriver, gently work the tool under the silver skin to loosen it. Grab the silver skin with a chef’s towel and gently pull it off of the ribs. Trim any pockets of excess fat. Generously sprinkle both sides of the ribs with rub. (If desired, this could be done up to a day ahead. Wrap the rubbed ribs with food film and refrigerate.)
  5. Prepare recipe:
  6. Once the Grill Dome temperature is stabilized, place the ribs on the cooking grate bone side down and smoke-cook for one hour. After one hour, spray with ribs with apple cider, turn the ribs over and continue smoke-cooking another one to two hours or until tender. (Add wood chunks as needed to maintain the smoke and spray the ribs with apple cider every 45 minutes or so.)
  7. Just remember every time you open the Grill Dome’s cover to spray the ribs (or to take a peek at your handiwork) the temperature will drop 25 to 50 degrees or more, adding to the total cooking time.
  8. When the ribs are tender to your liking, remove them from the cooker and serve with your favorite barbecue sauce on the side. (If you prefer “wet” ribs, brush the ribs with warmed sauce during the last 20 minutes of cooking.)
  9. Plate Presentation
  10. Carve the ribs into individual pieces and place on a service plate. Serve with baked beans and a creamy coleslaw or pasta salad. Offer warmed sauce on the side.

Recipe Submitted by: Mike Stines (Grill Dome Community)


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