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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • rine

  • ½

    cup table salt or 1 cup kosher salt

  • ½

    cup granulated sugar

  • 2

    racks baby back ribs (about 2 pounds each), or loin back ribs

  • Spice rub

  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika , plus additional ½ teaspoon

  • teaspoons chili powder

  • teaspoons ground cumin

  • teaspoons dark brown sugar

  • ¾

    teaspoon table salt or 1½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • ¾

    teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¾

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1

    teaspoon ground white pepper

  • ½

    teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. To brine the ribs: Dissolve salt and sugar in 4 quarts cold water in stockpot or large plastic container. Submerge ribs in brine and refrigerate 1 hour until fully seasoned. Remove ribs from brine and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. 2. 2. While ribs are brining, cover two 3-inch wood chunks with water in medium bowl; soak wood chunks for 1 hour, then drain and set aside. Combine spice rub ingredients in small bowl. When ribs are out of brine and dried, rub each side of racks with 1 tablespoon spice rub; refrigerate racks 30 minutes. 3. 3. To barbecue the ribs: Open bottom vents on grill. Ignite about 4 1/2 quarts charcoal briquettes (3/4 large chimney-full, or about 65 briquettes) and burn until covered with thin coating of light gray ash, about 20 minutes. Empty coals onto one half of grill bottom, piling them 2 to 3 briquettes high; place soaked wood chunks on top of coals. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, open lid vents two-thirds of the way; heat grate 5 minutes, then scrape clean with wire brush. 4. 4. Arrange ribs on cool side of grill parallel to fire; cover, positioning lid so that vents are opposite wood chunks to draw smoke through grill (grill temperature should register about 350 degrees on grill thermometer, but will soon start dropping). Cook for 2 hours, until grill temperature drops to about 250 degrees, flipping rib racks, switching their position so that rack that was nearest fire is on outside, and turning racks 180 degrees every 30 minutes; add 10 fresh briquettes to pile of coals. Continue to cook (grill temperature should register 275 to 300 degrees on grill thermometer), flipping, switching, and rotating ribs every 30 minutes, until meat easily pulls away from bone, 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer. Transfer ribs to cutting board, then cut between bones to separate ribs; serve.


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