Memphis-Style Barbecued Ribs
- 1/2 1/2 1/4 Cup wood chips , plus 1/4 cup extra if using gas grill *
- 2 2 2 Tablespoons paprika
- 2 2 2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1 1 1 Tablespoon table salt
- 2 2 2 Teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 Teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 Teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 Teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 1 1/2 1/2 Teaspoons cayenne pepper * *
- 1/2 1/2 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 2 1/2 to 3 Louis-style spareribs (2 1/2 to 3 pounds each) * * *
- 1/2 1/2 1/2 Cup apple juice
- 3 3 3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 3/4 cup of wood chips will produce sufficient smoke on a charcoal grill, we recommend using 3/4 cup wood chips on a gas grill.
- to 1/2 temperate spiciness, reduce the cayenne to 1/2 teaspoon.
Soak Wood Chips
In small bowl, cover ½ cup wood chips with water if using charcoal grill or cover ¾ cup wood chips with water if using gas grill. Let chips soak for 30 minutes. Drain wood chips.
Place 2 tablespoons paprika, 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon table salt, 2 teaspoons chili powder, and 1 ½ teaspoons ground black pepper in small bowl. Add 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder, 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder, 1 ½ teaspoons cayenne, and ½ teaspoon dried thyme and stir to combine. Place 2 racks St. Louis-Style spareribs on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle rub on both sides of each rack, rubbing and pressing to adhere. Combine ½ cup apple juice and 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar in small bowl; set aside. (If using gas grill, proceed to step 17.)
Prepare Charcoal Grill
Open top and bottom grill vents halfway. Arrange 15 unlit charcoal briquettes evenly on one side of grill. Place 13 by 9-inch disposable aluminum roasting pan filled with 1 inch water on other side of grill. Light large chimney starter filled one-third with charcoal (2 quarts; about 33 briquettes). Allow to burn until coals are half coated with thin layer of ash, about 15 minutes. Empty coals into grill on top of unlit briquettes to cover half of grill. Sprinkle soaked wood chips over coals. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, and heat grate until hot, about 5 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush. (Proceed to step 24.)
Prepare Gas Grill
Place soaked wood chips in 9-inch disposable aluminum pie plate with ¼ cup water. Set pie plate on primary burner of gas grill. Place second 9-inch disposable aluminum pie plate filled with 1 inch water on other burner(s). Position cooking grate over burners. Turn all burners to high and heat grill with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium-high and turn off other burner(s). Scrape grate clean with grill brush.
Place ribs, meat side down, on grate over water pan. Cover grill, positioning top vent over ribs to draw smoke through grill. Cook ribs 45 minutes, adjusting vent to keep temperature inside grill around 250 to 275 degrees. Flip ribs meat side up, turn 180 degrees, and switch their positions so that rack that was nearer fire is on outside. Brush each rack with 2 tablespoons apple juice mixture. Cover grill and cook another 45 minutes. About 30 minutes before removing ribs from grill, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
Finish Ribs in Oven
Transfer ribs, meat side up, to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Brush top of each rack with 2 tablespoons apple juice mixture. Pour 1½ cups water into bottom of baking sheet. Bake 1 hour. Brush ribs with remaining apple juice mixture. Continue to bake until meat is tender but not falling off bone (internal temperature should be 195 to 200 degrees), 1 to 2 hours.
Let Rest and Serve
Transfer ribs to cutting board. Tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest 15 minutes. Cut ribs between bones to separate, and serve.