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Best Ribs in The Universe


Baby Back Ribs - Best Ribs In The Universe

There are many tasty ways to cook pork loin back ribs, but one of my
favorites is the recipe used by Mike Scrutchfield to win the "Best
Ribs in the Universe" title at the 1996 American Royal Invitational.
This recipe is also referred to as "BRITU".

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  • Prepare 1/4 of a batch of rub according to Mike Scrutchfield's
  • recipe. A full batch will render much more than is needed for three
  • slabs of ribs.
  • Best Ribs In The Universe Rub - 1/4 Batch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup non-iodized table salt
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar, dried
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Accent (MSG)(I left out the MSG as it
  • sometimes gives me a headache)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger


Servings 3
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 18mins


Step 1

Spread the brown sugar out on a cookie sheet and let it dry at room
temperature for several hours, or place it is a slightly warm oven.
Once dried, place brown sugar in a Ziploc bag and break up any
clumps using a rolling pin or the bottom of a drinking glass.

The recipe says to apply "a good overall dusting" of rub to the
ribs. When I made the rub, I did'nt think it smelled very good. In
fact I made a comment to Tammi (my wife) that I bet we just ruined
these ribs... Trust me we did'nt.

The recipe also says to allow the ribs to sit at room temperature
for two hours before cooking. As they do, the salt in the rub draws
moisture from the meat, forming a red liquid coating on the surface.
I've also prepared them the night before and placed them in a bag
and put them in the refrigerator.

Selecting The Smoke Wood

Mike's recipe calls for 4 chunks of white oak and 2 chunks of
cherry, each about the size of a tennis ball. I placed a handful of
hickory and pecan chunks in my smoke can (a mod I'll expain in
another post) and placed them under the water pan.

Cooking Process Described

During the first three hours, adjust gas to maintain a cooker
temperature of 225*F. At the three hour mark, open the cooker for
the first time and turn the ribs over, but do not baste them with

Close the lid and increase the cooker temperature to 250-275*F.
Start checking for doneness at the four hour mark and every 30
minutes thereafter. The ribs will be done when they have a nice,
brown color and the meat tears easily.

Check the water pan every two hours and replenish with hot tap
water, as needed.

Supper Time!

Th ribs will have a nice brown color, the meat will have pulled down
on the long bones, a little tug on the bones will show that they
pull apart easily.

Mike's recipe calls for saucing the ribs on both sides before
serving with a mixture of 5 parts KC Masterpiece Original Flavor
barbecue sauce to 1 part honey. I modified this a little and mixed
mine 3 to 1. It was can I say Awesome.

Brush both sides of the ribs generously with the sauce mixture and
serve immediately.

These ribs had a beautiful mahogany color and a light smoky flavor.
The meat was firm, not mushy, and pulled cleanly from the bones.

I hope you enjoy trying this great recipe. It's one of my all-time
favorites and I'm sure it will become one of yours, too!

Note: Listen guys... Don't spend a lot of time preparing side dishes
to go with this... they won't get eaten... these ribs are so good
three slabs lasted about 15 minutes with my clan... All the sides my
wife had so lovingly prepared went untouched!


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