Nick was pretty excited to show off his smoking skills at the 2017 Dunn Lumber All American Event. The challenge was to cook 2 racks of St. Louis-style Spare Ribs in 4 hours using a Big Green Egg. St. Louis Ribs are a fattier, less tender style of rib than Baby Back Ribs that generally take 6 hours to cook, so Nick had to come up with a different recipe to get the ribs cooked. After consultation with culinary experts, it was decided that a hybrid braising method of cooking the ribs on the Big Green Egg would be the way to go. The method worked awesome; the ribs were tender, full of flavor and looked beautiful – or at least Nick thought. When the results came in these ribs finished in 5th place, out of 5 entries! Maybe our taste buds are wrong, but we think these 5th place ribs are worth a try the next time you are cooking St. Louis-style Ribs. You can make this recipe on any grill or smoker that is able to do both direct and indirect heat, but cooking it on the Big Green Egg was a snap. So give this recipe a try and let us know what you think – would you give them 5th place?
- 2 slab St. Louis Style Spare Ribs (this method works best with St. Louis Ribs. We do not recommend using Baby Backs for this recipe.)
- Yellow Mustard
- Custom Culinary Pork BBQ Spice (or your favorite BBQ rub)
- 1 cup Chicken Stock
- 1/2 cup Whiskey (use an inexpensive whiskey with some smoky flavor)
- 1/2 cup Beer (any lager style beer will work well)
- BBQ Sauce (your favorite!)
Rub the ribs on all sides with yellow mustard, then generously season with Custom Culinary Pork BBQ Spice or your favorite rub. Set aside and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Heat your smoker or grill to 400ºF and set up for direct heat cooking. Soak a heavy wood chip (like hickory or mesquite) in water (or you can use whiskey soaked wood chips for even more smoky flavor). After ribs have rested for 30 minutes, add two – three handfuls of soaked wood chips directly on a charcoal fire or over the gas heat source. You should generate a lot of smoke. This is good. Place the ribs directly over the heat source and cook for 5 minutes per side, flipping only once.
Remove the ribs from the direct heat and recalibrate your smoker or grill for indirect heat at 300ºF. Place the ribs in a aluminum foil broiler pan and pour the broth, whiskey and beer around the ribs until there is about 1″ of liquid in the pan. Place the tray onto the grill, over indirect heat and braise for 3 hours, or until the ribs reach 190ºF.
Once the ribs have reached 190ºF, remove from heat and recalibrate grill one more time for direct heat and set to 400ºF. Lightly sauce the ribs and cook over direct heat for 5 minutes per side, until the sauce has glazed over. Remove from heat, let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into individual rib portions and serve. Enjoy!