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Smokin' Ribs for a Smackdown!

Is there anyone that doesn't like smoked ribs, with a lip smacking sauce to dip them in? Ok, maybe there are a few people that don't, and that's fine. But these might make them change their minds. They're just so damn good!

Do any of you guys read Thursday Night Smackdown? If you don't, you should! Michelle's blog is an adventure in cooking, and doing it with humor and gusto. There are ups and downs, spectacular food and a couple that were better left in the pages of the cookbook they came from. This post and this one come to mind--there's some good reading right there! But Michelle and her cohort/sous chef, Brian, share the good and the bad from their cooking experiences.

In July, Michelle opened up TNS to her readers, for First Thursdays. On the first Thursday of every month, she posts a round up of her reader's submitted recipes. September's Smackdown theme is grilling. And since I've missed the first two, there's no way in hell I'm missing this one! So yeah, I'm early, hehe.

These ribs are fantastic! They're from the book BH&G Smoke Cooking. We've been looking at this recipe for a while, but you know, you gotta plan ahead if you want to smoke stuff (the 13 year old in me just giggled)! So knowing what the TNS theme was, I pulled out this book, and we decided to finally make them. By "we," I mean my husband Billy and I. He's the guy in charge of grilling/smoking.

There's a little out of the way place in the next town over that's a slaughterhouse/retail and wholesale meat place called Lemay & Sons. I never even knew they were there, but I was in search of something else (that will be posted in about a week or so--it takes that long to make it) and they were the only ones that had it. I was directed there by another butcher in the area. Anyway, this is the kind of place you go to for a whole pig or half a cow, or even something as small as a pound of ground buffalo meat. Good to know! They have lots of different cuts of meats and great prices, as well. They didn't have the beef back ribs that we were looking for on that day, so we went with porky baby back ribs. Two racks, totaling 5 pounds, to be specific. We also picked up a couple pounds of that buffalo meat for later. Can't beat $3.99 a pound! That's cheaper than ground beef!

The ribs! Very straightforward recipe, and the book also has some tips on smoking. They're smoked with a simple dry rub, and brushed with a sauce in the last 15 minutes of cooking, with more of the sauce served alongside. The sauce is also very simple, made with bottled bbq sauce, orange, ginger and soy sauce.

We did run into some trouble, though it was no fault of the recipe. Damn thunderstorms that we've had nearly every day this summer. grrrr. Everything was going great, nice fire, good smoke...then a couple hours into it, the sky opened up and poured buckets all over our smoker. After the lightning stopped and we were able to get out and check it, we found the fire had gone out. For whatever reason, we just couldn't get a good smoke going after that and gave up after about an hour. We brought them in the house and gave them a couple more hours in the oven at 200°. Perfect! Still nice and smoky, but also tender and juicy.

Ginger Orange Smoked Baby Back Ribs
adapted from BH&G Smoke Cooking

4 cups mesquite wood chips

3 tsp regular paprika
3 tsp smoked paprika
3 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper

5 pounds baby back ribs (2 racks)

1 cup of your favorite bottled bbq sauce
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger

At least one hour before you want to start cooking, soak the wood chips in enough water to cover them. Set aside.

Combine the rub ingredients and rub it into the ribs.

Combine the sauce ingredients and set aside in the fridge.

In your smoker or grill, arrange the heated coals, half the drained wood chips and a water pan according to the manufacturers directions.
Pour water into pan and place the ribs, bone side down, on the grill rack over the pan.

Cover and smoke for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until ribs are tender, and brush some of the sauce on the ribs in the last 15 minutes of cooking time.

Add more coals, wood chips and water as needed during smoking time.
Serve sauce with the ribs.

Good lookin' ribs, right?

What's that? Where's the side dish?

We don't need no stinkin' side dish! We can just stuff our faces with ribs and be perfectly happy, hehe. But if I'd thought of it ahead of time, I'd have whipped up some cole slaw to go alongside. D'oh!

Go check out Thursday Night Smackdown and get your entries ready for the first Thursday in September!


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Reader Comments (42)

there is nothing better than some good smoked ribs! yummy!

August 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkat

Thanks for the link to that "Thursday Night Smackdown" blog - it's great!! :0)

August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVeggieGirl

Elle, these look great! Growing up we would make ribs every time we went camping. The best part was that we would dip some good old wonder bread in the sauce that was left. I must say, this sounds like some sauce I'd want to dip into!!

August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

These look great Elle, if you don't have a smoker you could still do these in the oven couldn't you??

August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBunny

Absolutely, Bunny! They'd be fine, just in the oven. I almost forgot, half the paprika I used in the rub was smoked paprika. if you have some of that, you can still get a nice, smoky flavor in the oven.

August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Kat--I agree!

VG--it is a great blog!

Amy--how fun is that? This is definitely a tasty sauce, and would be great on chicken, too.

August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElle

Elle these look amazing! Wow, I am craving these now!

August 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternoble pig

Yum - We are big rib fans in this house - I do not have a smoker but do bbq and steam them with water and red wine and that is amazing - The wine gets infused into the ribs and is amazing. Love the rub and sauce recipes...

wow, I actually checked the date on your entry to see if I totally missed the whole month of august. (j/k.) they look delicious.

August 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermaybelles parents

I'm really glad to know I can do these in the oven! We have a charcoal grill and I keep trying to convince my better half that we need to smoke some meat! I even bought the wood chips to help nudge him along and still no luck. I keep telling him the true test of manliness is smoking some meat on the grill! lol

August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterApril in CT

Good God in Heaven, Elle. I want me some o' deez ribz, man! And hells yeah Michelle's blog is one of the best out there. It's fun to swear! :D

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercanarygirl

How I'd love to do that. Looks so yummy. I'm afraid our summer at the moment would certainly not allow.

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRhyleysgranny

Awesome ribs Elle! I'm sorry the weather didn't cooperate with you, but they still turned out awesome. You got the smoke flavor from the fire, and then the oven did the rest. I smell a great football season recipe.

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

I just had baked ribs last night, but they were nothing like these. Great job I really want to try them now :D

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBen

The rub and sauce sound fantastic... the pictures are great too. Nice job Elle.

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPam

We have a place kind of like that that sells the best meat. I wish it was a little closer, and I'd go there all of the time!

These ribs sound amazing, and have me craving some good ribs now!

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah

Who doesn't like ribs - just a shame the BBQ hasn't been out much on this side of the pond - we are having terrible weather in the UK. Thanks also for pointing me to Michelles blog

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

LOL! "we don't need no stinking side dish!" That's right, you go girl!
I am sooo ready to have some ribs. These a friggin awesome!!!! Where do you live? lol

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Love, love the barbecue and we have a few more good barbecuing weeeks left this year.

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRenae du Jour

Those ribs do look finger lickin' good! I haven't had them in so long, now I am craving them. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Elle.

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

What a beautiful rack. Of ribs. I can imagine just biting into these and getting my lips and fingers sticky with the sauce!

Those ribs look great! My mouth is watering just looking at them.

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Elle...these look so good I can barely stand it! Funny that you just posted ribs..I've been thinking about ribs lately, but have needed a recipe. Perhaps I've found one. :)

August 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Oh boy, this looks too good! I want to try my hand at these.....I love the dipping sauce!

looks good, elle! i want a barbie! it wont even fit into my whole flat tho hehe

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMochachocolata Rita

i rmember gary rhodes cooking ribs like this on TV but i couldn't remember the recipe at all. thanks for posting this up as i now have something to work with. i love how sexy these ribs look. thing is i always find ribs all goey and messy - hey no doubt they still taste great but i really like the way you've presented these guys. AWESOME stuff! and i'll be sure to keep a lookout for Michelle's smackdown event - sounds real fun. xx

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdiva

I just can't help but feel like Bobby Flay is going to jump off the page when I look at these ribs. unbelievable. I would so be in heaven, hands and face a mess and blissful.

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergiz

Hi Elle,

Sorry I ain't been around in a while.... the summer has been mad crazy!!!!

loving the look of these ribs.... i loooooove ribs!!!


PS your Daring Baker's cake turned out great!

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRuth Elkin

Elle, this looks so delicious! And I love that you know someone who can hook you up with some buffalo meat, should you require it... :D

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura @ Hungry and Frozen

i'm sorry to say i'm one of those folks who don't like ribs. there's just something about ripping flesh off a bone that turns me off. the rub sounds pretty great, so maybe i'll just go ahead and use it on a boneless slab of meat. :)

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

Glad the rain didn't get you down. Those are some fall of the bone, juicy lookin' ribs!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Great job, Elle! I've always been very intimidated by ribs and grilling. They look delicious!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpuppymomma

Oh my, ginger orange ribs, and you smoked them in your own smoker? You can't get any better than that, I'm sure! They look fantastic!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLyB

I'm reading this during breakfast time here and OH MY, you're giving me cravings for lunch already!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercakewardrobe

I just found your blog and I am so glad I did--I love it! I look forward checking in regularly to see what you are cooking!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkitchenbelle

I recently discovered the wonder of smoked paprika and have actually been on the lookout for recipes that call for it! This sounds yummy, and looks delicious too!

Would it work better to smoke it directly on the rack, or use a foil tray to catch juices? We have a charcoal grill we use for smoking.

Have you ever tried smoked paprika on deviled eggs? Heaven!!!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

The orange and ginger sound great in that mix. Plus, it saves tons of mixing and messing with the bottled sauce as a base. Bummer about the rain -- the ribs look like they had no problem with it. And THANKS for the heads up on the Smackdown. Sounds fun!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkellypea

Great looking ribs! I made ribs for the first time this summer and am looking for new ways to make them! My husband would Love these!

Thanks for visiting my blog! Can't wait to see your entry to F&F!!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAggie

WOW! I'm very impressed. The sauce looks heavenly, I like how you drizzled it on top of the ribs....oooh, I have to say, ribs are some of my favorite foods...or do I say ribs are a favorite food of mine? lol, it's hard to say...but I certainly can't deny that these look mighty savory :).

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

oh my! Those ribs look AMAAAAAZING!

August 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLina

Now those are ribs done right! Low and slow.

August 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrOrph

I love smoknig on my grill. The orange-ginger sauce sounds divine!

August 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

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