THE MEAT: Baby backs are a large rib, with very good flavor and limited fat. Go ahead and get the larger size, about 2 + pounds. The little ones like you get at the restaurant, are usually in the 1- 1 ½ lb. range and are not as good as what you are going to do. There are usually about 12-13 bones on this rack and you can feed 2-3 people with one rack; or go ahead and it ‘em all yourself.
THE RUB: Here is where the fun starts! If to talk to 200 people who smoke ribs, you will probably get at least 200 recipes on the best rub ever! And they are all probably pretty good. What ever you like is the rub for you. Smokehouse Products has an excellent rub for these ribs, but if you elect to do it yourself, here is a good starter. Combine 2 parts Lawry’s season salt with 1 part Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, and add brown sugar to taste. About 3 tbsps to sixteen ounces of rub. Add spices and pepper to suit your taste. For your rib rub, just let your taste go wild and try different combinations.
THE PROCESS; It is not necessary to par boil these ribs when you are going to smoke them. This process is for using a “dry rub”. Before applying your rub, many smokers like to spray various types of juices or sauces. There are many excellent combinations . You will need to experiment here. I usually will use an apple juice/brown sugar combination or Worcestershire sauce. Let sit about 10-20 mins. , .
Put the rub on the meaty side and let sit for about 15 mins. Get the smoker prepared and if you are going with an apple juice or pineapple spray, I would suggest the apple pellets. Works great. Hickory or mesquite are two of my favorites to use on baby backs. Put the ribs on the smoker with the meaty side up and your temp at about 150 200 for 2- 2 ½ hours. After about 2 hours, you may want to up your temp to around 250 for about 1 hour. When your see the fatty part on top of the ribs start separating , that is your clue for the next step. Take the ribs off and wrap them in a heavy duty foil.( At this step, many smokers will want to add a BBQ sauce of some type to make “wet ribs”). After the ribs are wrapped and back on the smoker up the temp to 250 to 300 for another 1-2 hours. We should be falling off the bone by now. If you would rather gnaw then off the bone, take ‘em off sooner.
The outdoor temp, humidity, size of the meat can all affect the cooking time, but the above is a very reliable process. Ring your dinnerbell, serve up the ribs. It’s time to eat. Call me and let me know the results. By the way, if you are going to serve baked potatoes with your ribs, wrap them in foil and put them in the smoker when you first put the ribs in and the taters should be ready at the same time as the ribs!