Monday, July 11, 2011

Smoke Box Ribs

This year was my first Father’s Day as an actual father. Because I am such an amazing father (going from zero to 2 kids over the course of just a few minutes!), I figured I had better make a list of what I wanted as gifts for this important new holiday. I asked for several items that I’m sure will gain mention in this blog including a smoker box for the grill, the Bouchon cookbook, and a meat grinder attachment for the stand mixer, woo hoo!

This weekend I decided that I wanted to grill some baby back ribs and I was hoping I could get some smoky flavor into the ribs with the help of my new smoker box. I’m using this one. It came with pretty simple instructions; soak wood chips, place wood chips in smoker box, put smoker box over direct heat. Cool, I could do that. If you didn’t get a cool smoker box for Father’s Day, you could use a disposable aluminum baking tray to hold your wood chips. I got the wood chips from the grocery store; the bag of hickory wood chips was $2.50. I used the entire bag.

Before I put the ribs on the grill I removed the silver skin from the ribs, this helps to make the ribs fall-off-the-bone good and keeps them from being too chewy. After that I used a rub mixture adapted from Bobby Flay. His rub has espresso coffee beans and ancho chili powder which are kind of smoky flavors themselves so I thought it would be perfect, and it was! To make my life easier I made the rub the night before, after the kids went to bed, so I wasn’t messing around with the 10 ingredients in the rub with the kids all over the house. That just sounds like trouble.

When I was ready to start cooking I oiled up the ribs with canola oil then put the rub on. Next step was to preheat the grill; I use a natural gas grill. I placed the smoker box to one side of grill and turned that burner on high. Then I placed an old bread pan filled with water next to the smoker box. I don’t baste the ribs so I use this method to keep moisture in the grill so the ribs don’t dry out, not basting may be controversial method but this works well for me with a little less effort.

Once my smoking section was ready, I put the ribs on indirect heat (only the burner under the smoker box was on) and turned them once every half hour for about 2 ½ hours. It could take you closer to 3 depending on the heat of your grill. Make sure to keep adding wood chips as needed. When the ribs are done you should see the bare tips of the bones from the meat shrinking up, don’t know if shrinking up is a culinary term, but I’m going with it.
The rub made a great dark crust and the smokiness of the ribs was awesome. I was pretty impressed with my new little smoker box! Here is the list of ingredients for the rub, ENJOY.

Bobby Flay’s Coffee Rub

• 1/4 cup ancho chili powder
• 1/4 cup finely ground espresso
• 2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
• 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon dry mustard
• 1 tablespoon kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon ground coriander
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• 2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 2 teaspoons chili de arbol powder **we used cayenne pepper instead**

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