I have been making my ribs this way for the last dozen years or so -- always to rave reviews (or maybe my friends are just being nice and they eat all the ribs just to make me feel good:-). Anyway, a couple of reason's I do them this way -- 1) I live in San Francisco and don't have a smoker (actually I have to go to the park or to friends to even grill) 2) often when I eat bbq all I can taste is the smoke - great for some but not to my taste.
So I developed the following method (I would be anxious to get feedback).
1. I rub the ribs the night before. I make a fairly standard rub with, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, etc. (FYI - I use standard pork ribs).
2. I braise the ribs in apple cider the next morning for 2-4 hours - I normally start the oven pretty hot (400 or so) and then turn it down to 250 or so after about 30 minutes. I pull them when I can see about 3/8 of an inch of the bone peeking through.
3. I discard the braising liquid and cut them into individual ribs (when cool enough to handle) - keeping some double.
4. Hot smoke the individual (and now cooled ribs) on a Weber using indirect heat and Hickory Smoking chips soaked in water. I smoke for 45 Min to 1.5 hours depending normally on how hungry my crowd is etc.
5 Once I can see something of a smoke ring - I add more goals and carmelize the bbq sauce (St. Louis style?).
I have at times frozen the extra's and grilled and smoked them later - it seems to work fairly well. However, do realize they are not real bbq and to some here I'm sure heresy - but they turn out great.
Anyway, one mans way of doing it -- would love to get others feedback.
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