Celebrity Chef: How to BBQ Championship Ribs

First you must be able to maintain your temperature in your grill or smoker. It needs to be kept at about 225 degrees during the cooking process.

Indirect cooking method:

Control the air flow and you control the heat.

For gas grill only turn on 1 burner and cook away from the heat source.

For a charcoal grill rake the hot coals to two sides and place a foil pan in center the cook over the foil pan.

Small water smokers and side smokers follow the instructions from manufacturer.

You will need heavy duty foil


2 C Brown sugar
¼ C Garlic powder
½ C Kosher salt (Iodized salt leaves a residual flavor)
¼ C paprika
¼ C lemon pepper
¼ C chili powder
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil

Mix together in a jar or a bowl.

Wood: use any fruit or hard wood Hickory, Oak and peach are fairly easy to find.

When smoking it does not take much smoke to get the smoke flavor and get a nice smoke ring. Your smoker should not look like a house fire it should be wafting out gently. And only for the first hour or so after that the smoke you think you see is steam and a small amount from the coal and drippings.


Heat smoker or grill set up for indirect cooking to a temperature of 225 degrees.

Take ribs and trim off the flap on the bone side and remove the membrane from the bones. To remove the membrane take the handle of a spoon and count two rib bones down from the end and insert the handle under membrane and tilt up spoon against the bone. This will lift up the membrane and allow you to grasp it with a paper towel and pull it off. This takes a little practice but once you do, it will be fine.

Then trim off the Chine bone or have the butcher do it.

With the bone side up add rub and pat in. Turn ribs over and rub the meat side.

Cover ribs and let them sweat for about 10 min before placing on cooker.

Place in cooker bone side down.

Cook for 2 hours (NO PEEKING)

After 2 Hrs turn ribs over to meat side down and cook 1 more hr.

Remove ribs from cooker and the meat should already be pulled back from the bones or just starting.

Take a large sheet of heavy duty foil and pour around a 4th of a cup of apple juice in the center and place ribs in foil bone side down and seal up the ribs in the foil making an air tight seal. Be careful not to make it so tight that the bones rip thru the foil.

Return ribs to smoker and cook for and additional hour.

Open rib foil pack and apply glaze to tops of ribs and cook for 10 min more.

Remove and let rest covered for 5-8 minutes then serve.

To make this your family secret, try different things.

Add or subtract from the recipe or cooking times and temps, but only do one thing at a time and take notes so you can change back if you don’t like it or if you like it you will know what you did.

Some things to try: Honey,( sweet items such as honey should only be added towards the end of the cook so they wont burn) marinate your ribs in your favorite soda. It wont taste like the soda but it will add moisture and a little different flavor.

Different spices in moderation. Let your imagination take over and if it sounds good, try it.

You may have the next world championship RIB.

Do not boil your ribs. This will take out the flavor and if done correctly. It is not necessary for fall-off-the- bone ribs.

Do not peek. This adds cooking time. Every time you open the cooker you lose heat and it also makes it harder to maintain a constant temp. Learn your cooker and practice so you won’t even need to look.

When it’s done it’s done. All cuts of meat will cook slightly differently. One rack of ribs may be done and another not quite there. Times and temps are approximate, not written in


Make good notes on what you liked and what didn’t you like and make small adjustments.

To tender adjust the cooking times, temps or don’t foil.

To sweeten, adjust the sugar, More spicy add some spice….

Select well marbled ribs.

Web sites of interest:

Join the Florida BBQ Association and get the monthly newspaper: The BBQ NEWS, full of everything going on in BBQ from pro to backyard.

Recipes, equipment, tools and tips:

For rubs and sauces:

Information, go to:
Personal or group BBQ Classes, Back Yard or for competition, and events.

For Information about the Shriner's BBQ cook-off in Tallahassee on September 27, just check out their website at www.nettally.com/marzuq/

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