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Smoking hot ribs – Redneck Cooking

Did you grill this 4th of July? Have you thought about smoking ribs for your next outdoor cooking event? Check out my Red Hot Smoked Ribs to find out just how easy it is to make great smoked ribs.

Happy 4th of July to everyone. Today is a day to reflect on the sacrifices of the many who are now serving or have served our country and to celebrate the birth of our nation. Today is also the day to adhere to the age old tradition of cooking meat over open flames in the back yard. Since the days of the cave people men have gathered around the fire to exchange opinions on the proper way to cook everything from mastadon steaks to pork ribs. For me there is nothing better than a rack of slow smoked pork ribs.

The secret to a good rack of smoked ribs is the preparation. The secret is in the rub. If you want really good ribs you have to have a really good dry rub to put on the meat.  There are several dry rubs on the market that you can buy with a variety of seasoning types and flavors that will enhance the flavor of the meat. I looked at several of these and I also looked at several recipes for dry rub online before smoking my ribs. I could not find a recipe I liked so I came up with one of my own. I have tried this rub on pork ribs, beef steaks and even chicken and it is good on all of them. The rub is also simple and quick to mix up.

J+L Meat Rub


  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt ( I use Johnny’s seasoning salt, but you can use whatever is your favorite)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Mix all the ingredient together in a sealable container and shake well to mix.

To prep the ribs for smoking make sure they are completely thawed and at room temperature. Generously cover each side with the rub and let the ribs set and absorb the rub for at least 30 minutes.

I use my Charbroil Smoker Grill to smoke my ribs. I start a couple of pounds of charcoal briquettes and add them to the offset fire box and let the smoke chamber come up to temperature. For smoking slow and low heat is the key. I keep the temperature of my smoker between 225 and 250 degrees for the cooking. When the smoke chamber is up to temperature I place the ribs on the grill and then add a chunk of wood to the coals for the smoke. You can use any type of wood for the smoke. My favorites are Alder, Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Maple, or Peach. You can buy most of these types of wood in bags of chips to add to your smoker. It is a good idea to soak the wood chips in water the night before to create more smoke and burn slower. I always keep the branches I trim from my Apple and Peach trees just for smoking. Keep an eye on the temperature and keep it low for 4 to 6 hours. The longer you cook the ribs the more tender they will be. Add more briquettes and wood as need to maintain the heat and smoke until the ribs are done.

After the ribs are done smoking they are ready to eat, but I like to then crank up the heat and add some BBQ sauce. I let the sauce caramelize for 15 or 20 minutes to get it thick and sticky.

When the ribs hit the table they do not last long. Everyone loves the ribs and they disappear off the plate as fast as I can  cut them apart.

Photo Credit: Jeff Love

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