Smoked Berkshire Baby Backs with Pork Perfect
Berkshire Baby Back Ribs with Pork Perfect
With a layer of loin meat, baby back ribs cook more quickly than spare ribs. For that reason, they might be ready to go after just 2 hours of smoking. But, if you like the meat to be falling off the bone, wrap the racks and pop them in a low oven for an hour or two. Either way, have plenty of cold beer, napkins, and your favorite hot sauce on hand when it’s eatin’ time.
2 racks Berkshire baby back ribs, trimmed
Pork Perfect seasoning
Cold beer, as needed
Hot sauce, for serving
Hardwood chucks (e.g. oak or hickory) for smoking
Crack open a cold beer and take a sip. Smile.
An hour before smoking, generously season sides of the ribs with Pork Perfect. Use your hands to coat the surfaces evenly with the seasoning. Set the ribs aside to marinate at room temperature. (At this point you can also wrap them with plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days; let the pork come to room temperature before grilling.)
Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire. When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, use tongs to remove the cooking grate and place a drip pan with 1 inch of warm water on the side with no coals, and add a couple chunks of hardwood (such as hickory or oak) to the periphery of the fire. Wipe the preheated grill grates with a lightly oiled paper towel. Using a grill brush, scrape the grill grates clean, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled towel again.
When the fire begins to produce a steady stream of smoke, place the ribs over indirect heat (if a portion of the rack stretches over the coals, it’s okay), close the grill, vent the grill for smoking, and smoke for 30 minutes, using the vents to maintain a temperature of 275°F (use tongs to flip and rotate the ribs, so the opposite side is stretching close to the coals. Close the grill and smoker for an additional 1½ hours more, flipping and rotating the ribs every 30 minutes, adding more coals and wood as needed to maintain a steady temperature and smoke flow, until the ribs are deeply fragrant and have a nice crisp crust.
If you like ribs with a little bit of “tug” they may be ready to eat at this point. If you want them falling off the bone (or if you’re cooking spare ribs) wrap the ribs in butcher paper and aluminum foil, and cook them in a 225°F oven for an additional hour or two as needed.
To serve, slice the racks into individual ribs, sprinkle with additional Pork Perfect and a drizzle of your favorite hot sauce if desired.