Give Your Butt the Rub it Deserves
4. At this point, your ribs go in a smoker set to run at 250*. For ribs, we prefer a mix of maple, pecan, and apple woods. The fire should be burning very steady with a good clean smoke. If the smoke is thick, gray, and bitter smelling, wait before putting the ribs on. The first stage of the cook will last *about* 3 hours, though your time may very, so start checking at 2 hours.
6. Before wrapping, top the ribs with the following (in this order): butter, honey, brown sugar, Pitfaced BBQ Meat Massage. For the butter, we take a cold stick and cut off slices with a cheese slicer, putting the slices end-to-end to form one line across the entire width of the rack.
7. Wrap the ribs so that the seams are tight, but the foil does not sit against the meat and put back on the smoker.
5. At around the 3 hour mark, the ribs should look about like this (maybe a little darker) and have an internal temperature around 160-170*. The meat has started to pull back a bit from the bone, but the rack is still firm. This is when they get wrapped.
If you know us, you know we don't keep many secrets! Here you will find the recipe and cook method to make Pitfaced BBQ's award winning pork ribs. Feel free to adopt this method and call it your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you learned it (and we'll never ask for credit), just tell them where you got your rub!
Please note that the cook times are meant to be a guide, not a guarantee. Each rack cooks differently. Learn what tender feels like (we mention it at the bottom) and then use that as your goal, rather than a time or temperature. You're BBQ game will step up big time for it!
3. Once the membrane is removed, rub both sides down with a generous amount of Pitfaced BBQ Meat Massage. The trimmings can be rubbed down and cooked as well. They make an excellent mid-cook snack!
8. The ribs will cook for about one hour while wrapped. If you peek, make sure the meat isn't pulling too far back off of the bone. You can poke with a probe and there should still be a little bit of resistance between the bones. After the hour, open the foil up and let the ribs stay in the smoke. This will finish setting the sticky, sweet glaze that you made and let the bark set up again. Once the foil is opened up, the ribs will need about one more hour.
10. Next is a very important step - the rest. Seal the foil back up and place the ribs in a cooler and cover with a couple of towels. Leave the cooler shut and rest the ribs for 1 hour. The juices will redistribute and the meat will get more and more tender. This is an underrated step in making ribs. Give yourself time for it. If your ribs finish early and you have to rest longer, that is okay. If the cooler is kept shut, the ribs will stay warm for hours.
9. Ribs are done when a probe slides through the meet between the bones with very little resistance. Another check is to pick them up with a set of tongs. They should bend like picture without having the meat break completely or come apart. If you want to go by temperature, it will be about 195-200* internal.
2. Next, remove the membrane on the back of the ribs. It is easiest if you use a butter knife to get under the membrane, then use a paper towel to pull it off completely.
11. Now you enjoy the fruits of your labor!
1. We cook pork spare ribs that are trimmed to a St. Louis cut. The trim is made by separating the rack at the knuckle at the top of the rib bone. You can see that here.