There are two ways to smoke ribs: wet and dry.
Wet ribs are, at some point in the cooking process, wrapped in foil, often with flavoring agents such as honey, brown sugar, rub or a marinade/liquid. They are then cooked in the foil. Wrapping allows the added flavors to braise the ribs while on the smoker, as well as speeding up the cooking process by containing the heat inside the foil. Competition style wet ribs will be sweeter and likely more visually appealing.
Dry ribs are cooked uncovered all the way through the process. The main flavoring agents in the ribs will be the rub you apply at the beginning of the process, the smoke and any sauce you choose to serve on the ribs at the end of the process. Dry ribs will take longer to cook than wet ribs, but tend to have more texture to the bite and the spice is often more pronounced on the palate, as there isn’t as much sugar competing with the flavor of the rub. They’re arguably more eatable than wet ribs (specifically competition style), which tend to pack a lot of sugar into each bite. Of course it’s mostly up to each individual palate.
Backyard cooks, competition pit masters and BBQ enthusiasts often have an opinion on which method is better, and we frequently find that it’s fairly evenly divided. Both methods have their advantages, and both should be celebrated. Today we’ll cover the simple process of dry smoking ribs so you can discover for yourself your opinion and perhaps your preference.
Dry Style Baby Back Ribs
– 1 rack baby back ribs, trimmed, membrane removed
– House of Q Slow Smoke Gold BBQ Sauce & Slather
– House of Q House BBQ Rub
– R Butts R Smokin’ Butt Kick’n Chicken BBQ Rub
– Eat Barbecue IPO Barbecue Sauce
Step 1: Preheat a Yoder Smokers YS640 to 275ºF. Spread a thin layer of House of Q Slow Smoke Gold on the ribs, covering all surfaces. Apply equal parts House of Q House BBQ Rub and R Butts R Smokin’ Butt Kick’n Chicken BBQ Rub to the ribs. Let the rub set up for 10 minutes until the surface looks moist.
Step 2: Place the ribs on the second shelf of the cooker and smoke for about 5 hours until the meat between the bones moves freely from the bones when twisted, but is not so cooked that the meats falls off the bones. Remove from cooker, brush on a thin layer of Eat Barbecue IPO Barbecue Sauce (or your favorite sauce) and rest 10 minutes before slicing.