Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Spice-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs with Dark & Stormy Barbecue Sauce

By Steven Raichlen


  • Yield: Make 4 racks, serving 6 to 8
  • Equipment: A rib rack (optional); about 5 cups soaked, drained wood chips or chunks
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For the rub:

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 4 racks baby back ribs (8 to 10 pounds total)

  • Dark and Stormy Barbecue Sauce (see Step 5, below)

Step 1: Make the rub: Combine all the rub ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to mix.

Step 2: Prepare the ribs: Place a rack of ribs meat side down on a baking sheet. Remove the thin, papery membrane from the back of the rack by inserting a slender implement, such as a butter knife or the tip of a meat thermometer under it. The best place to start is on one of the middle bones. Using a dishcloth, paper towel, or pliers to gain a secure grip, peel off the membrane. Repeat with the remaining racks. Please note: Sometimes, baby back ribs are sold with the membrane already peeled off.

Step 3: Sprinkle the rub over both sides of the ribs. Gently pat the seasonings onto the meat, but do not rub vigorously. You will need about 1 tablespoon of rub for each side. You can smoke the ribs right away, but they’ll be even better if you let them cure overnight.

Step 4: Set up your smoker following the manufacturers’ instructions. Preheat to 250 degrees. Place the ribs rounded side up (bone-side down) in the smoker. Smoke the ribs until browned, very tender, and the meat has shrunk back from the ends of the rib bones by 1/4 inch. Depending on the size of the ribs, this will take 3.5 to 4.5 hours.

Step 5: Optional: Set up a grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate. Brush the ribs on both sides with half the Dark & Stormy Barbecue Sauce and direct grill to sizzle the sauce into meat, about 2 minutes per side. Serve the slabs of ribs with the remaining sauce on the side.