Well, I’m not, Alex is. I just get to say how.
What follows is an amalgamation of information on many web-sites, plus my own experimentation.
Now, before we get started, let’s clarify why you’d want to do this. Quite frankly, because they’re amazing. If that’s not a good enough reason, how about “I don’t own a grill” or “it’s too cold to grill”.
- 1 rack of ribs
- Smoking chips (preferably soak for several hours or overnight)
- Approximately 2 cups of plain white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 T salt
- 2 T brown sugar
- 1 t white pepper
- 1/2 t cayenne pepper
- 1/4 t ginger
- Ribs must be thawed first, so if they’re frozen, move to the refrigerator a day or two beforehand or set in some cold water large enough to cover them, usually the whole sink.
- Prep the pan few hours (or the night before) before prepping the ribs
- In a throwaway or roasting pan
- Lay down a long sheet of foil “wings” that will turn into the tent later
- If using a roaster, line with foil (Teflon or shiny side up) … if possible, make the foil “water-tight” so cleanup is much easier later … the chips will bake onto the bottom, and you’d really rather that be foil than the roaster itself!
- Lay down a thin layer of smoking chips
- Partially cover (but don’t drown) the chips in filtered (not distilled) water
- Set aside for at least an hour, which works out perfectly if it’s setup and then you remove the ribs from the fridge
- Remove ribs from the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before starting preparation because all the handling is easier at room temperature
- Thoroughly clean and rinse the sink
- Write down the weight! You’ll need to know this later
- Remove from packaging and rinse under cold, running water
- Remove the excess fat from the front of the ribs
- Remove the back film from the ribs
- Use a sharp knife and slide it under the white membrane on the back of the ribs so that the knife is between the meat and membrane.
- if that doesn’t work, cut a hole into the membrane or slice it (not the ribs)
- Hold a paper towel for extra grip, and use your fingers to slide under the membrane and pull it away from the meat,
- Remove all of the outer membrane and discard.
- Cut slab into three or four bone sections for easier handling, careful to keep them approximately the same weight
- Set all portions in a large bowl, douse with vinegar, cover with filtered water, add 1 Tablespoon kosher salt, rubbing or rolling over to get to all of the meat
- “Stab” pieces to get more vinegar and salt in there to tenderize better
- Let sit for a few minutes (or several hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally)
- Set the oven to 225
- Put racks over the soaking chips, and make sure the chips are still covered with water
- Rinse ribs well with water, using filtered (but not distilled) for the final rinse
- Pat dry with paper towel
- Dunk the front of the ribs in the dry rub mixture
- Place the ribs on the rack(s) over the chips
- Cover tightly with a foil tent (this is when the “wings” really help!) to allow the smoking chips moist flavor surround and infuse the meat while cooking
- Place the whole thing on a foil lined baking sheet that’s bigger than the racks; this saves a lot of oven cleanup time later because you’ll be taking them out to check the water level, baste, etc., several times
- Calculate the total cooking time … roast for one hour per pound, plus 30 minutes for “fall off the bone” tender
- Place the ribs in the oven
- After one hour, check to make sure the chips still have water, adding some if needed, again to cover, not drown
- In 45 minutes, open foil, slather on bbq sauce, re-tent, and raise oven to 300
- In 35 minutes, check the water level in the chips, and add more if needed, slather again with bbq sauce, re-tent, and raise oven to 350 until the end of the total cooking time
- Turn the oven off and let sit for 15-30 minutes
- Remove from the oven
- Remove the foil
- Drain the juices and chips (can strain to save for stock later, if you’d like … it’s f’awesome!)
- If desired, broil on high for five minutes
- Remove from oven, cut apart (if necessary), and enjoy!