A Rare Food Post – Smoked Pork Ribs (in the oven)

oven smoked pork ribsI’ve been wanting to smoke some meat for quite a long time.  But, I’m waiting for my grill to die before I buy a grill I can use as a smoker (preferably one that has a side firebox so I can burn actual wood for smoke).  I found out recently, however, that I can use my electric oven as a smoker in a pinch.  I thank the foureyed(beer)geek for the tip.

Here are the steps I took:

  1. First, I had to choose my supplies.  I chose pork ribs because I just prefer the texture and flavor over beef ribs.  I needed an aluminum baking tray and some woodchips.  I chose hickory chips this time around for a mild smokiness.
  2. Next, I needed seasonings.  I chose to use CCRyder’s Smoker Rib Rub due to the exceptional reviews.  I also chose to soak my chips in beer at foureyed(beer)geek’s recommendation.  I used Sierra Nevada Stout, because I had four bottles on hand at the time.  That wasn’t enough to totally soak my chips, though, so I had to top off with water.
  3. I soaked the chips overnight in the beer, and I let the ribs sit in the refrigerator covered with the rub overnight in a gallon Ziploc.
  4. When it came time to cook everything, I double-checked the smoking instructions.  Yep, 250F for at least 6hrs.  Check and double-check.  I poured most of the beer out of the tray prior to smoking at foureyed(beer)geek’s recommendation to avoid steaming the meat.  I also used one of the nonstick-coated baker’s cooling racks to place the meat upon since I really couldn’t find any other alternative.
  5. oven smoked pork ribs

  6. I let it smoke for 5hrs at 250, and since I was going to be out of the house for a few more hours, I dropped the temp to 200 for another 4 hours.  I didn’t want to burn anything (namely the house).
  7. About 10 minutes before serving time, I based the ribs with the BBQ sauce of my choice.  I wasn’t quite ambitious enough to make my own this time around, so I used my old standby: Sweet Baby Ray’s.
  8. oven smoked pork ribs

  9. I decided to serve the ribs with Cajun-seasoned roasted red potatoes and green beans.  They made for a good combination, I think.
  10. oven smoked pork ribs

The verdict: Outstanding!

The rub was a little bit on the spicy side and it worked really well with a sweet sauce.  There was a perfect crust on the outside and the meat was tender and juicy on the inside.  It held together well, but came off the bone with ease (and completely cleanly).

I do have to mention some changes I made to the rub recipe, however.  I cut the sugar by 1/4 cup, and I made the brown sugar by using white sugar and molasses.  I have been making brown sugar this way for some time because I feel it’s more flavorful than the storebought junk.  I cut the sugar content some because of some reviews stating that a burnt flavor came through from the sugar.  I also was unable to track down ancho chili powder.  I wasn’t about to make my own, since anchos are a monster just to chop up, let alone powder.  Instead, I added 1 tbsp extra of regular chili powder.  I ground my own whole peppercorns with a mortar & pestle since I don’t keep pre-ground black pepper anymore (when you have a peppermill, why would you?).  I also used freshly grated nutmeg instead of the pre-ground stuff.

The change with chili powder was most significant, and probably made my rub a little spicier than the recipe.  I still have some extra rub, and I will be using it.  I liked the spiciness.

Overall, smoking ribs in the oven was a win.  I think I’ll try a different cut of meat next time.  Maybe a brisket.

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