4th of July weekend is coming up soon. That single day more Americans will grill out more than any other day of the year, and more racks of ribs will be cooked than any other time. George "Tuffy" Stone, developed this 3-2-1 process of smoking ribs, cooking for three hours unwrapped, two hours wrapped in foil, and another one unwrapped. I really dislike long extensive list of ingredients and am usually put off when I see them, but trust me this one is worth it. I use ancho chili powder and smoked paprika which is a change up and only adds to the flavor.
Mix sugar, paprika, chili, onion and garlic powders, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Brush oil on ribs on baking sheet and sprinkle with rub; let sit 1 hour. Keep in mind more rub is not better, more rub will only add to the heat, and take away from the flavor of the meat and smoke, it will overwhelm things.
Whisk together ketchup, sugar, vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire, chili powder, paprika, onion and garlic powders, cayenne, pepper, and 3⁄4 cup water in a 4-qt. saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook, stirring, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, measure 1 cup into a bowl, and stir in 1⁄4 cup honey and the apple cider vinegar; set aside. (Reserve remaining sauce for another use.) Pour apple juice into a spray bottle; set aside.
Prepare your smoker, using apple wood chunks or chips or pellets. Place ribs, meat side up, on grill grate. Maintaining a temperature of 225°-275° replenish fire with more wood chunks, chips or pellets as needed, to maintain temperature; cook, spraying with juice every 30 minutes, for 3 hours. Remove ribs from grill; transfer to 2 large stacked sheets of foil. Drizzle butter, honey, and sugar evenly over both sides of ribs; position ribs meat side up and close foil around ribs. Return to grill and cook for 2 hours. Uncover ribs and discard foil. Return ribs to grill and cook, basting with sauce after 30 minutes, until the tip of a small knife slips easily in and out of the meat, about 1 hour. Serve with remaining sauce.
4Remember my rule of thumb, if your lookin, you ain't cookin, keep that smoker lid closed except when you absolutely have to open it. Use your temp gauge, keep that temp above 225 and below 275!!! And last but not least, do not soak your wood!!! Too much moisture in your smoke box and too cool of a smoke box and the air flow and heat won't be able to vaporize it and it won't be able to carry it out the stack and you'll end up with ribs that taste like ash trays.
There is no reason you couldn't also use this on a big O honkin slap of St. Louis ribs, or spare ribs. It's entirely up to you. I just love baby backs!!!