Pork Ribs and Homemade Rub

Happy Labor Day!

My better-half wanted to try making his finger-licking ribs two different ways:  smoked in his Ultimate Dutch Oven and baked in a 14″ deep camp Dutch oven.  I love his ribs, and so do our kiddos (big and little) who live in North Carolina.  We are going to see them in a few weeks and are getting ready to cook up a heap of heart-warming food to remind them of our love.  Packing up the big ole smoker is not an option, so we need to find a way to make mouth-watering ribs in our black pots.

Today’s experiment is to see if he can make them in his Dutch ovens just as good or better than the smoker.  

He started with his home-made version of Gordon’s Grub Rub.  20140901-IMG_3023-Edit-1When his last big jar of Gordon’s ran out, he tried to order more but there was a logistical problem that led him to make his own.  He found this recipe and made some adjustments:

  • 4 cups brown sugar, dark
  • 1/2 cup smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons ground dried chipotle pepper  (we love Penzeys!) 
  • 2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoon onion powder

He rinsed three big racks of baby back pork ribs, patted them dry, cut them in half (about 8 ribs each), and rubbed them with his home made goodness.  

Rubbing in the rub

Rubbing in the rub

He placed the ribs in the ovens, standing up on their ends.

Ribs in Ultimate Dutch Oven and a regular Dutch Oven

Ribs in Ultimate Dutch Oven and a regular Dutch Oven

At this point on, he followed two different paths to cook the meat. 

  1. Smoked in Ultimate Dutch Oven:  Fire up four or five charcoals, remove top grate, place them side by side in a tight circle, and add apple wood chips on top to create smoke.  Place the center of Ultimate Dutch Oven over the smoke and cover.  After about 2 hours, add 14 hot charcoals on top and 9 underneath.  Cook until internal temperature comes to about 200 degrees F, about another hour.
  2. Baked in 14″ deep Dutch Oven:  Fire up a chimney of hot charcoals and bake at 325 degrees F, about 20 on top and 10 underneath, for about 2 hours until internal temperature comes to about 200 degrees F.  Replace charcoal as needed.  

20140901-IMG_3024-Edit-1We liked both of the ribs, but the smoke on the ribs that came out of the Ultimate made a big difference in the flavor.  Both were cooked properly, but we agreed that they needed a bit more flavor and the perfect ending to these ribs would be to add a glaze in the last five minutes.  Here are our recommendations for final glaze:

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