Maple-Chipotle Smoked Ribs – Memorial Day Rib Fest

With Memorial Day this weekend, grills across the country will be ablaze. To celebrate this day of remembrance and some fantastic barbecue, we continue our Memorial Day Rib Fest. Your carnivore friends and family will love Maple-Chipotle Smoked Ribs – a sweet and smoky take on traditional spareribs. Cooking the ribs “slow and low” with your favorite hardwood chunks tenderizes and caramelizes the meat to perfection, yielding succulent meat that falls off the bone. The maple-chipotle glaze is brings a Southwestern element to traditional spareribs that is delightful.

To prepare the racks, the membrane needs to be removed along with excess fat at the ends or between the ribs. The “slow and low” process is cooking at 225 degrees as longs as it takes; which for spareribs is 5-6 hours, and 3-4 hours for baby back ribs. The smoke will come from hardwood chunks of your liking, and it only takes about 8 ounces. A rub of sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper is thoroughly patted all over the ribs to season, tenderize, and provide the tasty crust. It is essential to monitor the temperature keeping it at 225 degrees to keep the ribs from burning or drying out. At the end of the preparation, a glaze of maple syrup, chipotle chile with adobo sauce, ketchup, Dijon mustard, and cider vinegar is added and seared to the ribs for sweet and tangy finish with a little heat. Each bite will be tender and flavorful, making you the rib master of your neighborhood. Yet, greatness doesn’t come easy; so roll up your sleeves, find 225 on your thermometer and stay there, and have patience enjoying the Memorial Day Rib Fest.

Servings: 4

Maple-Chipotle Smoked Spareribs Ingredients

For the ribs:

  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 racks pork spareribs (about 9 lbs.)
  • 8 oz. by weight of hardwood chunks (apple, oak, or hickory)

For the glaze:

  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 chipotle chile, chopped, plus 3 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles en adobo)
  • 2 Tbs. ketchup
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. cider vinegar

Maple-Chipotle Smoked Spareribs Directions

  1. Prepare grill: light one burner to medium-low and leave the other burners off. You want to maintain a low heat of 225 degrees. Clean and oil the grill grates. Place an aluminum pan with water over the burner.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and spices with 4 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper, and pat over both sides of the ribs. Let sit at room temperature while the grill heats.
  3. Add 4 ounces of wood as close to the fire as you can. Set the ribs meaty side up over the cool zone of the fire and cook covered (with the vents open on a charcoal grill). When the smoke dwindles after 20-30 minutes, add the other 4 ounces of wood. Plan to cook the ribs for 5-6 hours at 225 degrees. Halfway through, swap places of the two racks, so that the one that was further from the fire is now closer.
  4. Stir together the maple syrup, chipotle chile and adobo sauce, ketchup, mustard, and vinegar in a medium bowl until combined.
  5. When cooking is complete, remove water pan, and turn up the burners to medium-high. Brush the ribs with half the glaze and cook with the grill uncovered, brushing the meat every couple minutes, until the glaze browns and becomes sticky on the ribs, no more than 15 minutes. Remove the ribs from the grill, brush with the remaining glaze, and let cool for a couple minutes; cut in half (meaty side down so they’re easier to slice), and serve.

Taken from: Fine Cooking

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