I’ve become more and more a believer in cooking ribs over high heat. Now, I still love my low-and-slow smoked ribs, don’t get me wrong, but high-and-fast ribs are great too. They are still tender, still have great taste, and often have a nice little crust to them that I really like.
But, you have to be careful what rub you use on ribs when you are cooking them over high heat. Anything with brown sugar in it will burn, and burn bad. That’s why I use this great no-burn rib rub. It packs seriously good flavor, but without having to worry about it charring. I am a huge fan of celery seeds in my rubs, so I have to warn you, this rub has a LOT of celery seed in it. If you’re not as big a fan of it as I am, I suggest adding just a bit of celery seed at a time. Taste as you go, until you get the flavor you want.
I apply a generous amount of this rub to the ribs the night before I’m going to cook them. I wrap them in foil to let them get happy in the fridge. This is the perfect rub for cooking ribs on a charcoal grill over direct heat, or on a Char-Broil Big Easy.
I was hankerin’ for some tender, almost-fall-off-the-bone smoked ribs, and lo and behold, spareribs were on sale at our grocery store. So I grabbed a few racks, trimmed them up St. Louis-style and started contemplating how I was going to cook them. Normally, it means an overnight rub down with some Memphis rib rub, then onto my Weber Smokey Mountain smoker using the 3-2-1 cooking method. This time, I decided to try a copycat of Famous Dave’s rib rub (the one they use in the restaurants for making their totally outstanding ribs) and cook the ribs low-and-slow for 6 hours. This copycat Famous Dave’s rib rub is outstanding. It has a little heat, a little sweet, and a little saltiness. And celery seeds, which I think are just about required in any rub. And just a hint of cloves, which I don’t think I’ve seen in a rub before. It’s amazingly complex, and oh so good.
Although I sauced my ribs, I easily could’ve eaten them ‘dry’, without sauce. I cannot wait to use this same rub on a pork butt in the very near future. With just one cook it has become my go-to rub.
There was a time when I purchased many of the rubs I used for cooking, specially when it came to smoking pork butt or ribs. Now, I just use this simple but very tasty version of a Memphis rib rub based on a recipe from Myron Mixon.
A little sweet, and a little heat (add more cayenne if you like) makes this Memphis rib rub perfect. It made my St. Louis-style ribs (and tips) something great. This recipe makes a nice big batch. Just store any extra in an air-tight container out of the light and away from heat.
I keep my homemade spice mixes in resealable containers. To identify them I write the name of the mix and the date on painter’s blue tape. The tape comes off easily when I’m done with the mix so I can re-use the containers for other things.