Mix together the paprika, Old Bay seasoning, chili powder, sugar, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a bowl. Rub half the mixture all over the slab of spare ribs, on every side. Reserve the other half of the dry rub mix. Heat the oven to 215 degrees. While the oven is warming, soak the wood chips in cold water to cover (for about 20 minutes). Remove the chips from water and spread them evenly in the base of the smoker. Place the smoker, uncovered, on top of two stove-top burners set at medium-high heat. Let the wood chips smoke for about 3 minutes. Then place the slab of ribs on the smoker tray, place the tray over the wood chips, and cover the smoker tightly with its lid. Turn heat down to medium, and leave the smoker on the burners for 5 minutes. Then transfer smoker to the oven, placing it on the oven floor. After the ribs have been in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, remove the smoker and once again place it over two burners set at medium heat for 5 minutes. Return smoker to oven floor. After the ribs have been in the oven for one hour more, remove the smoker from the oven. Carefully lift up the tray holding the ribs, and pour off the liquid that has accumulated in the tray. Reserve. Return tray with ribs to middle portion of oven, and cook for one hour more. While ribs are cooking, de-grease the reserved cooking liquid, and measure 2 tablespoons of it into a bowl. If you don't have 2 tablespoons make up the difference with water. Add the vinegar and blend well. Reserve. Add the salt to the remaining dry rub mix and blend well. Reserve. Remove ribs from oven and brush top side with the cooking liquid-vinegar mixture. Then sprinkle the salted dry rub mix evenly over the top side of the ribs. Return to middle portion of oven, and cook one hour more. Remove ribs from oven. Let stand 15 minutes. Carve into individual ribs and serve.
Suggested drink: Qupe Syrah, 1995.
*It's best if you use a high-quality chile powder-preferably one with a smoky flavor. My favorite for this recipe is Smoked Jalapeno Flakes made by Chile Today, Hot Tamale(tm) in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
(Recipe courtesy of David Rosengarten)