Recipe courtesy of Michael Symon

BBQ Ribs "Snake Method"

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings



Rub and Ribs:


  1. Prepare and preheat your smoker to 300 degrees F. (See Cook’s Note.)
  2. For the glaze: In a large saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar and pickle juice. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat to cool.  
  3. For the rub and ribs: Combine the salt, pepper, celery seed and coriander in a small bowl; set aside. 
  4. Slide a butter knife under a corner of the thin white membrane on the bone side of the spareribs to free it from the meat. Using a dry towel for grip, peel off the entire membrane and discard it. Pat the ribs dry with paper towels and season on both sides with the rub.  
  5. When the temperature in the smoker reaches 300 degrees F and the smoke is running clear, add the ribs bone-side down. After 1 1/2 hours, test the ribs for doneness by flipping a rack and pressing the meat between the bones. If the meat pulls away from the bones, it's done. If not, continue smoking until it does, about 30 minutes more.  
  6. When the ribs are done, gently brush them with the glaze, being careful not to remove the beautiful bark that forms on the exterior of the meat. Cut between the bones and serve with a side of your favorite sauce . 

Cook’s Note

To turn a kettle charcoal grill into a smoker, you can use the "snake method," where a low mound of just 3 or 4 unlit briquettes is arranged (like a snake) around the perimeter of the grill base. A small amount of hot, pre-lit briquettes is added at one end of the snake. The lit coals slowly and steadily ignite the adjacent unlit coals all the way down the line, producing a consistent, steady temperature. By placing wood chips or chunks on top of the unlit coals at regular intervals when setting it all up, you can also generate flavorful smoke throughout the process. For more ingredient substitution ideas, see the article below.