Stovetop Smoked Baby Back Ribs with Maple BBQ Sauce

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 45 min (includes soaking time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
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Ingredients

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt 

2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika 

2 teaspoons ground cumin 

2 teaspoons garlic powder 

1 teaspoon onion powder 

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 

1/2 teaspoon chili powder 

One 2- to 2 1/2-pound rack pork baby back ribs 

1 cup ketchup 

1/4 cup good-quality maple syrup 

1 tablespoon molasses 

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

1 teaspoon soy sauce 

Directions

Special equipment:
4 cups hickory wood chips; a 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid; a 6-inch steamer basket
  1. Put 4 cups hickory wood chips into a container and cover with 4 cups of water. Allow the chips to soak for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, assemble the dry rub for the ribs. In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and chili powder.
  3. Cut the rib rack into 4 pieces. Put a cooling rack over a baking sheet and put the ribs on top. Let the ribs come to room temperature, then rub the meat all over with the dry rub.
  4. Set up a stovetop smoker: Make a shallow bowl out of heavy-duty aluminum foil that fits into a 5- to 7-quart Dutch oven, with the sides of the aluminum bowl coming 2 inches up the sides of the pot; put it in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Put the soaked and drained wood chips over the aluminum foil in an even layer. Put a small round of aluminum foil on top of the wood chips. Put a 6-inch steamer basket (make sure the handle is attached in the center for easy removal) on top of the aluminum round. Transfer the smoker to the stovetop.
  5. Put the ribs in the steamer basket; it is okay if the pieces overlap slightly. Cover the smoker and create a strong seal by wrapping the rim of the lid with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Turn the heat to medium high and smoke the ribs for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and carefully remove the aluminum foil seal and lid.
  6. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  7. Remove the ribs and steamer basket from the Dutch oven and set aside. Remove the remaining foil and wood chips carefully, as grease from the ribs may have dripped down; use tongs to lift the wood chips and foil bowl out and transfer them to a baking sheet to cool before discarding. Put the ribs back into the empty Dutch oven and cover with the lid. Slow roast until the ribs are completely tender, an additional 2 hours. The meat should pull away from the bones very easily.
  8. Meanwhile, pour the ketchup, maple syrup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire and soy sauce into a small saucepot and stir to combine. Place over medium heat and heat just until simmering. Keep warm.
  9. Remove the pot from the oven and brush the ribs generously with the BBQ sauce. Preheat the broiler to high.
  10. Broil the ribs until the sauce is caramelized and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note

Ask your butcher to remove the membrane from the back of the rack of ribs. This will better allow the ribs to become tender and the smoke to flavor the meat.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs