BBQ Hack - A Hacker's Rib Recipe

Last Sunday I got the urge to bust out the old smoker grill & roast some
Mesquite Smoked Baby Back Ribs. I've been into BBQ & grilling for over 20+ years so I consider myself very knowledgeable in this regard. I discuss BBQ with various types of people, from BBQ n00bs to professional pit masters & I'm always amused at the level of paranoia & secrecy around individual BBQ recipes. These people are insanely sensitive regarding these recipes.

I guess I like my BBQ recipes like I like my tech... Open! I'm not one of those
recipe hoarders. When people ask me for my recipes I gladly give them up. I think it's a great thing to mentor & share recipes because it causes innovation & creativity. In this post I'm giving up my recent rib recipe & I'm sure you'll be surprised how great it tastes & how easy it is to execute.

1 x Outdoor Charcoal Smoking Grill ( Gas & Electric are fine but I prefer coal & this recipe is for coal)
1 x Bag of “Hardwood Coal”
1 x Bag of Smoking Wood (Mesquite, Hickory)
1 x Coal Starter Not Required
1 x Electric Coal starter Not Required

1-2 x Full Rack of Baby Back Ribs
1 x Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

Prep the Ribs
  • Pull the silver off theback of the ribs
  • Evenly sprinkle a light layer of the Montreal Steak Seasoning on both sides of the ribs (Don't over season)
  • Let the ribs marinate in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours if possible.

Grill/Smoker Prep
  • Pull the ribs out of the fridge & let them come up to room temperature
  • Stick the Electric Starter in the Coal starter
  • Fill the Coal starter with the Hardwood Coal keeping the Electric Starter in the center.
  • Plugin the Electric Starter and let it heat the Coals fro 10-15 minutes (Note: I suggest you visually monitor this process for safety)
  • Carefully Remove the Electric starter after 10-15mins
  • Let the coals burn for 5-10 minutes more
  • Carefully place the hot coals in the Smoker's designated coal receptacle
  • Let the grill come to temp for 5 minutes
  • Place a handful of Hardwood Mesquite chunks on the hot coals
  • Finally place the ribs on the grill and close or cover the smoker

The Cook
  • Never Ever uncover or open the smoker's lid/door (it lets the heat out)
  • Make sure that there is continuous smoke being generated while smoking - don't use too much wood 
  • Check smoke every 45 minutes and add a chunk or two if needed
  • Cook for about 6 hours
  • If ribs are still under cooked you can finish them on a very low temp gas grill using indirect heat on 225-300 for 45-60 mins
  • 30 mins before you remove the ribs slather Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce on the top and let caramelize (Optional)

Post Cook
  • Let the ribs set for 10mins
  • Slather more Sweet Baby Ray's if you like (Optional)

So I know that you're probably surprised that I only used the Montreal Steak Seasoning as a sole rub ingredient but I've actually tried many rub recipes that require anywhere from 10 to 25 ingredients & this single seasoning is the best I've had on my ribs.  I've actually had taste tests with friends where I prepared ribs with a robust rub & my Montreal Steak Seasoning rub and Montreal Seasoning won every time.

This recipe is great for BBQ n00bs and will definitely get you some BBQ street cred.  Use & share this recipe with fellow hackers and reach out to me if you need advice.

Hack Idea – WiFi Thermometer
I'm working on building a WiFi Thermometer hack so that I can write and app that will enable me to monitor the temps of my cook from a mobile app. Luckily someone already has a hardware hack completed that I can use to easily build my own WiFi thermometer and maybe improve on this hack.

This will be my next project at the next Hackathon I participate in so don't steal my idea ;-)...  jk

Check out the project here:




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