July 4th is the day we celebrate the birth of our great nation and the freedom and independence that we still enjoy! It is also a day, like most holidays, where we come together with our family and friends for food, fun and enjoying each other's company. There is no better way to celebrate something this big than with these jazzed up raspberry glazed pork ribs.
These competition style pork ribs, while they were created for our July 4th celebrations, are equally good any time of the year whether it's a plain ol' Saturday or even Christmas and you're sick to death of turkey and need something that will really stick to your… well, you get the idea;-)
Lay the pork ribs bone side up on the cutting board.
Use a butter knife or your fingers to lift up on the edge of the plastic like membrane that covers the bones. Once it's loose a little, grab it with a paper towel or a pair of catfish skinning pliers and pull the membrane clean off.
Occasionally, it can be stubborn and if so, do the best you can and don't worry about the rest. It's a nice thing to do but it doesn't ruin the ribs in any way if you can't remove all of it. Some people choose to skip this step altogether.
See that flap of meat that runs diagonally from upper middle to lower right in the image above? I like to cut this off and cook it separately as this can interfere with the cooking process not to mention, it's a nice snack about halfway through the cooking process.
While there ‘s not a lot of meat on the bone side, I still recommend putting some of my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) on it. We eat with our eyes so it's great for color and in addition, since we also eat with our hands, some of this rub will transfer to our mouth and make it taste even better.
Go ahead and season that flap of meat you cut off as well.
Flip the rack of ribs over to meaty side up.
Season the meaty side real good with my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub).
I often use mustard to help the rub to stick but I had a little time to let these sit so I just placed the rub on the ribs dry. The little bit of salt in the rub pulls juices to the surface of the meat where it mixes with the rub. You will see this happen within about 10-15 minutes. As the juices come to the surface, it will moisten the rub making it look darker.
Once you season the ribs real good with Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub), you'll want to leave them sitting for 15-20 minutes to let the magic happen. This is a great time to get the smoker going.
Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225°F using indirect heat and cherry wood for smoke if you have it. If not, pecan or another fruit wood will also work well. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
Once the smoker is preheated and ready to cook, place the ribs on the smoker grate bone side down.
If you want to minimize cleanup, it is perfectly acceptable to leave the ribs on a cookie sheet as I did.
Set a timer for 3 hours on your phone, watch, or you can use a special tool for this like I do.
I use the TimeStack by ThermoWorks. It is large, magnetic on the back and is capable of running four separate timers at the same time. Each one has a large readout, is easy to set and even allows you to record your own alarm. For instance, on my timer, I held in on the REC button and once it beeped, I said, “Time to turn up the heat”.
Once 3 hours had elapsed, I heard my own voice saying, “Time to turn up the heat” over and over until I pressed a button to stop it.
Let me tell you that it's a great addition to the kitchen. I leave mine on the fridge at all times and my wife also uses it to time whatever she's doing as well. She just made a fresh batch of cinnamon rolls and used it to time her 5 minute yeast activation as well as the 1 hour that it would take for the dough to double in size. Since she was using two of the timers, I used a different one and still had one left.
Once the timer goes off, feel free to turn up the heat to 275°F to get these done a little faster. I decided to crank mine up and within 1 hour they were done.
These two options yield very similar results. the first one is traditional, the 2nd one is a sped up version that works very well:
- 225°F for about 6 hours
- 225°F for 3 hours then 275°F for 1 hour
Important: Remember that temperature is the determining factor for when the meat is done, NOT the time. Time is only used as a way to estimate how long it will probably take.
This is what I purchased from my local grocery store.. find something similar and it will work just fine.
When the ribs are about 20-25 minutes away from being finished, place the raspberry spreadable fruit or jam in a sauce pan over medium low heat
Stir with a whisk to smooth it out.
Spread a generous portion of the raspberry glaze onto the top side of the ribs with a spoon or a brush.
Check the temperature of the rib meat, right between the bones with a handheld digital meat thermometer such as the ThermoPop or Thermapen. Make sure the tip of the probe is not touching the bone.
You are looking for about 194°F to get perfect, competition style ribs that are perfectly tender but not falling off the bone.
Note: If you want super tender fall-off-the-bone ribs then follow my recipe HERE and just add the raspberry glaze when they are almost finished.
Once the ribs have reached the perfect temperature, remove them from the heat and lay them on a cutting board.
Slice the ribs right between the bones using a really sharp knife