If you have not tried smoked country style ribs then you are missing out on some of the best tasting grub you could ever find.
The really cool thing about country style ribs is that they are so versatile. They can easily be grilled at high temperatures, smoked at low temperatures, skewered with vegetables, used in a stir fry or any number of other marvelous ways. Truly a meat that you can't go wrong with.
I love to put my original rub on these and then let them marinate overnight in the fridge. The flavor gets all up in the meat and it really does make a difference. You can also throw these together last minute with great results.
These are usually cut from pork butt but occasionally these are cut from pork loin which is extremely lean. I recommend asking the butcher or meat person to see if they know which meat was used. Otherwise, find a pork loin and a pork butt and compare the texture and look of the meat to that of the country style ribs to determine which was used.
Why is this an issue? If the meat is pork loin then it is at it's best at 145°F. Anything beyond that will dry it out. The pork butt country style ribs need to be cooked to at least 175-180 in order to be tender.
These are just too easy for words but many of you have asked me about them recently so I'm gonna show you just how easy it really is.
I like to rinse the country style ribs under cold water since they are usually cut with a saw and there could be bone dust or fragments left on the meat. Rinsing them will take care of this.
Once rinsed, place them in a lidded container with my original rub sprinkled generously all over them. The rub will dissolve and do an amazing job of marinating the meat in flavor. I recommend leaving them in the fridge overnight but 4 hours will also do a pretty good job on them.
Here's how good they look after they've marinated overnight in my original rub;-)
If you are truly in a hurry and don't have time to leave them for any amount of time, then apply a layer of something sticky or tacky like yellow mustard, mayonnaise or even honey before applying the rub. This will will help the rub to stay in place when you are moving the meat around.
As I always say, you can use almost ANY heat source with wood smoke to smoke cook meat. This includes electric, gas, pellet and charcoal smokers.
How you get them up to temperature and where you place the wood may differ from smoker to smoker but the idea is the same.. add heat, add wood smoke and you're cooking with smoke.
For the Big Green Egg as well as other ceramic cookers, it is pretty simple:
- Add charcoal (if you don't have enough left from the last cook)
- light the charcoal with a fire starting cube or electric fire starter
- Wait 6-8 minutes to allow a little of the charcoal to get lit real good
- Add wood chips or chunks on top of the charcoal for smoke flavor
- Place plate setter or other indirect cooking adapter into place over charcoal
- Place grate into position and close the lid with the vents full open
- Once proper temperature is acquired, adjust vents to maintain
I've been cooking in my Big Green Egg so often that this has become a routine that I do without even having to think about it. Very easy and great results every single time.
Once the smoker/cooker is maintaining the proper temperature we are ready to move forward.
Place the country style ribs directly on the grate for best results.
Note: I also love to use a Bradley rack, Weber grill pan or cooling rack to make it really simple to move the meat to and from the kitchen and the smoker. These are fairly cheap on Amazon and are very nice to have.
I recommend that you try to keep the smoker around 225-240 degrees for best results and you should be looking at around 2 hours of cook time. Keep a watch on the internal temperature of the meat using a digital probe meat thermometer and when they reach about 175-180 degrees, they are perfectly done and tender.
See I told you they were easy!
- If you are in a hurry, these can handle higher temperatures (275-300 degrees). Watch the temperature of the meat really closely since they will get done a lot faster this way.
- If you don't want to deal with bones, you can buy these in the boneless variety.
- Wanna really ramp up the flavor, leave them in the fridge marinating in my original rub for an extra day
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