It’s July 4 and everyone is having a cookout. You could do the usual hamburgers and hot dogs but why not treat your guests to something a little more special.

I’ve smoked ribs a number of different ways but one of my favorites is just perfectly cooked and memphis dry rub finish. This allows me and my guests to enjoy the taste of the meat as well as try one of several dipping sauces available at the table.

I had two very average racks of baby back ribs. I personally think that spare ribs trimmed to St Louis cut is preferable but these were what my wife had purchased on sale so it’s what I used.

I started the smoker and while the fire came up to temp, peeled the silver-skin off the back and lightly sprinkled a simple rub of kosher salt, black pepper and my homemade smoked chipotle powder on both sides. A few minutes later the smoker is at 275 and I put the ribs on.

After 2.5 hours the ribs had nice color and time to wrap in foil. The photo on the web site is just before wrapping. I put a couple pats of butter on a piece of foil and lay the ribs in upside down then put back on the smoker for another 1.5 hours. At this point the meat temperature is about 185 and the probe pushes through the meat with little resistance so I know the tenderness is getting close. The meat is also pulling back nicely from the bone ends.

I take them out of the foil and back on the smoker, drizzle the rub flavored buttery juices laying in the bottom of the foil back and forth over the top of the ribs. The final dry rub is simply some brown sugar added to the initial rub of salt, pepper and smoked chipotle powder.

I had two sauces available for dipping – one that had some nice heat and a little sweetness and another that was closer to my brisket sauce with more heat and only hints of sweetness.

We served with three of our favorite bbq side dishes, baked beans, mac & cheese and cole slaw.

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