This recipe for barbecue baby back ribs comes from John Willingham in Memphis, TN.
It is featured in the wonderful barbecue cookbook Cooking the Cowboy Way: Recipes Inspired by Campfires, Chuck Wagons, and Ranch Kitchens. If you love BBQ this cookbook is a must have.
Back ribs are delicious and the baby ones are the ultimate barbecue food in my books.
Tender and meaty, with the right touch and the right rub, back ribs are absolutely delectable.
The w’ham seasoning rub that John developed is a wonderful savory mix of spices and herbs that make the meat a rich and flavorful.
Slow smoking brings out the best in barbecue ribs and baby back ribs are considered the best cut by many barbecue experts.
Of course, if you have another cut of ribs, feel free to replace the baby back ribs with it.
Barbecued Baby Back Ribs
- 2 slabs baby back ribs
- 1/2 cup w'ham style seasoning of your choice, or see the recipe that follows
- apple juice for basting
For the W'ham Seasoning:
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup onion salt
- 1/2 cup garlic salt
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vinegar powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground rosemary
- For the w'ham seasoning, combine all the ingredients and blend well. Store in a sealed jar in a cool, dark place until ready to use, up to 6 months.
- Makes 2 3/4 cups.
For the Ribs:
- Set up your smoker to cook indirectly at 250°F - 275°F. This temperature is a little higher than usual, but John believes that ribs should be cooked hotter than most barbecue.
- To prepare the ribs, trim them of excess fat. Do not remove the membrane from the back before you cook them. John says that leaving the membrane on, keeps the meat juices in. Sprinkle the meat all over with the w'ham seasoning.
- Place the ribs in the smoker. If you hang the ribs, you don't have to turn them. Just baste them with apple juice after 1 1/2 hours. If you cook the ribs on a grate or in a rib rack, turn them after 1 1/2 hours and baste with apple juice.
- Cook the ribs 3-4 hours or until you can take 2 ribs side by side and easily tear them apart. When the ribs are finished cooking, remove the membrane and serve.
This rub would also work really well on brisket.