BBQ Baby Back Ribs On The Kamado
Check out this post if you are not familiar with a Kamdao Grill: What is a Kamado? The recipes on this site are designed for Kamado style grills but can be adapted since I try to provide temp's and times whenever possible.
One of the major benefits of a Kamado style grill is that it can be used to maintain lower temperatures (in the 200's) for smoking. I'll lay out an easy way to get the most out of your grill and produce some tasty baby backs.
What you need:
- Water soaked wood chips & chunks
- Rib spritz (2 parts apple juice - 1 part white wine vinegar)
- Dijon mustard to coat ribs for rub
- BBQ rub
- Couple racks of baby backs
- Favorite BBQ sauce
- About a cup of apple juice
- Honey to drizzle on top of ribs
- 2-3 tbl spoons unsalted butter
To prepare, get some of your favorite smoking wood. I love hickory for my pork. Soak a combination of chips and chunks in some water for about 30 minutes. This will help to keep them smoldering and emitting smoke rather than burning to a crisp.
On to the ribs, first thing you will want to do is to remove the membrane on the back. Start at either end, whichever seems to be the easiest. I find that using a paper towel adds the right amount of friction to get a good grip. Once removed, trim any excess fat.
Sometimes I brine my ribs prior to smoking in order to infuse a bit more flavor deep into the meat, but it is not 100% necessary. This time around, I opted to skip that step and go straight to seasoning them up and throwing them on the grill. Take some dijon mustard and rub it around the ribs. Then take a generous amount of BBQ rub and sprinkle that onto the ribs.
Now go get that grill fired up to our cooking temp of 250. Load up with lump hardwood charcoal and mix around some of the chips and chunks. I used to build a teepee/pyramid out of the charcoal with a hole in the center. Kind of like if you were to build the pyramid around a tube and then drop in a firestarter. I now only use this method on super long cooks of 10+ hours. For these shorter cooks, I normally use two firestarters, one on each side.
Make sure you have your heat deflector/place setter in place as we want to cook on indirect heat. Once the temp gets to 250 on the dome, start to shut down some of the vents. Close the bottom vent down to about an inch or two remaining open. The top vent should be in two parts. The vent lid itself and a daisy wheel attachment. Close the lid and leave the daisy wheel half open. Watch your temps and if you see that the temp moves to 275, shut the top vent down to a sliver. Still no luck, then shut the bottom vent down to an inch. Please check out my post for managing vents.
Once the grill starts to settle down a little and maintains about 250, go ahead and throw the ribs on the grill. Watch your temps closely as it generally takes an hour before the kamado truly settles in at a consistent temp. Try to make sure you have at least a half inch to an inch on the bottom vent and try to adjust temp the best you can with the daisy wheel. If you end up closing more of the bottom vent you run the risk of your fire going out and not producing as much smoke.
Here's the plan for times:
- 2 hours uncovered at 250
- 1 hour wrapped in foil at 250
- 30 min uncovered - closed vents - temp will slowly drop
Step 1: Spritz every 15 min or so after the first 30 minutes have passed
Step 2: When putting the ribs in the foil, I like to add some unsalted butter, apple juice and some honey on top of the ribs.
Step 3: Remove the ribs from the foil and coat with your favorite BBQ sauce. Close both the bottom and top vents completely. This will effectively stop heating the ribs where they will rest and at the same time get that BBQ sauce nice and tacky.
Step 4: Enjoy!