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Award-Winning Barbecued Ribs

by

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

L & L Cooking Crew comprises ten couples who have been competing together for more than four years. They have won several state championships, including those in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The team has won more than 30 first-place prizes in barbecue since 1992 and was Grand Champion in 1994.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
  • brown sugar
  • crushed red pepper
  • 4 slabs pork loin back ribs (13 to 15 ribs per slab)

Instructions:

In a medium-size bowl, combine the paprika, salt, garlic powder, chili powder, brown sugar, and red pepper to taste. The team of cooks who devised this recipe say to taste this "dry rub" before applying it to the meat. You are checking for hotness or flatness. It is strong and should be used with a light hand.

Start a fire in the smoker, add water (and keep water in the pan), and let the temperature rise to about 225 degrees F. Sprinkle the rub on the meaty side of the slabs. Place the meat in the smoker (bone side down, on the top rack), close the dome, and let the temperature come back to 225 degrees F. Cook, checking every 45 minutes, for about 4 to 6 hours. The ribs are done when one end of the slab tears easily when bent back with a pair of tongs. A few minutes before serving, baste with a finishing sauce.

If you'd like to try this recipe on your grill at home, cut it in half. Keep in mind that real barbecue means meat cooked slowly by the smoke of a fire that is mostly coals. For those of you who don't have a home smoker and are using a grill, fire up about 30 briquettes. When they are about 80 percent ash, spread the coals and grill the ribs 6 inches above the hot coals for 1-1/2 hours. Turn the meat every 15 to 20 minutes and baste with barbecue sauce.

Updated Monday, March 24th, 2003
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