Photo: Jen Causey; Food Styling: Margaret Dickey and Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland
Active Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Total Time
12 Hours
Serves 6 (serving size: about 6 ribs)

The texture of these smokey beauties is everything you want. Cooking over an indirect heat gives them a crispy exterior bark, while the meat stays tender, but not completely falling-off-the-bone tender—you’re left with the perfect amount of chew. Baby back ribs are readily available at most any supermarket; when shopping, look for the smaller racks as these tend to have more tender meat.

How to Make It

Step 1

Stir together brown sugar, salt, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, and pepper in a small bowl.

Step 2

Rub ribs with olive oil, and coat evenly with brown sugar mixture, pressing to adhere. Stack ribs together, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Place on a baking sheet, and chill 8 hours. Remove plastic wrap, and let ribs stand at room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.

Step 3

Preheat a gas grill to medium (350°F to 400°F) on 1 side; keep other side unlit. Place rib slabs, meaty side up, on oiled grates over unlit side of the grill, stacking 1 on top of another.

Step 4

Grill, covered, for 2 hours, rotating bottom slab of ribs to top of stack every 40 minutes. Reduce grill temperature to low (250°F to 300°F); unstack rib slabs, and place side by side over unlit side of grill. Grill ribs, covered, until meat is tender and starts to separate under slight pressure and tips of the bones are exposed about 1/2 inch, about 30 minutes. Remove ribs from grill, and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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