Welcome back to the second episode of my Iberico Pork series! Today I am cooking some Iberico Baby Back ribs and St. Louis Style ribs, and if they’re anything like last week’s Secreto Iberico, I am in for the most delicious pork ride. You can find the Secreto Iberico’s recipe here.
I was looking into the difference between Baby Back Ribs and St. Louis Style Ribs to just give me a bit of insight before cooking them, and sometimes I like to know more about a cut because it can give me ideas on the best method to cook them with.
St. Louis Style Ribs:
These are cut from the belly of the pig, after the belly is removed. They have more bone, but at the same time more meat and a high amount of fat - so you know that means it’s packed full of flavor. These tend to be on the flatter side.
Baby Back Ribs:
These ribs are the cut you find between the ribs and the spine once the loin is removed. The reason they are called Baby Back is due to how short the bones are in relation to spare ribs.
I wanted to know the best way to smoke these and luckily I was able to call my friend James Cruse, who won 3rd Place Ribs last year in Memphis in May. He gave me some awesome tips to use and I am really looking forward to sharing these with you.
Let’s get to it!
- FOGO Super Premium Charcoal, the first ingredient. Light with FOGOstarters
- 3 pieces of Cherry Chunks
- 1 rack of Iberico Baby Back Ribs
- 1 rack of Iberico St.Louis Style Ribs
- Smooth Yellow Mustard
- ½ cup of Honey
- 8 tbsp of Butter
- Light Spray bottle with water
Ingredients for Rub:
- 1 ¼ cup of Turbinado Raw Sugar
- 1/4 cup of lightly coarse black pepper - mesh 16/18
- 1/4 cup of kosher salt
- ¼ cup paprika
- 1 tbsp Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
Instructions for Rub:
- Combine all the ingredients into a rub shaker, make sure you shake until all the ingredients combine together.
- Test it and if you feel like it lacks something, or have a preference on spiciness add it now.
Instructions for Ribs:
- Light your FOGO charcoal and place the cherry chunks. Set up your grill for indirect heat and bring it up to a 250F temperature.
- Get your ribs and pat them dry with a paper towel. Then remove the membrane, by carefully placing your knife between the membrane and the bone - then pull to remove.
- Take your mustard and drizzle, with your hands spread the mustard to cover all the ribs top to bottom. (the mustard works as a binder, but will not maintain its taste after cooked)
- Grab your rub and start shaking liberally your rub on the ribs. Start with the bone side and work your way to the meatier side - don’t be afraid to use a heavy hand.
- Let the ribs sit on the counter and sweat for about 10 mins, this will allow the meat to absorb all the flavors. Redust with more rub.
- Place your ribs directly on the grill grates, bone side down and close the lid.
- After 1 hr, spray lightly with water and rotate the grates, close the lid for about 30-45 mins more and rotate the grates one more time.
- Once it hits a total of 2 hrs 45 mins, check it again and if the color looks good, and if you lift up the meat and it wants to tear, it’s ready to be wrapped.
- Take the aluminium foil, 2 sheets per rib, and place your ribs meat side up.
- Spray the ribs with a bit of water and dust some more sugar, and on the aluminium place some butter and honey - so when you wrap the ribs it’ll create this sweet and fatty layer.
- Fold the aluminium long side over tightly (the one with butter and honey), fold the other long side tightly and lastly fold the sides.
- Place it back in the smoker, but this time meat side down for 1 hour.
- After the hour, check the Baby Back Ribs first - because it has less meat, it’ll be done faster. For the St. Louis rib, I would give them 30 more mins.
- Take them off the grill and open the foil. Grab two of the bones and if the meat bends easily then they’re ready. Unwrap fully and let it rest for 10 mins
- … and enjoy!
Give me some ribs…
We start first with the St.Louis Style Ribs, and wow the meat is very tender and I really enjoy the flavor of the rub. My only thing with it is that, these are Iberico Ribs the best you can get out there and I feel like the rub kind of just covered the natural flavor, I should’ve treated Iberico with less seasoning.
Then we move to the Baby Back Ribs, we notice that the bones are peaking through a bit which shows a lack of meat. The taste is the same, great but wishing I was tasting a bit more of the pork flavor.
In life you live and you learn, and it seems I got to keep learning. If you do try Iberico Ribs I definitely recommend to try them with a lot less seasoning - this seasoning is perfect for ribs that you can find in your local supermarket.