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Categories: Best recipes, Grilled, Main courses

Naked ribs

Naked ribs
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

They seem to be everywhere I look these days. Every time I turn around, there's another one of those gleaming, stainless steel gas grills. At my hardware store, of course, but they're even in the center aisle of my grocery ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours, plus marinating time | Serves 6 to 8
  • 1/3 cup mild finely ground dried chile
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 (4-pound) racks pork spareribs

Step 1In a jar, combine the chile, salt, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, cumin and coriander, crushing any chunks of brown sugar. Cover tightly and shake well to combine thoroughly.

Step 2Trim the ribs, cutting away any excess fat pieces and loose ends without bones. Lay the ribs flat with the bony underside facing up. If you prefer, remove the flap of meat that covers part of one side. Use a small knife or skewer to poke through the thin, tough membrane that covers the rib bones, lifting a corner of it. Use a clean kitchen cloth to get a good grip and gently but firmly pull the membrane away from the ribs. It will come up in sheets; you may have to repeat the process a couple of times to get it all.

Step 3Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with the dry rub mixture, using about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons per side. Rub to distribute evenly, and then seal tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour to overnight.

Step 4Soak 3 cups of hickory chips in enough water to cover generously. Start the coals in a chimney and when they are lightly coated with gray ash, about 20 minutes, empty them into the grill, arranging them in a gentle slope against one side.

Step 5When those coals have cooled slightly, about 20 minutes, add two-thirds of the wood chips, replace the grill rack and brush it with oil. Arrange the rib rack well away from the heat and cover tightly so that the lid's vent holes are over the ribs, opposite the flame. Smoke, turning every 30 minutes or so, until the meat begins to pull away from the rib tips and is so tender that a center bone can almost be pulled loose, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. After about an hour, you'll need to replenish the smoke, adding the remaining wood chips on top of the coals.

Step 6Remove the racks from the fire and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour to rest. Serve at room temperature, or reheat briefly on the grill, off the fire, before serving.

Each serving:
851 calories; 62 grams protein; 2 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 64 grams fat; 24 grams saturated fat; 255 mg. cholesterol; 1337 mg. sodium.
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