Arguably Rubbed or Devilishly Sauced

To use a dry rub or use your favorite BBQ sauce? That is the question today….

Dry rubs are a blend of spices, herbs, and sugar. Each person, region, or culture has their versions, but really it’s up to the cook. This mixture is rubbed onto the meat of choice and then grilled, smoked or baked. Typically, grilling is the preferred method. I’ve found that whether grilling or baking the meat, it’s best to do this low and slow. Have patience with it. Believe me, it’s definitely worth it!

For the United States, there are typically 4 major regions known for their BBQ. North Carolina, Memphis, Kansas City and Texas. While North Carolina and Memphis typically use pork, Kansas City and Texas use both beef and pork.

Barbecuing still remains one of the most traditional foods in the US, per Wikipedia. You can read more on the history of smoking, barbecue, grilling, and more here.

I recently received a dry rub from a friend of ours in Illinois. (Thanks, Tim Schafer) So, we decided we would try both a dry rub and our BBQ sauce. In preparation, I had two big slabs of ribs (bought them at Sam’s Club), I used Tim’s BBQ rub on one and only used salt and pepper on the other one, which will be sauced! I wrapped each of them in saran wrap and let refrigerate overnight.

My son, Jeremy, is becoming quite good at smoking various meats. We recently got a new offset, charcoal smoker which we used for smoking these ribs. Remember, smoking is a slow process and requires patience. But the end result is oh so rewarding.

It takes a little bit to get it going and warmed up. We used charcoal and cherry wood.


Now time to let the magic begin! We had to add more charcoal and wood periodically to keep the smoke going and the temperature consistent.

Ours took about 6 hours. I was worried that they were getting burnt, but it actually was just the natural state of the rub and sauce that was crystallizing and created another level of awesome flavor. There was no burnt taste.

At about 4 hours, I started mopping our homemade BBQ sauce on one of the ribs. I let that continue smoking for about 20 minutes, then flipped it and sauced the other side.

After about 6 hours, I pulled them out, covered them, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This is an important step because it lets the juices redistribute throughout the meat.

Once the meat has rested, cut up into desired pieces. Pork ribs are pretty long and meaty, so I cut them in between each bone.

Start digging in and find yourself with sticky, messy fingers. LOL! Don’t be shy and lick all of the goodness off of each finger! I had lots of napkins out (couldn’t find baby wipes, lol) but I think most of us just savored the flavor and licked our fingers clean!

Each person has their preference. Dry rubbed or sauced. Although each one was totally awesome! I think the winner for this round was the dry rub! We were all saying “Mmmmmm” and sighing in bliss of the taste and smokiness. Although I don’t know all of the ingredients in Tim’s dry rub, it definitely had a kick, but also that lingering flavor burst on the pallet.

I’m looking forward to more BBQ’s coming up and can’t wait to see what else we come up with!

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