Smoked Bar-B-Q St. Louis Ribs

Smoked Bar-B-Q St. Louis Ribs
All winter long my smoker has sat patiently longing for the day that I crack open the back door and return to my love affair with it. All winter long it endured cold and rain and snow. All winter long I ignored it for no reason other then I am a terribly selfish grill owner and it was a tad chilly outside. A mistake I will not be making again this winter. Because the moment I opened that dark door and the scent of barbecue past hit my nose, it was true love all over again. Charred wood chips removed, grates polished to perfection, the smoker and I spent some much needed time bonding before it returned to its duty of housing these pork ribs and add just enough flavor and heat to make these melt in your mouth finger licking perfect.

Smoked Bar-B-Q St. Louis Ribs

Smoked Bar-B-Q St. Louis Ribs


  • 2 slabs St. Louis Spareribs
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbs kosher salt
  • 1 teas kosher salt
  • 1/2 teas garlic salt
  • 1/2 teas onion salt
  • 1/4 teas celery salt
  • 1/2 teas cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teas ground cumin
  • 1 recipe Apple Bourbon BBQ Sauce


  1. Start by soaking your wood chips for several hours before smoking.
  2. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.
  3. Combine the paprika through the cumin in a resealable container (I’d just go ahead and double this rub recipe – you’ll be using it a lot this summer). Arrange the ribs on a work surface and rub well with spice mix. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  4. Heat the smoker to 200 to 225 degrees F. Smoke for 5 or so hours.
  5. Remove the ribs from the smoker, baste with Apple Bourbon BBQ sauce and return to smoker for 20 minutes. Remove ribs from smoker, cover, and let rest 10 minutes before cutting to serve.
  6. Recommended Wood: Hickory



Smoked Bar-B-Q St. Louis Ribs

Apple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

just enough sweet with just enough bourbon – this barbecue sauce is finger licking good


  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated peeled firm sweet apple
  • 3 tbs bourbon
  • 1/2 teas salt
  • 1/4 teas cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teas ground cumin
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cola
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tbs pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbs molasses
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 tbs liquid smoke


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute for 4 minutes. Add the apple, bourbon, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and cumin and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until liquid has been absorbed. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Add the ketchup, vinegar, cola, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, Worcestershire, and liquid smoke to the skillet stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the apple mixture back to the skillet, return to a gentle simmer and cook 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  3. Allow sauce to cool before storing in a glass jar or airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Smoked Bar-B-Q St. Louis Ribs


  1. OMG These look so good!!

  2. Oh god, I can imagine that smell right now and I think it’s the first time I’ve craved ribs before 9am.

  3. You neglected your grill? How could you?

    I remember a friend calling to tell me he was grilling steaks. I had just gotten home, work closed because of an impending blizzard. I drove across town, arrived just before the driving ban took effect. George was crouched over a hibachi on his front porch.

    Delicious steaks.

  4. I just noticed, this is from “Big Bob Gibson’s” book. His place is a half hour from us. we’ve been meaning to check it out, now I know I will. That looks delicious!

    • I received this book for Christmas and have about 90 pages tabbed. If I were you I would be at that place tonight ;D

      • Yes, based on this recipe I have to try Big Bob’s.

        I like my BBQ well seasoned & with a complex, spicy, slightly sweet & sticky sauce. That’s not the BBQ style common in Alabama, at least this area. Alabama BBQ that I’ve encountered is slightly smoked, lightly seasoned meats served with simple sauces: a white mayo based sauce; a hot vinegary sauce that is too one dimensional (also, I like vinegar based sauces for basting but not at the table); and a thin red sauce that lacks complexity. There’s nothing wrong with the BBQ places here, they provide a product made with quality ingredients & cooked with care, but their style isn’t what I like.

        I have found some BBQ I like here — Mud Creek Fishing Camp Restaurant in Hollywood Alabama (NE Alabama just off of 72) is great, but about an hour from here. However, we can combine this with a stop at the Unclaimed Baggage in Scottsboro where you can buy stuff that people have left on planes — some of the more unusual items are on permanent display.


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