When it comes to barbecue, Michael Brown prefers pork. Each animal offers two slabs of 14 ribs on each side, ranging from the classic sparerib to the "baby back" or slightly smaller rib portion. Spareribs tend to be larger and more marbled — fat equals flavor — and take longer to cook but yield a tender, juicy meal. Ribs can be eaten as is or easily turned into pulled pork sandwiches.
For flavor, Brown uses a dry rub he makes himself, and like most grill masters he doesn't give up the goods on his "secret" sauce (so check out Spiceology or Michlitch Spice Company for local dry rub options).
Dry rubs infuse flavor and typically contain garlic and onion as well as spices like cayenne or chili, some salt, and sugar to caramelize the surface of the meat. However, Brown does reveal that sugar isn't part of his mix; instead, he relies on careful "low-and-slow" cooking in the smoker over delicately flavored applewood to caramelize the ribs.
No smoker? No problem. You can also cook this dish in the oven and it will still be plenty tasty, says Brown.
SpareribsCut ribs in between the bones.
Rinse the ribs thoroughly under cold water and pat dry.
Rub the meat all over with dry rub, working it into all of the exposed surface area.
Let rubbed ribs marinate overnight in the refrigerator, covered.
Get your smoker up to 275 degrees.
Smoke the meat 3 hours, 10 minutes. No basting is needed.
Serve immediately or let rest and continue to absorb flavor then reheat as needed.
Pulled Rib SandwichPull rib meat from the already cooked rib and shred into stringy pieces, pulling apart with fingers or two forks.
In a saucepan, add enough of your favorite barbecue sauce to moisten the meat and stir.
Turn heat to medium, adding a tablespoon of water at a time to keep the meat moist. The sauce will thicken as it heats so watch carefully. Heat to 175 degrees.
Spread over toasted hoagie or hamburger bun, and add your favorite toppings: pickles, cole slaw, onion, etc.
— Recipes courtesy of Michael Brown of Fresh Soul