Smokey Ribs with homemade rub & Jack glaze


Before I knew better we made pork ribs by shoving them in a 370°F (185°C) oven for about 90 minutes. Most of the time people I know buy them pre-marinated from the grocery store. But once you’ve had slow-cooked, smoked, ribs, you can never go back! In fact, the first time my wife ate them that is exactly what she told me and one week later she invited friends for lunch … not yet realizing that meant I had to start cooking at 5am 🙂


First of all ask your butcher for the whole rack of ribs and cut the smallest bones at the end off for later use. We’re not going to throw it away, it’s just best for overall tenderness that the meat is equally thick. The smaller parts could be overcooked if you left them on. I usually end up with 11 inch (35cm) racks. Now remove the thin membrane on the bone side. It takes some skill but after a while you’ll get used to it. The magic trick is to push the back of a spoon under it. It’s definitely worth your effort since that membrane could hinder the smoke and dry rub flavours to penetrate the meat.


Apply the following dry-rub on all sides and allow the rub to start ‘sweating’ the meat. Ideal is do this overnight, but if you don’t have the time, try to do it at least 1 or 2hrs before putting them on the smoker.
  • 3x paprika
  • 3x fine sugar
  • 2x garlic powder (as fine as possible)
  • 2x salt
  • 1x chili powder
  • 1x grounded pepper

You’ll notice I didn’t use units of measurement. It just depends on how much you want to make at once. I usually make them using 1/1 cup as measurement which gives me some to save for later.

Stage 1:

Prepare the smoker for an indirect heat temperature of 235°F (115°C) and allow smoke to apply for 3 hrs, meat faced up. To keep your temperature steady and to keep your meat moist, it’s recommended that you put a stainless steel pan with apple juice or water between your heat source and the meat. I also have a spray aside with apple juice to moisture the meat every 30-45 minutes.

Stage 2:

Take the ribs off the smoker and wrap them in tin foil one by one or in pairs. On the meat side you put some light brown sugarliquid butter, and a nice drizzle of liquid honey. Now put the tin foiled packages back on the barbecue for up to 2 hours, meat faced down. Beware! Depending on the meat this is the danger zone for overcooking your ribs. They have to bend, not break. I always check them after 1hour.

Prepping stage 2 in foil wth honey, butter & light brown sugar. #noms

A photo posted by Hans De Leenheer (@hansdeleenheer) on

Stage 3:

Unwrap the packages, put back the racks back on the barbecue meat faced up. Allow the moist from the previous stage to dry for just a couple of minutes and then apply a generous layer of this magical Jack Daniels glaze;
  •      1 cup Jack Daniels n°7
  •      1 cup ketchup
  •      1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  •      1/4 cup vinegar
  •      2tsp Worcester sauce
  •      1 tsp dijon mustard
  •      3 cloves minced garlic

Make sure the glaze was cooked so the sugar is properly dissolved and apply the glaze luke warm.

Final stage: HEAVEN

Stage 3 – glazed wth whiskey/ketchup/sugar/garlic BBQ sauce – #winning #SlowCooking #SmokedRibs

A photo posted by Hans De Leenheer (@hansdeleenheer) on

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