Bringing in both the sweet AND the heat - If you like smoked pork ribs and love spicy food, these spicy ghost pepper St. Louis ribs will be right up your alley. Grab a rack of ribs and fire up your cooker, because either way, this one will go down as one of the greats!
Right off the bat, a pro tip: cooking a great rack of ribs starts with where you source your meat. If possible, get your St. Louis ribs locally - they will be fresh, delicious, and you might even be able to ask for a specific type of cut or trim that you prefer.
In any case, there's always going to be some prep involved. First, if there's a membrane on the bones side, tear it off by getting a hold of it with a paper towel. Then grab your meat knife and trim off any excess fat, or loose flaps of meat that will burn while cooking. Finally, using more paper towel, pat the surface of the meat dry on both sides.
Time to season this baby! We gave ours a generous coat of both Cow Cover and Dirty Bird Hot - this killer spice combo has earned its place among our favorites. But you can use anything you like, as long as you keep to the sweet & spicy spirit of this recipe.
Now let the ribs rest for 10-15 minutes, while the smoker is heating up. If you're cooking on a Pit Barrel, like us, hook the St. Louis ribs by piercing underneath the 2nd or 3rd bone.
Get your cookers ready, ladies and gents - you're looking at an easy 3 hours of smoking in the 300ºF (149ºC) range. Once the ribs are ready to go, simply put them on the heat, close the lid, and let the magic happen.
After about 2 hours, the ribs should already have some color on them. It's time to wrap! Lay down a double layer of aluminum foil, and place the ribs on top with the meat side facing down. Fold the foil, leaving one side open - then pour the apple juice inside before sealing. Make sure you don't accidentally puncture or tear the foil, or the apple juice will leak out.
Now place the ribs back on the smoker - on the Pit Barrel we removed the rebar and installed the grates for this part. From here on, just cook 'em till they are ready: we used the toothpick test to check whether the meat was cooked all the way through. This should take anywhere from 1 to 1 and a half hour.
The ribs are done cooking - for the last step, get them off the heat, open up the foil, and let them steam to stop the cooking process.
Once that's done, you can bring them inside, and give them a hit of our Ghost Pepper wing dust. Season the bone side first, then cut and flip to season the meaty side as well. Be mindful of how much you use - this dust is HOT!
And just like that, your spicy ghost pepper St. Louis ribs are ready to serve!
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