This particular specialty can be smoked or smoke-grilled and it typifies the Memphis approach to cooking ribs–a double whammy of spices and sauce. As usual, watch for burning as the finishing sauce has a bit of sugar in the tomato. Why not serve these delicious ribs with traditional potato salad, cole slaw, and pickled peppers? Remember that the meat on smoked ribs looks pink, but that’s a chemical reaction with the smoke, and the ribs are really done. Really. It is difficult to take the temperature of the ribs because of the bones, so some instinctive cooking is required here.
In a large, shallow pan, pour the rub over the ribs and massage into the meat on both side. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
If smoke-grilling the ribs, build a fire that is 300 to 350 degrees F. Cook the ribs, covered, for 1 hour, turning often. Smoke-grill, basting the finishing sauce on the ribs with a brush, for another 30 minutes.
If smoking the ribs, maintain the smoke at 200 to 220 degrees F. and smoke for 2 hours. Brush the finishing sauce over the ribs several times during the last 1 hour of smoking, and turn the ribs occasionally.
Remove the ribs from the grill or smoker, and serve with additional finishing sauce on the side.