Aired June 28, 2012
1/2 cup kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, smashed
8 cups water
3 pounds baby back pork ribs
For the Rib Sauce:
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Franks Red Hot)
4 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a rasp
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup beer at room temperature
For the brine, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add salt, garlic and water. Stir and heat until salt is dissolved and garlic is tender and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Cut 1/2-inch slits on the back (concave) side of the ribs. Place ribs in a large plastic bag and pour in salt brine. Refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.
Preheat grill to 275F.
For the sauce, in a saucepot add vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking to combine. Remove from heat and reserve 1 cup for dipping and refrigerate. Reserve the remaining mixture to use for basting as the ribs cook.
Remove ribs from the refrigerator and set out on the counter to bring to room temperature for no more than 2 hours. Discard brine and pat the ribs dry with paper towel. Transfer to the Rib-o-lator. Pour beer and remaining tablespoon of liquid smoke into the bottom of a disposable aluminum tin. Place tin over indirect heat in the grill. Brush ribs with reserved marinade on both sides and close grill. Baste ribs with a brush of the marinade every 20 minutes or so. Cook this way until pork is knife tender, about 3 hours. Serve with reserved dipping sauce.
Yield: 4 servings
Preparation Time: 5-12 hours, plus 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours