Cole’s BBQ Ribs


by Cole Pepper

Barbecue chefs are something like magicians. It’s next to impossible to get them to share their secrets. Despite my ability to pull a coin out the ear of a four year old, I’m not much of a magician, so I’m willing to share my technique for great BBQ ribs with you. I’m going to share the approach that I use with the Big Green Egg.

Here’s what you will need:

  • 1 slab pork ribs (I prefer St. Louis cut spare ribs, but the full cut or baby back ribs work just fine)
  • One half gallon, old fashioned lemonade (made with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • One cup Cole Pepper’s Blackjack BBQ Sauce
  • One packet Cole’s Rib Rub (available at Green Man Gourmet)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Ziploc or similar freezer bag
  • Hickory wood chips
  • Apple or cherry wood chips

First, prepping the ribs. I prefer the membrane to be taken off. You can usually ask the butcher to Cole smoking on BGEdo this. If you have a full cut of ribs, instead of St. Louis cut, you can always make rib tips as an appetizer.

After the ribs have been trimmed and the membrane removed, place the ribs in the freezer bag and fill with lemonade. Ribs will likely have to be folded to fit. Seal bag and place in refrigerator overnight.

Approximately one hour before you plan on putting the ribs on, start your fire with lump charcoal. Then, soak a combination of hickory and fruit wood chips in water. I prefer a 2:1 hickory:fruit wood mix.

Then, remove the ribs from the freezer bag and place on a cooking sheet. Pour Cole’s Rib Rub on both sides of the ribs until all parts are dusted with a light layer of spices.

Return ribs to refrigerator.

Once fire is at desired temperature (I prefer to start at 240 degrees F), add wood chips. Let fire return to 240 F. Place ribs on Big Green Egg with place setter in place for indirect cooking.

Monitor fire. For the first 2-3 hours, the key is having enough smoke to add flavor to the ribs. I like to run between 225-250 during this time.

At the 3 hour mark, wrap ribs in aluminum foil and return to the Big Green Egg. There is very little more smoke flavor to be gained at this point. Continue cooking at 225 for 2 hours.

When ribs are 15 minutes from being taken off the smoker, mix 1 cup Cole Pepper’s Blackjack BBQ Sauce with 1/2 cup lemon juice as a baste. Brush bast on ribs and return (while wrapped in foil) to the Big Green Egg for the final 10 minutes or so. Remove ribs from heat. Let rest for 3 minutes. Cut and serve with a side of Cole Pepper’s Blackjack BBQ Sauce. Enjoy!