Texas BBQ Beef Ribs

BBQ, and there's no other way to spell it, reaches a zenith in Texas. Beef ribs are a pinnacle in American culinary science. This version comes after a lifetime of visiting pits, and is made in a smoker. Start a day ahead and simply salt the ribs. Flavor comes largely from the tree you choose to smoke with: apple, cherry, mesquite, hickory, or oak.
Yield 4 servings

4 pounds of beef back ribs
4 teaspoons salt
large mesquite or oak chunks

beef rub:
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
3 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chile or ancho powder
1 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne powder

BBQ sauce. Stubbs Original is a standby.

special equipment: smoker

1 Salt ribs 24 hours ahead of time. Wrap tight and refrigerate.
2 The next day, mix rub ingredients in a bowl. Apply rub to both sides of ribs. You want a nice even coat, but not too thick.
3 Soak wood chunks. Prepare the smoker according to its directions.
4 Place ribs on rack in smoker. Add a large chunk of soaked wood and check heat every hour or so, maintaining 200 to 225°F for about 5 hours.
5 Add a wood chunk to smoker every hour or so. Resist the urge to add more or create a lot of smoke, especially near the end of the cooking time. Too much smoke and you will not taste the beef.
6 Finished meat temperature should be between 195 to 205°F. Take temperature between the bones. Let rest for ten minutes under foil and serve with sauce.

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