2¼ teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1¼ teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon onion powder
⅛ teaspoon citric acid
⅛ teaspoon ground thyme

4 racks trimmed baby back ribs

1 cup ketchup
1 cup water
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2½ teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
½ teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon onion powder
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of citric acid

Small pecan wood chips
Sprayer bottle of water

Cooking method

1-Preheat a smoker to 225 degrees F.

2-Combine the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl then pour it into a shaker and shake generously over the ribs.

3-Place the ribs in your smoker with ¼ cup to ½ cup of small pecan wood chips and a pan or metal bowl of water. Smoke for 4 hours (open the vent for the first 2 hours). After 2 hours, add more water to the pan if necessary, mist the ribs with water, and close the vent. Spray the ribs with water every half hour from now on until done.

4-While the ribs are smoking, make the sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Heat for 2 hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick. Cover and remove from the heat until the ribs are done.

5-When the ribs are done smoking, wrap them in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and put them in your refrigerator for a couple of hours, or until you plan to serve them. This will give your ribs a similar tenderness and flavor to the real thing. However, if you want to serve the ribs sooner, skip to the next step.

6-When you are ready to serve the ribs, preheat a barbecue grill to high heat.

7-When the grill is heated, place the ribs, bony side-down, on the hot grill. Baste the top of the ribs with sauce and grill for 2 minutes. Flip the ribs and baste the bottom of each rack with sauce and grill for 2 minutes. Turn them sooner if the sauce begins to burn. Flip the ribs over onto the bony side again and give each a final baste with the sauce. Cook for 2 more minutes and serve.

If you want even better smoky flavor in your ribs, try using apple or cherry wood chips in your smoker, rather than pecan chips.

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