Iberian (iberico) pork ribs are already, in themselves, a delicacy that everyone loves, and if they are accompanied with barbecue sauce, even more so! However, there is another way to prepare iberico ribs: smoked. This is an easy and new way to surprise your guests.
What are smoked iberico ribs?
The ribs are composed of a row of rib bones, joined together by meat, fat, cartilage and connective tissue. The meat is distributed along all the bones and between them, although the back part lacks meat. An Iberian rib may have between 10 and 13 bones, but it all depends on the cut made on the ribs.
Smoked ribs are obtained through a specific salting process, while the ribs are seasoned and baked for smoking. Although you can buy them ready-made, it is best to prepare them yourself at home, it is very easy and the results are unbeatable!
When it comes to smoking pork ribs what you are trying to look for is meat that is tender and can easily fall off the bone, but also has the characteristic smoky flavor. If you achieve this, then you will have succeeded with this recipe.
Cleaning the ribs
Before you start cooking it is very important to clean the ribs. You can do this yourself at home or ask the butcher to do it. In this case, the first thing to do is to remove the excess fat you find; but be careful. You should not remove all the fat, only the thickest parts of it. It is also advisable to remove the thinner parts of meat that are usually found on the edge.
Like all cuts of pork and beef, ribs also need to be left at room temperature before cooking. It is therefore important to remove them from the refrigerator a couple of hours before cooking; this prevents the meat from being cold inside and helps them to cook easily.
- Two Iberian pork ribs.
- Coarse salt.
- Dry Adobo. You can buy this product on the internet or prepare it at home.
- Once the ribs are at room temperature, add some coarse salt and leave to rest for half an hour more.
- Remove the moisture and excess salt with kitchen paper.
- If you have not yet cleaned the ribs, it is time to do so by removing the membrane. Simply use a knife and pull the membrane off.
- Adobo is a preparation traditionally used in Latin American cuisine. You can buy it online, but it is also possible to make the mixture at home. The basic adobo mix, although there are different styles, contains black pepper, oregano, cumin, garlic, onion, celery and hot paprika. If you are going to prepare the mixture at home, use a mortar and pestle and incorporate the ingredients well. Remember to chop the onion very finely and use garlic powder.
- When you have the marinade ready, spread two tablespoons of it on the ribs.
- Prepare the grill for smoking. Using the grill is the best way to get a perfect smoke.
- Keep in mind that the smoking process takes many hours.
- Before placing the ribs on the smoker grill, prepare a metal tray with water or apple juice; this tray should be placed under the ribs. Why do it? Because with this technique it is possible to regulate the temperature of the grill and it adds humidity to the air as the liquid evaporates.
- Place the ribs on the grill at a temperature of 120ºC. The cooking process will take between four and five hours.
- Every so often you can add marinade, but it is not advisable to uncover the grill frequently, as this will cause sudden changes in temperature. It is important that the temperature be constant.
- On the other hand, it is highly recommended to use wood for cooking.
- If you wish, you can add, half an hour before the end of cooking, a sauce. This sauce can be barbecue or tomato. It is important to add it 30 minutes before the end so that the sauce does not burn.
How do you know that the ribs are ready?
There are three ways to check that the ribs are ready:
- When the meat shrinks during cooking. This way, the bone is exposed in the thinner area of the ribs. If you start to feel the bone, then the rib is done.
- When the rib is lifted from the center and the meat pulls away from the bone easily. If you have to pull it, then the Iberian ribs are not ready yet.
- You can cut one of the ribs and taste it. This way you can tell if the meat comes off the bone easily. Be careful because the meat should not fall off by itself, you should be able to pull it gently.