Being born and raised, and living most of my life in Texas, it gets harder and harder every year to get used to the long drawn out Wisconsin winters. It seems like warmer weather never gets here.
So, having said that, I finally got a decent, (below freezing), day to get out and fire up the smoker. On the menu for today is baby back ribs! I decided to try just straight up orange juice for the marinade, since orange juice based marinades go so well with pork, and put the spices on the outside in the form of a spice rub.
So check it out, these ribs turned out very tasty. The orange juice marinade proved to be a great idea. The spice rub didn’t hurt either!
Smoked Orange Juice Baby Back Ribs
- 2 full racks of baby back ribs
- 1 12 oz. can concentrated orange juice (with 3 cans water added)
- Spice rub
- 1 teaspoon minced onions
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Make a pitcher of the orange juice. (Don't forget to add the 3 cans of water to it!)
- Rinse the ribs and remove the membrane on the back side of the ribs. (Hint: Push the handle end of a spoon between the ribs and the membrane and slowly raise the membrane up, then peel it off.)
- Place the ribs into a large container with the orange juice and seal it up. Place in the refrigerator for about 10 hours, or overnight.
- Once the ribs are fully marinated, pour off the orange juice and discard.
- Put an ample amount of the rub on all surfaces of the ribs and gently rub it in. Leave the ribs out of the refrigerator to warm up closer to room temperature while you get your smoker prepared.
- Prepare your smoker and maintain a temperature of 230° to 250° F. I used peach wood for these, but you can certainly use your favorite wood instead. Mesquite is a nice choice for a stronger smoke flavor.
- Once ready, put the ribs on and close up the smoker. Turn once after a couple of hours. They should be done and close to fall off the bone tender after 5 to 6 hours in the smoker. I took them off when I was getting an internal meat temperature of about 195° to 200° F.