Smoked Beef Side Ribs

Southern Fare
Super Bowl weekend is coming up and so in celebration we are having a few friends over for our Friday supper – and because Kansas City is in the game, I thought I’d do some southern BBQ. Now, many folks may not know that BBQ is not something you grill, it is a “low and slow” method of cooking that is popular in much of the US, and now is spreading into Canada and elsewhere.
With roots on all sides of my family leading back to the South, especially a southern Grandmother from Virginia and another ancestor being among the very first English settlers in North America in Jamestown, VA in 1610, I have a deep affinity for and connection to many things Southern. For almost 40 years now I’ve been smoking food on my backyard smokers, but it was when I retired from my “day job” with the school board, almost exactly 10 years ago, that I got really serious about it. The first thing I got was a Weber Smoky Mountain cooker. The second thing was a cookbook by Gary Wiviott who explained how to use the thing.
Essentially a water smoker, like my earlier units, the WSM has the key advantage of complete control over the temperature of the smoking as it is relatively airtight. One controls the fire by adjusting the vents on the bottom of the unit, and by keeping the thing between 225° and 275° F, you can achieve perfection in smoking food. In the last 10 years I’ve done chicken, turkey and duck as well as beef, lamb and salmon, but the king of the smoking world to me is real southern BBQ – which means either pork butts, which end up as pulled pork, or ribs.
For the crowd today, I’m doing a three meat combo – we’ll have smoked chicken, beef side ribs and baby back pork ribs, along with my Boston baked beans and the guests are adding salads, rolls, appetizers and desserts. The image shows the beef ribs just coming off the smoker.
Hopefully, I’ll have room by Sunday for a meal while we’re watching the game!