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A Cooking Adventure with Thom

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Pit Barbeque Ribs

Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Barbeque Ribs
"Best Ribs in America" -- Great American Rib Cookoff, Cleveland, Ohio.

David W. Anderson
Recipe(s) from FAMOUS DAVE'S BACKROADS & SIDESTREETS by Dave Anderson.


Serves: 5

Famous Dave's Ribs

I am a frequent customer of Famous Dave's Restaurant in Richmond, Virginia.  I used to say that my favorite dish at Famous Dave's was the ribs.  But after many trips to Famous Dave's I now include the entire menu as my favorites.  He has a chicken and wild rice soup that is absolutely wonderful  If you haven't tried Famous Dave's then I suggest you do.  If there is no Famous Dave's close to you, try his cookbook: or you can find it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.   All proceeds from cookbook sales are donated to The LifeSkills Center for Leadership.

Famous Dave's Backroads & Sidestreets Cookbook
Product Details:
ISBN: 0966854802
Format: Hardcover, 159pp
Pub. Date: March 1999
Publisher: Favorite Recipes Press



Rib Rub: (Makes 6 cups)
2 cups packed light brown sugar
cup kosher salt
cup sugar
cup garlic seasoning
cup chili powder
cup lemon pepper
cup onion salt
cup celery salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper, coarsely ground
2 tablespoons celery seeds, whole
1 teaspoon cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon cayenne
cup Mrs. Dash, original blend
cup salt

2 (4-to 5-pound) racks of spareribs
cup Italian salad dressing
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, coarsely ground
cup packed brown sugar
1 cup minced dried onion
1 cup Rib Rub
1 20-ounce bottle Famous Dave's BBQ Sauce

Cooking Method

First prepare rib rub by thoroughly mixing all rub ingredients.

  • Store in airtight container.

The night before smoking, trim your ribs of all excess fat. 

  1. Place them in a large plastic bag and pour in Italian dressing to coat. 

  2. Seal bag well.

  3. Refrigerate for 4 hours, turning occasionally. 

  4. Remove and wipe dressing off.

  5. Sprinkle each rib with pepper then cup of brown and cup of the onion flakes.

  6. Wrap each rib in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

  7. The next morning remove from wrap and wipe sludge off ribs.

Generously coat front and back of ribs with Rib Rub and using your hands, rub seasoning into meat and set aside. 

The smoking process will take 6 hours. 

  1. Using a chimney charcoal starter get 15 briquettes red hot. 

  2. Place coals on one end of the grill and place 1 pound of green hickory around coals.

  3. Use water- soaked hickory chunks if you can't get fresh-cut hickory. 

  4. Keep internal temperature of the grill at 200 to 225. 

  5. Add more charcoal and hickory chunks every hour as needed.

  6. Place ribs bone side down but not directly over hot coals.

  7. After 3 hours, remove ribs from grill and wrap in aluminum foil.

  8. Hold in covered grill at 180 to 200 for 1 to 2 hours or until fork tender.

  9. Next build a real hot bed of coals over the entire bottom of grill.

  10. Be careful because this next step goes quickly.

  11.  Place ribs back on grill to add char flavor.  When meat becomes bubbly it is done.

Make sure to char off bone side membrane until it becomes papery and disintegrates.

  1. Slather with barbeque sauce. 

  2. Let heat caramelize sauce. 

  3. This caramelizing along with the charring and slow smoking is the secret to tender smoky ribs just like the Championship pit masters used to do down in the Deep South. 

  4. There are no shortcuts to this time-honored way of barbecuing.

819 Mountshire Terrace, Chester, Virginia 23836 Phone: (804) 530-1183