BARBECUE-STYLE DRY RUB BARBECUE SAUCE 1. Pick your ribs. The old-fashioned spareribs are best, not the baby back ribs, not the country-style ribs, just the plain old, under-three-pounds pork spareribs, in one big slab. If there is a large amount of extraneous fat on the ribs, trim it before cooking.
For the dry rub: At least an hour before cooking ribs, mix all dry rub ingredients together. (This dry rub is a fairly traditional combination of flavors. Feel free to adjust amounts, or to add or subtract ingredients.) This rub yields enough to coat about 4 slabs. Store leftover rub in an airtight jar or in freezer. Rub a generous amount (a scant 3 tablespoons) onto each side of ribs. Ribs can sit at room temperature for up to an hour-, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate if you plan to hold them any longer. An hour is plenty of time for dry rub to flavor ribs. If you want the meat more intensely flavored, this step can be done the night before cooking.
Meanwhile, prepare barbecue sauce. Heat butter in medium saucepan. Add onions and garlic- saut6 until onions soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in next 6 ingredients- cook over medium heat to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and tomato sauce, bring to simmer. Simmer uncovered until sauce thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.
Start with a grill free of any leftover ashes or coals. Light 40 or so charcoal briquettes (if you're using a metal chimney starter, fill it approximately ⅔ full). Push all coals to one side of fire grate, arranged in a mound 2 or 3 briquettes high. Keep bottom vents of grill completely open. Coals will be just right when they are covered in a light gray ash.
Meanwhile, wrap 2 large handfuls (about 2 cups) of hickory smoking chips in foil. Poke several holes in top of foil packet with a fork to let smoke escape. There's no real benefit to be had by soaking the chips first.
Once coals are ready, lay foil-wrapped smoking chips on top of charcoal.
Put cooking grate in place. Position ribs on cooking grate opposite fire-, on a 22-inch kettle grill, you should be able to cook 2 full slabs of ribs, side by side, at one time. Put lid on grill, with top vents ⅔ open, directly over ribs. This will help draw heat and hickory smoke past the ribs. Initial heat inside grill will probably hover around 350 degrees.
Over the 2-hour cooking period, it will drop a hundred degrees or so-all of which falls into the acceptable slow-cooking range.
Turn ribs every 30 minutes for a total cooking time of 2 to 3 hours.
There is no need to baste the ribs with anything. In all but the most extreme of weather conditions, ribs will be done in 2 hours. In normal weather conditions (say, above 60 degrees) coals will begin to lose some of their vigor toward the end of the cooking time, but they still continued in part 2