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St. Louis Ribs with Vanilla Glaze

kept byDAPHNE

The St. Louis rib offers the best of two ribs: the lush marbling of baby backs and the meaty richness of spareribs. Picture a center-cut section of a rack of spareribs trimmed down to the approximate shape and size of a rack of baby backs. It’s easy to cook, tender to the tooth, with flavor that just doesn’t quit. That’s why the St. Louis cut is our go-to rib at Barbecue University. And few prepare it better than Chris Conger of the Smoke Shack in San Antonio, Texas.

For maximum flavor, rub the ribs the night before so they have time to cure in the refrigerator before smoking. Pressed for time? You’ll still get good flavor if you smoke the ribs immediately after applying the rub. Note the unusual membrane technique here: Conger slits the membrane but leaves it on to keep in moisture. He removes it just before glazing and serving

Make 4 racks, enough to serve 4 really hungry people, or 6 to 8 with another main dish


For the ribs and rub:
4 racks of St. Louis-cut ribs (each 2½ to 3 pounds)
½ cup granulated brown sugar or regular light brown sugar
½ cup sweet paprika
¼ cup granulated garlic powder (Conger really likes garlic)
¼ cup coarse salt (sea or kosher)
3 tablespoons cracked or coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons granulated onion powder
2 tablespoons pure chile powder (such as ancho)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
For the Vanilla-Brown Sugar Glaze:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup granulated brown sugar or regular light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water



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