Ribs / by Megan Tomino

My love for ribs reaches far back into my childhood. When I was about nine years old, my family would go to the new Chili’s in Waikele and I’d mop a full rack of baby back ribs. Now that I’m grown and educated **cough, cough** I’ve taken it upon myself to learn how to smoke ribs like a pro from my mom’s boyfriend. In my completely biased opinion, he makes THE BEST RIBS IN HAWAII. 

Things you’ll need:
Smoker (we used this contraption)
Trimmed rib meat
Spice rub
Wood chips (we used a mix of Jack Daniel’s and Alder)
Patience (a lot)

Here’s what happens:
The night before, give the ribs a generous rub-down with your own secret blend of spices. Let the meat sit and absorb all that flavor while you sleep. The next morning, heat your smoker to about 300 degrees. We used a mixture of half water and half beer (anything you have on hand) in the pan to keep the meat moist while smoking. Fill the chip box to the top with your wood chip of choice. Rib meat can stand-up to stronger flavored woods like oak and mesquite, my old fave Chili’s uses pecan wood. Space your ribs evenly on your racks and let it go. Check the chips every 30 minutes to an hour and while you’re at it, flip the ribs and rotate the racks. In about four hours, your ribs will begin to have a nice char on them, and by the sixth or seventh hour, you ribs will be close to the finish line. We took the ribs out at the sixth hour and put them into a low oven (about 275 degrees) to continue cooking until the meat fell off the bones