If you enjoy the spicy-hot flavor of black pepper, you'll love this peppercorn pork ribs recipe. The aroma from the smoker as these slowly cook really can test your patience!
The pork spare rib slab is coated with a black pepper based seasoning mix and refrigerated overnight before hitting the smoker. For those of you who really love the pepper flavor and heat, follow the pepper rub recipe as directed. If you prefer just a hint of black pepper flavor, add less pepper to the mix as you combine the ingredients.
Start out with...you guessed it...Black pepper! Combine one tablespoon of coarsely cracked black pepper, one tablespoon of coarse-ground black pepper, and one tablespoon of finely ground black pepper. (Trust me on this, OK?) To this, add two tablespoons of brown sugar*, two teaspoons of onion powder, one and one-half teaspoons of salt , and one-half teaspoon of garlic powder. Mix thoroughly.
* Dry the brown sugar before adding it to the black pepper rub. Set a plate of sugar on the counter top (covered with a paper towel) to dry for a couple of days before using it in dry rub recipes.
Seasoning The Pork Spare Ribs
Rub a good amount (as much as you dare) of the black pepper rib rub onto the spare rib slab. Wrap the slab in plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated overnight. As the rib slab rests, the pepper flavor will infuse into the meat fibers, turning the ribs into a black pepper lovers little slice of Heaven!
Smoking the Peppercorn Ribs
After a good night's sleep, fire up the old smoker and get it heated up to 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit. A combination of oak and hickory for smoke works well with this recipe. Two or three fist-sized chunks of smoker wood is just about right.
Place the slab of ribs into the smoker and keep the fire burning for four to eight hours, or until the ribs are tender. Cooking time will vary due to the size of the slab, and also the characteristics of the individual slab. Some slabs are just tougher than others!
One of my favorite barbecue sauce recipes, this
Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce goes along great with peppercorn pork ribs. Give it a try if you want...it's easy to make. And keep plenty of cold drinks on hand, just in case the heat of the pepper gets the best of you!