Myron Mixon is the Winningest Man in Barbecue and makes spectacular ribs. Here is a recipe that I pieced together from multiple sources where Myron has published his rib technique (given below).
Myron cooks ribs two different ways depending upon the type of competition.
Myron smokes baby back ribs for Memphis in May competitions and switches over to St Louis spares for Kansas City Barbecue Society events.
For both types of contests Myron is simply cooking the type of ribs that the judges expect.
The main difference between how Myron cooks spare ribs and baby back ribs is the temperature of his pit. Baby back ribs get smoked at 250F while St Louis spares get smoked at 275F.
The St Louis spares get smoked at a higher temperature as they have a higher fat content than baby back ribs. The higher heat helps the fat render from the St Louis ribs.
Start by removing the membrane from the back of the ribs and trimming off any excess fat.
Combine the following marinade ingredients:
- 1 liter ginger ale
- 1 quart orange juice
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 2 cups salt
- 2 1-ounce packets dry ranch dressing mix
Place the ribs in an aluminum pan and cover with the marinade. Wrap the pan in aluminum foil and refrigerate for four hours.
After four hours remove the ribs from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels.
After the ribs have been patted dry it is time to season them with the dry rub.
Combine the following ingredients:
- 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
Apply the rub to the top, back and sides of the ribs. Let the ribs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes as the rub works its way into the ribs. As soon as the ribs have been coated with rub you need to make sure your smoker is at the right temperature; 250F for baby backs and 275F for spares. Myron likes to use peach wood for ribs.
(If you don’t feel like using Myron’s recipe then here are some other great rib rubs.)
Myron does not place the ribs directly onto the grate of the smoker. Myron places the ribs, bone side down, in an aluminum foil pan and places the pan in the smoker.
Myron cooks EVERYTHING in pans. I think this is a trick he uses to keep his smoker clean.
Myron lets the ribs smoke uncovered in the pan for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes he starts spraying the ribs with the following:
- 3 cups apple juice
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons liquid imitation butter
The ribs get spritzed at the 30 minute mark and every 15 minutes thereafter until the ribs have been smoked for two hours.
After the ribs have smoked for two hours remove the pan from the smoker.
Pour one cup of apple juice into the pan and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
Place the foil covered pan back on the smoker for one hour.
While the ribs are cooking in the foil you will have time to prepare the sauce for the ribs. This is what Myron calls his Hog Glaze.
Start by making a vinegar sauce. Combine the following ingredients and warm (but don’t boil) until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
Basic Vinegar Sauce
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup hot sauce
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup sugar
To finish making the Hog Glaze take two cups of the vinegar sauce and combine it with two 18 ounce jars of apple jelly and two cups of light corn syrup.
After the ribs have cooked in the foil for one hour remove them from the smoker and transfer them to a clean aluminum pan.
Brush both sides of the ribs with the Hog Glaze and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
Place the covered pan back on the smoker for 30 minutes while the sauce sets.
Myron says he shuts off the heat to the smoker in this last step. He uses some big smokers so even when it shuts it down there will still be plenty of residual heat left over to cook the ribs some more.
After the sauce sets and the ribs are at the tenderness he wants Myron pulls them from the pit and sends them to the judges!
Myron has given bits and pieces of this technique in multiple locations. I haven’t shared anything here that wasn’t already publicly available on the Internet.
Here are the sources I used for Myron’s rib recipe:
There are variations to this recipe compared to what is in his book (Smokin’ with Myron Mixon). What is in his books is a little different than what he teaches in his on site competition barbecue classes.
I don’t think Myron is being deceptive in having multiple versions of his rib recipe. I am sure that his methods are always evolving.
Another great championship rib technique is Johnny Trigg’s. I do not have an official source to reference but there are plenty of versions of his technique on the Internet.
My buddy, Sol, sells the rib rub Johnny Trigg uses and has published a synopsis of the technique. Here is a link to Sol’s site where he sells the Rib Tickler Rub that Johnny uses.
By the way, here is Myron’s brisket recipe as well.