Yes, you can go low and slow on a smoker for these ribs, but if you're looking for a slight shortcut, bake them until they're tender, chill them and then throw them on the grill. Chilling the ribs allows them to retain their shape, so that they won't fall apart on the grill.
To learn more, read "TT Culinary Institute: Barbecued Ribs."
Barbecued Baby Back Ribs
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time
Cook Time: 3 hours and 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes, plus chilling time
For the Spice Rub:
1¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup kosher salt
¾ cup freshly ground coffee beans
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
For the Ribs:
6 pounds baby back pork ribs, spare pork ribs or beef ribs
One 12-ounce bottle hard cider
1¼ cups store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1. Make the spice rub: In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Makes about 4 cups.
2. Make the ribs: Place each rack of ribs on a wire rack set over a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle 1½ cups of the spice rub all over ribs. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 300°. Remove the ribs and let them stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
4. Cover the ribs with foil and bake until very tender, 3 to 3½ hours. Remove and let the ribs cool completely. Pour any juice from the bottom of the baking sheet into a bowl and whisk in the hard cider, barbecue sauce and apple cider vinegar. Make ahead: The ribs can be baked up to 2 days ahead, rewrapped in foil and chilled.
5. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium heat. Grill the ribs, flipping often, basting them with the barbecue sauce mixture until lightly charred and warmed through, 8 to 12 minutes.
6. Transfer the ribs to a platter and serve with additional barbecue sauce.