Kansas Style ribs

What to do, what to make? To answer that question, the procedure in our house is rather simple. I go to the freezer, open the meat drawer and just take a look at what I’ve got and what feels good. Well. The first thing I saw, were some nice meaty rib racks.

Choice is made, it will be ribs. Now to figure out how to cook them this weekend. For that, I decided to open my new ‘bible’ from Steven Raichlen, which is a guru in my opinion. Pretty soon I had a lot of ideas about a lot of meat, but I was still looking for the ribs, in that case. ….

All of a sudden, I found the rib section, and the Kansas Style ribs really appealed to me. That, and the fact that I had all ingredients ready at hand, of course…. It starts out with a nice rub, called the 5-4-3-2-1 rub. Never done it, but it looked really good on paper.

Defrosted the ribs, and removed the skin that usually is attached to the back of the ribs. I’m getting pretty good at this, and I’ve found that the right moment to do this, is when the ribs are still a little cold from the frost. Not hard frozen, but not completely defrosted as well.


Now it’s time to get the rub ready. What’s in the rub is pretty straight forward, and superb in taste.

I did this with tablespoons, but it doesn’t matter what size you use, as long as you use the same measurement for any ingredient. 5-4-3-2-1 stands for the number of measurements, whether it’s tablespoons or cups, for that matter.


  • 5 tablespoons of fine white sugar (but any sugar will do, I guess)
  • 4 tablespoons of paprika powder
  • 3 tablespoons of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder

Mix it up well, using your fingers, until it becomes a nice colored mix of herbs and apply that to your racks on both sides.
Cover it up and place it in the fridge for some hours, or even better, overnight.


I fired up the WSM and prepped it for smoking ribs. Temperature around 107 degrees Celsius are fine by me. (note to myself, next time,  use hot water when filling the water pan in the WSM, otherwise it will take forever to reach the right dome temp….)

For the wood, I used apple chunks, the small ones. 1 cup every hour, to keep it smoking, but not too much.
I also mixed up a mixture of 1/4 cup of Jack Daniels (honey based bourbon) and 3/4 cup of apple liquor. (Apfelkorn in dutch). This mixture I placed in a spraying can and used it to spray the ribs every hour for the first 3 hours. Same as the cup of wood chuncks, actually.

Once the dome temperature was OK, I placed the ribs on, with the bone side down (meat side up) and sprayed at first and used the first cup of apple wood. Now wait an hour and do that again after an hour, and after 2 hours, and after 3 hours.

Now stop with the smoke and spray. Let it go for 1,5 – 2,5 hours and check to see if they are ready. To see if they are ready, just check to see if the meat has pulled back from the bones a little, and the bone tips are visible.

Cut it up in pieces of about 2-3 ribs and serve with the Kansas BBQ sauce.

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And yes, my son eats them with mayonaise, but at least he eats my spareribs! 😉 He’ll grow over it, I hope.

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