The Art of Pig

Now that I am watching my weight due to death threats from my doctor, I decided that I would share my favorite recipes that I have created over the past three decades. Yes, I have two cookbooks, who cares; yes I have hosted BBQ throw downs, I continue to cook with friends and family and Father Mark from my parish, we have generated over $200,000 dollars for our parish, people love to eat.

I want to share my pork ribs with you this week. I have cooked tons of baby back ribs, but lately I have been grilling St. Louis style ribs, this cut of pig has more meat and it is fun to try something new.

I buy my meat, chicken, sausage and seafood at my local butcher shop, Sobie Meats, in Walker Michigan. Tim and his wife have donated all of the meat and proteins for all of our culinary events Father Mark and I have hosted throughout the years, Sobie Meats is a five star meat market and well deserved.

I will talk more in detail this Friday regarding my BBQ skills and techniques this week during our weekly podcast, but for now, here are some basic rules I want you to try as soon as possible and then let me know by calling our podcast line, 312-380-9784.

The Art of Pig: Baby back pork ribs, two slabs. Never by frozen, remove the membrane off the back of your ribs, never leave the membrane on.

In a mixing bowl, combine ½ cup of Worcestershire sauce, ½ cup of apple cider and ¼ cup of good bourbon, mix and brush both sides with this marinade, save the rest to apply later.

Now, apply the rub: 5 tablespoons of sweet paprika, ¼ salt, ¼ cup garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of fresh ground pepper, 2 tablespoons of onion powder, 1/2 tablespoon of cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons of dried oregano, 2 tablespoons of dried thyme and 2 tablespoons of sugar. (Mix and rub the ribs, front and back)

After you have evenly rubbed your ribs, drizzle honey on the meaty side of the rib. Now apply brown sugar to the meaty side of the rib and wrap tightly in kitchen plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The following day, it’s chowtime. I smoke my ribs, but if you just have a great, slow grilling works, but never, never use liquid smoke. I would consider investing in a great smoker, I use the Smoke Hallow, you can buy these at Sam’s club, this grill is ridiculously priced, it’s about $350.00 bucks, this could be sold for two grand and I am not kidding.

Take the ribs out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. Remover the kitchen wrap and apply another coating of the rub, followed by another drizzle of honey and hand rub the ribs with brown sugar, set aside and tend to your fire and smoke.

I use apple and hickory wood when smoking my pork. When the smoker reaches 220 degrees it is time to place the ribs on the grill, meaty side up. Remember the apple cider, Worcestershire and bourbon we mixed the night before, put it in a spray bottle and mist the ribs, close the lid and monitor your fire and smoke. When I add wood, I will quickly mist the ribs and close the smoker.

I will now make my BBQ sauce. I will use ½ bottle of Open Pit regular and ½ bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. I will add 1 tablespoon of finely diced onion and fresh garlic to the sauce and simmer for at least 1 hour.

I take my ribs off the smoker after 4 hours of smoke, most meats will not take any more smoke after 4 hours.

Carefully sauce your ribs and wrap them in aluminum foil, place the foiled ribs on to a cookie sheet and place the ribs in a 325 degree oven for at least 90 minutes. I use a meat thermometer and will take the ribs out of the oven when the inside temp. Reaches 185 degrees. I will remove the aluminum foil and let the ribs rest, I have also taken the wet ribs and placed them on hot grills to caramelize the sauce and to get some quick grill marks on the ribs, be careful not to burn of overcook your ribs.

Let me know what you think, 312-380-9784, hear more about the Art of Pig on Friday’s podcast with me and the crew.

Love you Kevheads.  Is it wrong to eat meat? Come back next week read my blog on beef brisket.

Have a great week, talk to you on Friday, here at

Kevin Matthews


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