BBQ Like a Boss in Your Own Back Garden

Chicago Rib Shack

Fri 17 Jun


Want to take your grill skills to the next level? Learn how with Chicago Rib Shack

To mark the launch of Chicago Rib Shack in the newly-refurbished T.E. Dingwall building, the all-American restaurant’s senior head chef, Piers Driver, has shared his home-smoked belly rib recipe. We make no apologies for the fact this takes six hours of manning a fire and mastering your open air smoking technique (which, by the way, is not an exact science) but the results are seriously impressive. And if you can’t be bothered? Well, get yourself down to Camden Market.


To serve four you will need

1 indirect smoker
1 rack meaty belly ribs (a good butcher will be happy to prep it up for you and remove the back membrane)
Apple wood chips
Lump wood charcoal
1 smoker
BBQ rub
BBQ mop
Probe thermometer
4 beers and some good company

Dry rub ingredients

50g Maldon salt
50g soft brown sugar
10g ground cumin
10g smoked paprika
5g cayenne pepper

Meat prep

Sprinkle this dry rub over the ribs and rub into the meat, making sure you get an even cover top and bottom. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.

Smoker prep

It’s best to smoke these for about six hours, so if you want ribs for lunch, it’s going to be an early start. Prep your smoker with charcoal and woodchips and heat to 75 degrees. Play around with the air intake on the vent – the more open it is, the more oxygen and more heat you will get. Counter this with the vent on the chimney to get the temperature just right (this will take some practice). Get yourself a chimney starter to light your coal – they aren’t expensive and will save you trying to light a fire the hard way. Once you are all heated up look for a blue tinge in the smoke coming through the chimney.

The method

Try to take your ribs out of the fridge at least an hour before you put them on the grill. Place your ribs in the middle of the cook chamber and add a small handful of wood chips to the coal. Close it up and wait.

Keep a watchful eye on your temperature – most smokers have a thermometer on them but get yourself a digital probe to help maintain it. Add more coal and wood chips as needed – a small handful every hour is usually enough.

You will have to turn your ribs every 45 minutes to ensure an even cook and juicy meat. When you’re doing this, baste the ribs. Sacrifice half a beer and mix 2 tablespoons of your rub into it. Lightly baste your ribs with this every 45 minutes when your turning your ribs. This will keep your meat juicy and gets heaps of flavour into your rack.

After four to five hours, your ribs should be getting there. Using your meat probe, check the thickest part of your ribs. When you get them to 72 degrees you are nearly done. Wrap them in foil and leave in the smoker for another 30 minutes. This will make them super tender. Top tip: open the chimney fully to let any excess smoke out, as this can make your meat bitter.

And finally…

Eat the ribs, with another beer and some coleslaw.

For more info about Chicago Rib Shack and where to find them, click here.

SUBSCRIBE TO Our newsletter