Peach Smoked and Glazed St. Louis Ribs

Earlier in the year, I made apricot preserve pork breast ribs, smoked over orange wood chunks. A reader suggested a similar recipe with peach preserve and smoking chunks. Sounded like a good idea, and the reader, very generously, sent me some peach wood chunks from the USA. He was bang on the money, the peach smoked and glazed St. Louis ribs were amazing!


Peach Smoked and Glazed St. Louis Ribs

Time
10 mins prep
6 hours cook
Difficulty
Easy
Servings
4-6 servings
Wine match
Vacqueyras, Gigondas

What are St. Louis Ribs? Why Peach Smoke?

The St. Louis ribs cut, or to give it a more accurate title St. Louis-style ribs, are spare ribs that have been cut to be a regular, rectangular shape. This is achieved by removing the sternum bone, cartilage and rib tips, leaving a rectangular-shaped rack. It is synonymous with the city of St. Louis, which has been cited as consuming more barbecue sauce per capita than any other city in the USA. Some butchers will cut ribs in this particular style. I sourced the ribs in this blog post from Riverside Garden Centre, who sell the Sherwood Foods meat range.

As for the peach smoke, this was a recommendation from Ron, who hails from the Yukon. I posted a recipe for apricot and maple syrup pork breast ribs a while ago. Ron read it and suggested peach could give a superior flavour to the orange smoke I used. He was absolutely right, this was my first experience at smoking with peach wood and it won’t be the last. The peach wood gives off more intense aromatic smoke, both in terms of the fruit and also the wood notes. A real winner.

Rack of St. Louis ribs rubbed with Dizzy Dust

The rack of ribs prior to wrapping

St. Louis ribs ready to slice

Equipment

I cooked these in our Big Green Egg as I was smoking the meat. This could probably be cooked in an oven using the same temperature settings, ensuring that the oven’s fan is turned off to avoid drying out the meat. In addition you’ll need:

  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Drip tray (or roasting dish)
  • Kitchen foil
  • Small saucepan
  • Pastry brush
  • Hand-held blender
  • Toothpick

Ingredients

For the pork

  • 1 full St. Louis cut rib rack
  • 50ml cider vinegar
  • 2 peach smoking chunks
  • 3-4 tbsp Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust rub

For the glaze and sauce

  • 3 tbsp apricot preserve
  • 3 tbsp apricot compote
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp ground paprika
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven or Big Green Egg (indirect setup) to 125°C/250°F. If using an Egg, when the coals are glowing and the temperature is stable, toss on a couple of peach smoking chunks and wait for the thin blue line of smoke.
  2. Remove any membrane from the base of the ribs (see hints and tips section below). Sprinkle Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust over the top layer and pat it down.
  3. Place a drip tray on the platesetter, then add the grid and place the ribs (meat side up) onto the grid. Close the lid and cook/smoke for 3 hours.
  4. Place a large piece of kitchen foil on a table, big enough to wrap up the ribs. Fold up the edges a little and pour in the cider vinegar. Then carefully burp and open the Egg, remove the ribs and place them on the kitchen foil. Wrap the ribs inside the foil tightly.
  5. Return the wrapped ribs to the Egg, cook for another 2 hours. Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining all of the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan and warm over a low heat. Use a hand blender to break down the larger peach chunks to form a smooth BBQ sauce.
  6. Carefully remove the wrapped ribs from the Egg and remove the kitchen foil, there will be hot liquid inside. With a pastry brush, coat the ribs with the peach BBQ sauce. Place the ribs directly on the grid above the drip pan, close the Egg’s lid and cook for 30 mins.
  7. Open the Egg and slide a toothpick into the ribs in between two of the bones. If it slides in with little to no resistance, the ribs are done. Otherwise, cook for another 10-15 mins and try again.
  8. When the ribs are done, remove the rack from the Egg. Slice the ribs and serve with sides.

Peach smoked and glazed St. Louis ribs served

Hints, Tips and Pictures

  1. If the BBQ sauce is a bit runny, add in some plain flour mixed with a little water to thicken it up.
  2. This video clip shows how to remove membrane from the ribs:
  3. Leftovers can be heated up in an oven at 160°C until the IT is 63°C/145°F. When I did this, it also gave a lovely sticky texture to the sauce on top.
  4. This can also work on meaty baby back and spare ribs.

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