A longtime physician and president of professional staff with the NorthShore University HealthSystem, Dr. Morris Kharasch is responsible for guiding emergency care across multiple settings. Also a culinary enthusiast who enjoys grilling with his family, Dr. Morris Kharasch is working on ways of creating the perfect ribs in a smoker.
A slow-cooking technique that brings out the flavor and succulence of ribs, grilling in a smoker begins with removing the outer membrane from the backside of the slab. Left on, the membrane not only adds toughness, but also prevents proper cooking. Both sides of the ribs should initially be prepared with a dry rub that contains minimal sugar. This prevents the sugar content from burning and blackening the meat, which can impart a bitter taste.
The seasoning should be allowed to penetrate the meat for at least 25 minutes before the slab is placed in the smoker. Wrapping the meat in aluminum foil is one technique for tenderizing it as it cooks, and regular basting ensures that it is kept properly moist. Be sure not to cook the slab too long; two hours in a smoker at 225 degrees ensures saturation of smoke. Cooking after an internal temperature of 160 degrees is reached can make the meat taste too smoky.