Today i am smoking ribs for the first time. I've boiled/grilled them once, and they weren't really that good.
For the rub I used Tone's Southwest Seasoning blend, which I purchased at Sam's Club. At about $6 for a huge container, I figured that it was an inexpensive way to purchase a lot of flavor. It was applied last night, and allowed to sit on the ribs for about 12 hours. Most rubs are ground to a fine powder and this is chunky, so it will be interesting to see how things progress.
This is the first time that I'll be using Wicked Good Charcoal's "Competition Blend" exclusively. The last few times I've grilled or smoked I mixed it with Big Green Egg Charcoal. It seemed to take a bit longer to light, but the temp jumped from 140 to 225 in less than a minute. I put the rest of my hickory chips in the fire, and there is a little bit of water in the bottom of the drip pan.
Ribs hit the grill at 9:15 AM. The guy at About.com writes that ribs take at least 4 hours, but they get better with more time. My hope is that I can keep them at 200 - 220 for about 8 hours, when Joanne should arrive from the Easton diocesian convention.
FINAL RESULT: I pulled the ribs off the smoker around 6:45. Some were tender and moist, others were a bit dry. The seasoning was a bit strong, so it detracted from the ribs. Next time I'll find some sort of paprika-based rub with a milder flavor.