I am a huge fan of barbecue ribs but haven't found a place locally that makes them the way I like them. So using a bit of kitchen chemistry and my background working as a cook in my 20s, I decided I'd make my own.
Good ribs need three separate recipes: a rub, a mop and a sauce. I like to think of it like three part harmony in music.
Step 1: The Rub
The rub gives the ribs their initial flavor. The first time you try this recipe, stick pretty close to the original. Then you can try improvising and let me know what you do differently so I can try it, too.
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
½ tsp. sweet basil
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. chipotle chili powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Large pinch nutmeg
Place two racks (4 to 6 pounds) of baby back pork ribs on a large baking sheet covered with plastic wrap. Sprinkle the entire mixture, coating both sides of the ribs.
Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before grilling.