Start by removing the thin membrane on the back of the ribs. Slide a butter knife under the membrane to loosen it, then grab it with a paper towel and pull it off.
Sprinkle a generous amount of your barbecue rub, salt, and black pepper evenly over both sides of the ribs. Pat the seasoning in to help it adhere.
If you’re using a charcoal grill, set it up for indirect grilling by lighting charcoal on one side and placing a drip pan on the other.
If you’re using a gas grill, only light one side. Preheat the grill to around 225-250°F (107-121°C). You want to maintain a low, consistent temperature.
Place the seasoned ribs on the grill grates on the side without direct heat, preferably over the drip pan. If you’re using charcoal, add some wood chips or chunks for that smoky flavor.
If you’re using a gas grill, use a smoker box or aluminum foil pouch with soaked wood chips. Close the lid and let the ribs smoke for 2.5 to 3 hours, occasionally checking the temperature and adding charcoal or wood chips as needed.
While the ribs are smoking, combine all the BBQ sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the ribs have smoked to perfection and the meat is tender, it’s time to glaze them with your homemade barbecue sauce.
Brush a generous amount of the sauce over the ribs and let them cook for an additional 15-30 minutes. Keep an eye on the ribs and adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning.
Once the ribs have a beautiful, caramelized glaze and the meat has pulled back from the bones, remove them from the grill.
Let the ribs rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. They pair perfectly with coleslaw, cornbread, or baked beans.