The easy way out for ribs

I am ashamed to admit it, but I took the easy way out. I cheated. It is 95 degrees and sticky. It’s only early June. I made ribs in a stove-top smoker. And I finished them in the oven. I’m so sorry. I truly am. But they were delicious and I didn’t acquire that special “glow” Southern women refer to (instead of saying we sweat like hogs).

I am not much of a gadget collector, but stove-top smokers are are great gadgets. Basically, a stove-stop smoker is a metal box with a tray and a rack inside. You put either wood chips and pellets in the bottom of the box, cover the tray with foil for easy clean-up, put the tray in the box, top it with the rack and add whatever you’re smoking. The heat from the stove causes the wood to smoke and the air-tight lid keeps the smoke inside the box.

Anything you’d normally smoke in a regular smoker works in the stove-top variation. And there are a few things you might not think about right off the bat. Put some tomatoes and red onions in there and let them smoke for about 30 minutes. Then puree them and add to chili. Extraordinary.

So for the ribs, I just used some Head Country rub because I like it a lot. Turned the gas on to low on two burners. Set the stove-top cooker on top and let ‘er rip for about 40 minutes with some orange wood pellets from BBQr’s Delight. If you have not heard of BBQr’s Delight pellets you need to educate yourself. They will rock your world.

I will tell you the honest truth. I had never tried ribs in the stove-top before. I usually do chicken or fish, which cooks pretty quickly. I did not know the long-term effects of having a gas stove on beneath a metal box for four hours. Some sort of explosion kept running through my mind. So I cheated and after the ribs had absorbed the smoke, I wrapped them in foil and put them in a 300-degree oven to finish cooking.

Well, Mark just hated them. He hated each rib individually as he sucked the meat off the bones. And made a dainty little pile on the foil they’d been wrapped in. Here’s another tip, actually. When it’s super hot outside and you don’t want to have stinky trash, wrap things like bones in foil and put them in the freezer. Then put them out on trash day.


  1. Terrell Jones
    Terrell JonesReply
    June 9, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Woman have you no shame?

  2. MaryAnn
    June 10, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I love my stove top smoker and have given it for gifts more than once. My brother uses it for seafood and maybe you can try it for those crab legs you talk about. Maybe score the shells. Nice to know you can use pellets. The bones look good:) M.A.

  3. Mark
    June 11, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    One cookware dweeb comment: the Burton stovetop smoker Catherine used for this recipe is damn near indestructible. It’s made from heavy-gauge stamped stainless steel. Most important, the airtight seal between the lid and the pan really is airtight – that means smoke alarms won’t go off all over the house when you use this thing indoors.

    It’s not as good as cooking low and slow on a Big Green Egg, but it’s a lot more convenient – and sometimes, that’s important, too.

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