Tea-smoked Chinese 5-Spice Ribs

2 racks of baby-back pork ribs

1 recipe GirlsonaGrill Chinese 5-Spice BBQ Sauce

1 cup black (such as Earl Gray) tea leaves

1 tsp 5-spice powder

Use half the BBQ sauce as a marinade for the ribs. Put them in a Ziploc bag and let them rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours, up to overnight. When you're ready to put them on the grill, pat them dry and wrap them in foil.

Start a modified two-level fire with one side hot, and the other side with no coals at all. You will cook the ribs on the cool side of the grill for about 2 hours, total. The grill temp should be about 250 degrees.

Grill the foil packets for an hour, maintaining the temperature, then open up the foil package to let some smoke in. They will cook this way for about another hour. When the meat begins to pull away from the ends of the bone, pull the racks out of the foil and place them directly on the grill, still on the cooler end. Add the BBQ sauce now, and keep basting and rotating the racks through the end of the process to keep the sauce from burning.

Toss the tea leaves with the 5-spice powder, and add the mixture directly to the coals. Close the lid, and let the ribs finish cooking over the smoke, about 30 mins, or until done. When you lift the rack with your tongs, meat-side up, the meat will crack and pull away from the bone where the rack curves down and away from your tongs.

Remove and let set for 5 mins. Then garnish with chopped green onions and/or sesame seeds.

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Chinese 5-Spice Ribs

These baby-back pork ribs got off to a good start with a marinade in our GirlsonaGrill Chinese 5-Spice Barbecue Sauce. Then, we used the same sauce as a glaze as they finished up on the grill. A little salty, a little sweet, a little spicy, and a lotta' WOW!
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Pork ribs like these are almost done when the meat pulls about 1/2 inch up off the bone, as seen in the left top of this photograph. To know when they're REALLY done, pick the whole rack up with your tongs, meat side up, and the meat will split where the rack curves down and away.
Use our Chinese 5-Spice Barbecue Sauce only at the end of cooking - if you put it on too soon, sweet sauces like this one will burn long before the meat is cooked.