Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

This week’s edition of Excited about EatingΒ is a deviation from our normal posts.Β Hope you don’t mind but hubby’s had so many requests to share his smoking tips lately that we decided to take a week and show everybody what happens at our house during his smokefests and how he arrives at the final product. Drool alert. πŸ™‚

Buy Quality Meat

We used to buy ribs in bulk at Sam’s, but since Publix came to town, Ernie switched loyalties, says Publix ribs are meatier, less fat. If you’re going to invest the time and money, buy the best quality you can afford. We usually buy Baby Backs, St Louis, and Beef because everybody has their fave.

Since there’s a good bit of work involved, we fill up the smoker and send leftovers home with our guests, then bag and freeze the rest. Ribs are just as yummy heated up in the microwave or warmed on the grill weeks or months later.

Ready? Here we go.


Trim off excess fat on both sides.

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Trim off fat

Remove the membrane from the back with a good, sharp knife. Hubby uses a boning knife. That thing is downright dangerous. πŸ™‚

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Remove the membrane from the back with a sharp knife


Sprinkle both sides. Be generous with paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, salt, pepper, and brown sugar.

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Be generous!

Don’t forget the love. Rub the spices into the meat. He likes to do this the night before so the spices marry with the meat. Reserve excess liquid for later.

In They Go

Get your smoker up to temperature, 225 to 235 degrees.

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

Bring your smoker up to 225 – 235 degrees

Hubby uses the 3/2/1 method. Put the ribs in the smoker for the first three hours, unwrapped, with smoke.

Excited about Eating by Ernie Hiers

First three hours, unwrapped with smoke

Take them out. Set them on aluminum foil. Drizzle squeeze butter and honey over the ribs. Sprinkle with a bit more rub (the spices mentioned earlier) and brown sugar. Wrap the aluminum foil over the ribs, adding a dose of the reserved liquid in the foil, and smoke for two more hours.

Remove from the smoker and unwrap those goodies. Douse with your favorite BBQ sauce (ours is Sweet Baby Rays) and stick them back in for one more hour, unwrapped. Then this…

Friends, let me tell you, I never liked ribs until Ernie started smoking them. Delicious and meaty and full of flavor, and sure to satisfy your guests. Ours, anyway. πŸ™‚

OK, so here’s the question we ask every time around our table. What’s your favorite? Baby Backs, St. Louis, or Beef?

Hope you enjoyed this detour from our normal Excited about Eating posts. We’ll be back next week with another mouth-watering restaurant review.

Excited about Eating by Dora Hiers

Yep, you read that right. Today’s Excited about Eating post was written by Dora! I gave Ernie the day off. Plus, he doesn’t like to talk about himself, so I’m going to do it for him. πŸ™‚

Since we’re all probably rolling from eating too much over the holidays, I decided on a different type of post for today. You all know how much my guy likes to eat. But did you know Ernie’s a certified Kansas City BBQ judge? Many Saturdays during the season he travels to judge BBQ events. When he exceeds a four-hour radius from our house, we usually make a weekend of it.

But he’s also a backyard smoker. When he cranks up that smoker, I swear our son in DC can smell the ribs. Yum!Β 

Over the last couple of years, he’s been pining for a new smoker, one that doesn’t require constant babysitting and feeding of wood chips. He finally decided on a pellet smoker. Load it with pellets, turn it on, put your meat in and voila! The smoker does all the work for you. Well, almost. πŸ™‚

So this year Santa bought him a pellet smoker for Christmas.Β 

This puppy arrived in a semi! 500 pounds of smoker, yet-to-be-installed, a few hundred nuts and bolts, and bags and bags of pellets.

Thankfully, Little Man volunteered to help assemble. πŸ™‚

Little Man even read the directions for Grandpa.

And he volunteered to crawl into those hard-to-reach spots.

What’s a lot of work with no play?

The assembly process was a family affair. My part involved a camera. πŸ™‚

Hopefully, we’ll enjoy the goodies coming from this smoker as much as the last one. But no matter. We’ll treasure the memories just the same. ❀
What was your most treasured gift this year?