Think you can't get really smoky barbecue except from an outdoor pit? L.A. Times Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter explored the possibilities of indoor smoking this year and found that with a heavy-duty roasting pan, a rack and a lid, you can come pretty dang close. In fact, the trick is not oversmoking. Give them an hour over wood chips, and then switch them to a slow oven to finish. One of the things that makes these ribs so good is the spice rub made with New Mexico chile powder and the final "mop" of distilled vinegar and mustard. Yow, these are good!
Hickory-smoked baby back ribs
Total time: 2 hours, 20 minutes plus overnight marinating time
Note: This recipe calls for a commercial stove-top smoker; a heavy-duty roasting pan with a rack and lid can be substituted. This recipe uses small hardwood hickory chips; the chips are available at select cooking stores and are widely available online.
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1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon celery salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon New Mexico chile powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 rack (2 to 21/2 pounds) baby back ribs
Small hardwood hickory chips