Barbecue: Cajun Spiced Ribs


After my first foray into Creole and Cajun cooking (grilled jambalaya, a big success), I went on a big "Cajun-inspired everything" kick. Mixing a huge bowl of Cajun seasoning, I spent the day grilling or smoking a bunch of meat in it. This led to some pretty awesome results, including these Cajun-spiced dry-rubbed ribs.

I cooked these ribs using my competition method, which has been giving me consistent and excellent results. Start by liberally coating the dry rub and slow-smoking them at 225°F until the racks formed a nice bark, about three hours. Then each rack gets wrapped in foil along with a liquid seasoning—I used this as an opportunity to infuse more Cajun flavor with a mixture of beer, butter, Worcestershire, liquid crab boil, and hot sauce—and placed them back into the smoker to cook for one hour. Finally, the ribs are unwrapped and smoked again until they're done, and finished off with a brush of reserved liquid seasoning.

Another delicious Cajun-flavored meal! In contrast to traditional barbecue ribs, where the rub is usually a balance of sweet and spicy, these bones were more herbal, earthy, and had a slight kick of heat. The meat came out as great too—smoky, moist, and with all the right pull-off-the-bone tenderness. The best part? I still had a ton of Cajun seasoning left to keep going, so be prepared for wings, catfish, and shrimp boil skewers to come!