The Sociopath’s Guide to Smoking (Meat): RIBS! RIBS! RIBS! -by Ted Pettingell

Teddy PettingellWhen Ted isn’t busy giving Unsolicited Advice, he loves to kill animals and smoke them until they are delicious. Now you can too!



Welcome to the second edition to the Sociopaths Guide to Smoking, your semi-weekly guide to Bar-b-Que. Writers Note: This was not my choice for a title, the editor (some woman) of this website chose it and what does it say about her, that she still associates (romantically, what?!?) with me, who in her words, is a sociopath. (Editor’s note: Look, Ted, you didn’t give me a title, so I gave you a choice of two and it’s not my fault you didn’t like ‘Learning to Pork with Ted Pettingell’. You were supposed to send me an Unsolicited Advice Column and instead I got an unnamed article about smoking. AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOULD YOU STOP LEAVING WET TOWELS ON THE FLOOR? You know what that does to the carpet? Jesus!)


Forget about all that nonsense.  As the title would suggest this week we discuss ribs. Ribs, probably the meat most associated with BBQ.  Strap in gang, this one is going to be rough, I’m going to tell you right now as I am writing this I am in a motel room, drunk, and in my underwear. 


My apologies to my editor (some woman) in advance for having to make this readable. (Editor’s note: …[exasperated sigh])


Seriously Ted? Seriously? I'll put this up, just keep in mind the only reason I don't fire you is you're not getting paid.

Editor’s note: Dear readers, please keep in mind that the only reason I don’t fire Ted is that he’s not being paid.


Before we get started, let me say that this week’s edition is brought to you by Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, the Ale that gets you drunk like Bourbon and gets you a gut like an Ale. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale: for the fat alcoholic everywhere. (I’m drunk and in Indiana)


So, you took all the tips from my first article and you’ve mastered smoking pulled pork and now your the grand champion of some  barbecue competition and you need to know what to do next.  Well now we are going to talk about the ribs, the holly grail of BBQ.

If you don’t know what ribs are, they are the bones that protect your coward’s heart. Oh, you’re not a coward? Did you go out and murder that pig yourself? No, you bought it at Shaw’s like me. So we’re both cowards.


When you go to get your ribs at the store you are going to be presented with a couple of options. Do you get baby back style or St. Louis style? Well, I’m not a butcher so I can’t explain the difference but I would recommend St. Louis style. What? Chili’s has been selling me baby back ribs for years? Yeah, I know, baby back is more famous and will be slightly more expensive so it seems like the sexier choice. It is not. Do you seriously trust the judgement of the culinary experts at Chili’s? I didn’t think so. You are at the store and you know what you want to buy but how much should you get? You’re probably thinking one rack should be fine. Well it isn’t, unless you have some kind of eating disorder and if thats the case you aren’t buying ribs to eat, but rather because a rack or ribs fits your ideal model of beauty. Get at least two racks, these things are going to be delicious and you and your fat friends are going to eat all of them.



IMG_6056Just so we’re all clear, I don’t claim to have invented any part of this. I got this recipe form the cookbook put out by the smoking meat forum. Yes the smoking meat forum, and if you are serious about smoking meat, and hate my sense of humor, go to for tips and tricks on BBQ with out any of my dry witticisms.



Now you got your ribs and you are ready to smoke the shit out of them, the way a teenage drug addict smokes the shit out of some dirt weed so they can come to terms with the poor sexual decision they are about to make.

First we need to trim the membrane off the back side of the ribs. The membrane is a thin piece of flesh that keeps the smoke from flavoring the meat or something. I don’t know. Anyway every rib recipe I have ever seen has said remove the membrane from the ribs.  I don’t know why they even sell ribs with the membrane still attached.  Its a pain in the ass to remove it.



Get your sharpest knife (for cooking, not for slicing punk ass bitches who don’t respect prison rules) and slice and pull at the same time. Once you’ve got that off you are on easy street. Get your smoker to temperature,  225 to 240 and load it up with wood, probably pecan and something else.



IMG_4976…And you are ready to throw your ribs in, right? Well, not quite. You need to rub your ribs with some kind of spice mixture. I don’t remember if I explained what a spice rub was in my last article (I’m drunk, remember?).  Anyway, its a combination of sugar, salt and whatever else you have in your spice cabinet.





“But, Ted I have high blood pressure and my Doctor told me I can’t have salt.” Well to bad. Barbecue isn’t for the faint of heart.

Protip: Make sure you have clean cabinets because when I said whatever you have in your spice cabinet I didn’t mean moth eggs.



IMG_3037So you rubbed your ribs down and you got them in the smoker, what to do now? We wait. About five to six hours. You can do a lot in that amount of time but you probably won’t.  When you are about a half hour away from taking the ribs out you can go and brush them with bbq sauce. What kind of sauce you ask? Well, thats up to you. I guess you’ll have to wait till I write an article on sauce because you are a coward and a follower.









Pull your ribs out of the smoker and enjoy.






The pièce de résistance!

Writer’s Note: While I was working on this I made ribs twice and both times I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. So right here you are just going to have to look at what ever random ass picture gets inserted.





I am going to go throw up now. Kentuky Burbon Barrle Beere!  WOOOO!









Ted is a contributor at Ted loves comedy. He hates writing short Bios about himself. Ted is very good at comedy. He is not very good at writing his Bio. Ted is constantly working on his comedy. Ted rarely works on writing his Bio. Ted tell his jokes at all the major clubs in Boston. Ted writes his Bio on his home computer. Ted has appeared in several comedy festivals. His Bio has not. Ted was the Comic in Residence at the Comedy Studio in December 2010. His Bio took the month off to spend time with family. Lets review Comedy Good, Bios Bad.

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