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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Baby Backs with J. Wilbur Rub and Sauce

Ok, I lied.  I did not take off the rest of the year from making traditional BBQ.  We had some contractors that were finishing up some repair work to the house after the hot water heater leaked and damaged about half of the house.  Over the time that they were here, they fell in love with our BBQ.  So, for their last day, I made some baby back ribs and took the opportunity to try out some new products from J. Wilbur.

A friend of mine from Seattle, Slow Smoke, sent me the above goodies to try.  He says that these are the preferred BBQ rub and sauce in the Pacific Northwest.  He also said they were a little on the spicy side.  So, with that warning, I tucked them away until after the BBQ season to try in some down time.  Here is our review.

Slow Smoke was right on with the spice level on the rub.  After the finger test, this rub started sweet and ended by grabbing your tongue.  I also liked the salt level: not too salty, just right.

The sauce had a really nice flavor.  It sort of reminded me of the molasses based concoctions that my mother came up with when I was a child.  The apple cider vinegar added depth to the flavor.  Contrary to the rub, this sauce starts with a kick and ends sweet and smooth.

So, I took some baby backs, pulled off the membrane and dusted with a healthy coating of rub.  I then set the ribs aside to come to room temperature while I lit the smoker and brought to 250 F.

No foil for these ribs.  I just smoked them for four hours at 250 F with some hickory in the ash pan.  Here is what they looked like after 3.5 hours, just before I glazed with the sauce.  I like the color and the sheen on these ribs.

Here they are after the sauce and 30 more minutes on the smoker.

Even nicer color with the sauce.

How were they?  Surprisingly, for the level of kick in the rub, they were nice and balanced.  Hope loved them and she does not like any heat on her ribs.  I would not use the rub in competition as there is too much of a kick for judges, but I will definitely be using this rub at home.  The sauce was even better than the rub.  I will definitely be trying this in mid-winter practices to see how it might improve our overall rib scores.

Thanks for the tip Slow Smoke!

Thanks for stopping by,



  1. Those sound and look delicious It is funny that I have never heard of this preferred rub. I will have to look for it..

  2. Cool Smoke says it is a local favorite in the NW. Shall I arrange for a care package?

  3. Thanks for the offer. Hopefully I will have you cook some bbq for us someday.