• Have a rib rack ready. In a small bowl, combine salt with spices and mix well. Slide the tip of a dull dinner knife under membrane covering back of each rack of ribs. Lift and loosen until membrane breaks, then grab a corner of it with a paper towel and pull it off. Season ribs evenly with rub, pressing it into meat. Arrange ribs in rack so that all are standing and facing in the same direction. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before grilling.

  • Soak 4 large handfuls of hickory chips in water for at least 30 minutes. Prepare grill for indirect cooking over low heat (300° to 350°).

  • Brush cooking grates clean. Drain 2 handfuls of chips and add to charcoal or to smoker box of a gas grill and close lid. When smoke appears, place rack with ribs over indirect low heat and cook, with lid closed, for 1 hour. Maintain temperature of grill between 300° and 350°.

  • While ribs are cooking, make sauce. On the stove, fry bacon in a medium skillet over low until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels. Let drippings in skillet cool to room temp. Eat bacon or save for another use. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine remaining ingredients except hot sauce. Add 3 tbsp reserved bacon fat and whisk until smooth. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you prefer a spicy sauce, season with hot sauce. Remove from heat.

  • Combine mop ingredients in a small spray bottle. After first hour of cooking, drain remaining wood chips and add them to charcoal or smoker box. Lightly spray ribs with mop, particularly any areas that are looking a little dry. Close lid and cook 1 more hour. Maintain temperature of grill between 300° and 350°.

  • Lightly spray ribs with mop. If any ribs are cooking faster than others or look much darker, swap their positions for even cooking. Close lid; cook 30 minutes.

  • At this point, meat will have shrunk back from most bones by 1/4 inch or more. If it has not, continue to cook until it does and remove ribs from grill. Close lid to maintain heat. Remove ribs from rack and lightly brush on both sides with sauce.

  • Return ribs to grill over indirect low heat. At this point you can pile all ribs on top of one another or stack them 2 racks to a pile. Continue to cook over indirect low heat, with lid closed, until tender and succulent, 15 to 30 minutes. To test if racks are done, one at a time, lift them bone side up at one end with tongs; if a rack bends so much in the middle that meat tears easily, it's ready. If meat does not tear easily, continue to cook until it does. When racks are ready, transfer to a platter and let rest 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Just before serving, lightly brush with sauce again. Cut racks into individual ribs and serve. Tip: If you prefer milder ribs, add about half the recommended amount of chile powder to the rub and leave out the hot pepper sauce. Recipe courtesy of Weber's Greatest Hits by Jamie Purviance