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Categories Pork Car Wash Mike's Baby Back Rib Class
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Car Wash Mike's Baby Back Rib Class

On July 4th, 2010 "Car Wash Mike" McKernan passed away. Mike was a true BBQ ambassador, proud to be an Egghead, and was one of the most distinguished members of the Big Green Egg Forum. He will be missed but never forgotten. I will remember him as being quick to help out the younger cooks and the old hands alike, always handing out good advice, and he never tired of answering the same questions over and over. There is no doubt that Mike was responsible for teaching thousands of folks to barbecue ribs. Since posting Mike's rib method in the summer of 2007, it has been one of my most popular pages.


When it comes to pork ribs, many cooks prefer baby back ribs. These do not come from a baby pig, they are simply smaller because they are cut from the part of the rib closest to the backbone. Sometimes known as loin back ribs, they have a distinctive curve of the bone compared to spareribs, which are cut from the belly of a pig. Car Wash Mike, as a regular contributor on The Big Green Egg Forum, had mastered a technique for cooking these ribs and agreed to share it with me. So here is how Car Wash Mike prepared his ribs.



A 3 pack at Sam’s club works well.




Car Wash Mike

I don’t claim to be a rib eggspert but I will give you some basics today to get you started in the right direction. First, I cook baby backs exclusively. A 3 pack at Sam’s club works well.


After opening up the package. Pat the ribs down with paper towels. Take the membrane off the bone side. To do this take a paper towel on the small end and pull towards the large end. Today I used Dizzy Pig Original for the rub. Leave the ribs meat side down. Now, I actually rub, the rub in, on the bone in side. Flip over, lightly coat with mustard. The mustard will not give any flavor. It gives you three different values in my opinion, others will argue. The vinegar in the mustard will start breaking down the collagen in the ribs. It will give a better bark. It will also help the last coating of the rub to stick to the ribs. After applying the mustard. Coat with Dizzy Pig Original Rub. After prepping put back in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but no more than 2. If you haven’t lit your egg, now is the time.


Okay, the process just got a little complicated. I have cooked over a 100 slabs of baby backs, EVERY YEAR for over 15 years. I tell you this, so you don’t get discouraged if your first few attempts are not desired. Practice makes perfect. Put your wood of choice on the clean burning fire of the egg. Add 3-4 wood chunks. Try to stick with fruit woods. I used apple and cherry wood. They are going to start smoking right away. Put your plate setter on the fire ring, legs up. A large drip pan on the plate setter. You need to let the wood smoke for at least 30 minutes before putting the ribs on. I always use an inverted V-Rack. I think the heat off the plate setter and drip pan, cause a tough skin on the bone in side. Get your egg stabilized at 200-225. The first few hours are the most important. Your ribs need to be cold when placing on the Egg. They tend to soak up the smoke better and have a better smoke ring. I like to mist the ribs. I like to use a 50/50 mixture of apple juice/apple cider vinegar after the first hour. I do this every hour until done. After 3 hours bump that temp up to 250. Opening up the egg for misting may accomplish this.

Okay, we have had our ribs on for 3 hours and we've bumped the temp up to 250. Cook for 1 hour and then mist one more time. Let go another 30 minutes. The ribs have been on 4-1/2 hours. Pick a slab up. If it folds in half easily, it is time to finish. If not, put back on for another 30 minutes. Also, another way to check is that the meat should have pulled back approximately 1-1/2 inches. Another way is to, go ahead and pull a slab off and cut. If the bone is white in color they are ready.

This is where experience comes in. The texture you want will determine when to pull off. If you want fall off the bone. Let them go 5-1/2 hours. Remember though. You might be taking a chance on them drying out.


There are all kinds of good bbq sauces out there. I think the secret to great sticky finger ribs is a good sauce. I always use a sugar based sauce. I make sure my bbq sauce is cold (been in the fridge) for a few hours or days. This makes the sugar thicken up. This will produce a full flavor of sauce on the ribs.

Our ribs have been on between 4-1/2 and 5-1/2 hours. After pulling them, set them aside and get the egg up to 275. While the temp is climbing apply the desired amount of bbq sauce on the ribs evenly. Today we used Blues Hog. Many competitors use this. Pull the V-Rack off. You want your ribs laying flat when finishing. Place the ribs back on the egg bone side down. Leave on for 20-30 minutes. If your guests allow, pull off, let rest for 5-10 minutes, slice up and enjoy.

Notes:Special thanks to "thirdeye" for helping keep Car Wash Mike's memory alive. Hey Mike, you're now immortal!
Number Of Servings:Source:thirdeye
Vegetarian:NoTime To Prepare:
Date:Tue 19 Oct 2010 23:50:20 UTCViewed:85229 times
Author:Car Wash MikeEmail:
Rating:4,52 (114 votes)

recipe rating
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Egg Master 3000Comment added on: Sat 04 Sep 2010 00:38:30 UTC
First time making ribs ever was last weekend. Used this method. Turned out way better than the places in town! Easy too!
WPBComment added on: Sat 02 Oct 2010 01:53:33 UTC
Very good recipe and technique. I like that there is no foil step so it's more like true BBQ.

Start with ribs of uniform thickness. Trim back the "skirt" (thick strip of meat along the back of some ribs) close to the bone, if not the ribs will take MUCH longer (up to two additional hours) to cook.
BrisketBobComment added on: Wed 06 Oct 2010 01:54:35 UTC
I've used this recipe many times with great success. You'll never go wrong if you follow it closely.
Atkheli1Comment added on: Mon 18 Oct 2010 00:24:46 UTC
I tried this recipe and it turned out perfect. Everybody loved it. The 50/50 mix carmelized and made a real difference. I'm definitely doing this recipe again.
Grill ThrillerComment added on: Mon 08 Nov 2010 14:09:25 UTC
Thanks to Car Wash Mike and Third Eye, for posting this awesome recipe containing gems of helpful information. My first rib cook was perfect and a huge hit with the family. What a great legacy to leave people with–may God utilize your talents in Heaven!
boston_stokerComment added on: Thu 18 Nov 2010 04:07:01 UTC
I just recently learned you passed away right as I went on vacation for the month of July. I had just made your ribs for the first time with your help two days earlier. You congratulated me on my cook in one of your last 10 messages.

I am saddened by the forum's loss, but I am sure you are up there exchanging rib ideas with Arthur Bryant. Thanks again for helping me learn.
DrRyanComment added on: Sat 18 Dec 2010 19:57:30 UTC
Just did 4 slabs of baby backs about a month ago using this method. "The best ribs I have ever had" was my wife's comment and many along the same lines from everyone else at dinner.

Wish I had known you before you passed. RIP Mike
ServicceComment added on: Tue 21 Dec 2010 21:54:54 UTC
I learned alot from Mike over the past few years. He always was a huge help and a a great forum friend. RIP my friend.
ServicceComment added on: Tue 21 Dec 2010 21:55:50 UTC
I learned alot from Mike over the past few years. He always was a huge help and a a great forum friend. RIP my friend.
Growler69Comment added on: Sun 10 Apr 2011 18:41:08 UTC
Used this recipe today for my first ribs cook ever. Easy as can be and it was delicious! This recipe is clearly the product of years of experience - the half cider vinegar/half apple juice misting is pure genius. Seems like it would accommodate a wide range of rubs.
CaptDaveComment added on: Thu 02 Jun 2011 04:44:08 UTC
Very Sad to learn of Mike's passing, but he has left us with so much... my next cooking experience will be ribs in memory of his greatness.
BirkhallComment added on: Thu 18 Aug 2011 17:15:42 UTC
Got a BGE for my 40th a week ago, (I know-lucky me) Was a little unsure as what to try for the inagural smoke. Car was Mike's ribs seemed like the way to go. Followed it to a "Tee" and they were fantastic. As a Canuck, Dizzy Pig doesn't come north of the border, so I used Big Sid's BBQ rub and I finished with Budweiser BBQ sauce. 5 hours on and 30 min finish. I will let my 8 year old daughter sum it up best..."Dad these aren't the best ribs you have ever made, these are the best ribs I have ever eaten!" You won't be disappointed.
Electro3Comment added on: Sun 08 Jul 2012 17:30:31 UTC
Recently got my Egg and used this recipe to do ribs. Wow! Mike - I didn't know you but thanks for sharing your knowledge. This recipe is fantastic. For those who haven't tried it, have no fear. With Mike's guidance, your ribs will come out great.
RastaEGGComment added on: Wed 13 Feb 2013 21:26:39 UTC
RIP in Mike :(
bullfrog74Comment added on: Fri 17 May 2013 16:29:07 UTC
I cooked up a package of Sam's club ribs a month ago using Mike's recipe. They were great. Had lots of compliments. I'll be using Mike's recipe again. Thanks for sharing it.
YetiBobComment added on: Tue 25 Jun 2013 10:33:51 UTC
Been away for a while. VERY sad about Mike. He was (and still is) a true inspiration and set the high mark to shoot for.
WestChesterEggerComment added on: Tue 24 Jun 2014 14:35:06 UTC
Made these ribs for the first time on Sunday....they were fantastic!! The ribs were moist from the spritzing during the slow cook. We finished them off with Stubbs Original BBQ sauce and they were perfect! This will be our "go-to" rib recipe.
cmammonsComment added on: Mon 28 Jul 2014 00:54:05 UTC
Gave this a try this weekend and will ALWAYS be my go to~
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