Using a charcoal chimney or lighter fluid, light 6-8 pieces of lump charcoal and let them come to a full burn. Add to your firebox and preheat the smoker to roughly 225°F (105°C), adding charcoal to the fire as necessary.
Add the ginger, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, minced garlic, onion powder, black pepper, and mustard powder in a medium bowl and mix thoroughly.
Place ribs on a large sheet of aluminum foil and coat liberally with spice rub on all sides.
Place a metal pan filled with water at the end of the smoker’s cooking chamber closest to the firebox. Place ribs directly on the grate of your cooking chamber and close the smoker. Open the vents at both ends of the smoker.
Add a chunk or two of smoking wood to the firebox each half hour to create a stream of thin but visible smoke that is somewhat blue in appearance. Too much wood may result in thick, gray smoke. If this happens, open the smoker and clear the smoke out, waiting to close it until you’re able to achieve manageable smoke again.
Maintain the heat by adding additional charcoal as necessary.
Smoke ribs for 3-5 hours, spraying each hour with water to keep the surface from drying out.
Cook time will vary based on the size and type of rib (baby backs will cook faster than spareribs). Use a meat thermometer to gauge doneness.
At 170°F (75°C), remove the ribs from the smoker and place onto a large sheet of aluminum foil. If using barbecue sauce, apply now with a basting brush. Wrap the aluminum foil up to enclose the ribs, and place them back in your smoker for an additional 30 minutes.
Let meat rest at least 15 minutes off the heat before slicing. Serve with remaining barbecue sauce and preferred sides.
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