I normally like spicy and tangy ribs. But my wife and two boys prefer sweet ribs.
Here's the rub I used for theirs and some basics on how I smoke them that I wrote up for our local paper's annual grilling special
Nibble Me This Sweet Rib Rub
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 ounce Hungarian paprika
3 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarse grind
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Mix ingredients together and apply to ribs about one hour before starting to smoke them. Store extra rub in an airtight container. Yield: 1/2 cup.
Note: This rib rub is for smoking ribs and isn't intended for grilling over direct heat.
Rib tips: Use St. Louis-style trimmed spare ribs with the back membrane removed.
Cook the ribs with indirect heat at 250 degrees for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
For smoke, I like to add a mix of cherry and hickory wood chunks in the coal.
During the third hour (usually about the 3:15 mark), wrap ribs tightly in foil and put back in the cooker. To add flavor, add things like more sugar, honey, apple juice, butter, etc into the foil pack. Experiment with flavors you like.
After 45 minutes, remove from the foil and put the ribs back in the cooker. If you like "fall of the bone" ribs (overdone), leave in the foil for up to 1 hour 15 minutes.
If you like sauced ribs, glaze them in the last 30 minutes of cooking with your favorite barbecue sauce. If you want extra sweet and sticky ribs, sweeten the sauce with honey, agave nectar or corn syrup and a bit of extra rub.