1. In a bowl, blend the sugar, paprika, salt, ancho powder, oregano,
allspice, cayenne, cumin and cinnamon.
2. Using a kitchen towel, grasp a corner of the membrane on the
underside of each rack and pull off the membrane. If necessary,
cut the racks so that they will fit on your grill. Sprinkle the racks
all over with the ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of the spice rub
and gently massage it into the meat. Let the racks stand at room
temperature for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, light a charcoal fire in a starter chimney. Add the lit
coals to a grill and set it up for indirect grilling: Carefully push the
hot coals to one side and place a drip pan on the opposite side and
fill it with water. Alternatively, add the lit coals to the firebox of a
smoker. Scatter half of the soaked hardwood chips over the coals.
4. Arrange the ribs on the grill over the drip pan. Cover the grill
and cook for about 4 hours, maintaining a temperature of 225° to
250°, turning and rotating the ribs occasionally, until the rib racks
are tender. Monitor the grill throughout the smoking process and
add more lit coals, soaked hardwood chips and water to the drip
pan as needed to maintain the temperature and smoke level. Cut
the racks into ribs and serve. —Brian Perrone