For the smoker
3 large handfuls cherry wood chips
For the five-spice rub
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons five spice powder
For the honey teriyaki ribs
Three (2 1/2-to 3-pound) racks meaty baby back ribs
For the honey teriyaki glaze
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons cold waterctions:
Fill a medium bowl with water and toss in the wood chips. Let soak for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl combine all the ingredients.
Remove the membrane from the racks by using a dull knife and sliding the tip under the membrane that covers the back of each rib rack. Holding a paper towel in your hand, grip the membrane at one end of the slab of ribs and tug. It usually pulls right off.
Season the racks with about 1 1/2 tablespoons rub per rack, being sure to put more of it on the meaty side of each rack and less on the bone side.
In a skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the ginger, garlic, and sesame seeds and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the honey, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili-garlic sauce, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.
Stir the cornstarch mixture to recombine. Slowly stir the cornstarch mixture into the skillet while whisking constantly. Boil until thickened, still whisking, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Before lighting the grill, drain the wood chips and add them to the smoker box. (If you don’t have a built-in smoker box, set the box you are using under the cooking grate directly over a burner off to one side of the grill. If it won’t fit, place it on top of the cooking grate off to one side over the burner.)
Prepare the grill for indirect cooking on high heat (450° to 550°F | 232° to 288°C).
When smoke appears, lower the temperature to low (275° to 300°F | 135° to 149°C). Place the rib racks, bone side down, on the cooking grates over indirect heat.
Close the lid and cook, keeping the temperature 275° to 300°F (135° to 149°C), until tender, about 2 1/2 hours.
During the last 20 to 25 minutes of grilling, generously baste the racks with the reserved glaze every 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the racks from the grill and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice the racks between the bones. Pile the individual ribs on a platter and pass the remaining glaze on the side.