A friend asked me how I cook ribs today - so I thought it was something necessary to have early on in this blog.
Five years ago, I had no idea how to cook ribs. It was another of those things (read; obsession) that I had eaten or ordered somewhere, and decided I had to learn how to do.
I tried many different techniques… and it is a technique much more than a recipe, and finally found one that works for me. This recipe is everything that you could ever want out of ribs… tender, juicy, flavorful, easy, and relatively quick for good ribs.
This recipe/technique may be blasphemous in many parts of the country. Shrug…
I start with Baby Back ribs, and like to get the ones that say they are extra meaty.
Preheat the oven to 290 degrees.
The first thing I do is take the membrane off the underside of the rack. I found this helpful video on You Tube which shows you what the membrane is and how to take it off.
Once the membrane has been pulled off the ribs I simply use black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder as a sort of dry rub on both sides. Sometimes I sprinkle on a little cayenne pepper as well… It just depends on who will be eating them.
I then place the ribs in a greased (cooking spray) baking dish, membrane side down, with about 3/4’s of a beer (any kind will do, but of course the flavor will be imparted into the meat) and 1 bullion cube already melted down in 1/4 cup of water.
Cover the ribs tightly with foil, and baked them for at least 1 hour. You are done with the baking process when you can see the meat has shrunk back from the end of the bone about 1/4 inch - 3/8 inches.
Throw away the remaining juices.
While the ribs are baking I start my charcoals, and throw some mesquite wood chips into a bowl of water. I never use charcoal lighter fluid. I always use a chimney starter. See How To Use a Charcoal Chimney Starter.
The coals should go way in the back of the grill. You want as much indirect heating space on your grill as possible.
I use a combination of BBQ sauces. I use half Bullseye Original and half Mr. Stubbs Smokey-Mesquite, both of which are in most grocery stores. I love Bullseye on its own but the Stubbs adds another dimension to it.
When you are done baking the ribs you are going to brown them on the grill. Your coals should be about medium heat. Drain your mesquite chips and throw some on the coals. Add more as you go. If your coals are in the back, then your ribs should be placed near the front. This is an indirect heat/smoke method, the more smoke the better. The ribs will remain on the (closed) grill for another 20(ish) minutes, flipping and basting both sides with the sauce about every 5 minutes. I use one of those high temp basting brushes and it works like a charm.
Now, I like my ribs in a lot of sauce - so when I take them off the grill, I cut them all up, throw them back in the baking dish I used and coat them all over with more sauce. Then I throw them back on the grill for another 5 minutes or so.
Finger licking good!