cant think of anyone, man, woman, or child who doesnt
like ribs. Fall apart tender, juicy, sweet or savory, ribs
are a mainstay of summer and always an eagerly anticipated
As in a lot of grilling or barbecue, folks
tend to feel strongly about the right way to cook ribs. Some
elevate the cooking of ribs to a sacred family secret that
can only be passed on to worthy heirs. From the preparation
of the ribs to the cooking process, arguing methods can be
futile. So, take my advice as merely another womans
opinion, even though my method is right, of course.
Beef ribs have their own following, but
we prefer pork ribs. There are two basic types of pork ribs,
back ribs, commonly called Baby Back Ribs and spareribs. Baby
back ribs come from the loin portion of the pigs back
and tend to be small and meaty. Spareribs come from the rib
section of the pig and are usually long and thin.
The absolute best way to prepare ribs is
to smoke them. End of story. Smoking ribs, does however, take
all day, from 8 to 11 hours and although it doesnt take
constant attention, it does require that you tend to the smoker
frequently to maintain a constant internal temperature. This
is done by adding a few coals and wood chips at a time every
20 minutes or so. Smoking is cooking with indirect heat very
slowly over a long period of time. Other methods can produce
great tasting ribs, but none will compare to the traditional
For complete, step-by-step instructions
on smoking,, visit our online cooking class archives for our
class on True
BBQ Baby Back Ribs.
The preparation for ribs is less controversial.
The first step is to remove the membrane on the rib side of
the rack. To do this, insert a knife tip to separate the membrane.
Once you have loosened a corner, you can grab it and pull
it away from the rack. It is a little difficult at first,
but once you get it going, it generally will pull off in one
or two large pieces. Once the membrane is removed, it is time
to apply a rub. Rubs are mixtures of sugar, salt, spices and
herbs. Rubs should be rubbed generously all over the ribs.
For best results, do this the night before you cook them.
Sauces should be added or rather slathered
on during the last hour of cooking when smoking or in the
last 30 minutes if grilling. Applying the sauce too soon can
result in burning because of the sugar content in the sauce.
Some people par-boil ribs before grilling
to partially cook them to assure they cook fully or are tender.
We do not subscribe to this method because we feel that the
pork looses flavor when boiled and the texture of the meat
is compromised. If you want a quick way to cook ribs, the
following is our favorite quick grill method. The recipe looks
long, but the long list of ingredients are for making your
own rub and sauce.
Prep time: 1 hour Cooking time: approximately
Quick Grilled Ribs
5-6 pound baby-back pork ribs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup coarse Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup onion salt
- 1/4 cup garlic salt
- 1/2 cup paprika
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon celery powder
- 2 teaspoons mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons scallions, chopped
- 1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups gf catsup
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 5 Tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 5 Tablespoons port wine
- 2 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon key lime juice
- 3 teaspoons gf hot sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon five spice powder
Remove membrane from back of rib racks.
Mix all rub ingredients together. Generously rub mixture entirely
over ribs and marinate for one hour.
For sauce: In a small skillet, melt butter.
Add scallions and garlic; saute scallions until tender and
garlic is fragrant. In a large saucepan combine remaining
ingredients. Add scallion mixture. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Adjust seasonings to taste. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Wrap ribs in heavy foil and place in a roasting pan. Bake
for 1 hour, until meat is tender. Remove from oven, drain
off liquids and brush with sauce. Increase oven temperature
to 375 degrees F. Return ribs to pan uncovered, meaty side
up. Cook for 15 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. Brush on
more sauce and bake for 15 more minutes. Prepare a grill.
Place ribs on grill over medium heat or medium coals. Grill
just until ribs start to brown. Watch carefully so ribs do
not burn. Cut into single or 2 rib sections and serve hot.
For other great rib recipes try:
Pork Ribs with Blackberry Sauce
Baby Back Ribs
Boneless Pork Spareribs