We could argue all day about what makes the best barbecue,
but I'm guessing that a serious contender in anyone's book would be barbecued
ribs, and specifically barbecued baby back ribs. Baby back ribs are smaller than spare
ribs and I think, more flavorful.
Barbecue purists would say that the only way to prepare ribs is to slow
cook them over coals or wood chips for 8-12 hours over very low heat, around
200-250 degrees F. I completely
agree and have done it this way many times, but it only works if you have all
day to tend the barbecue, as the heat must be steady and consistent which
requires adding coals periodically throughout the day. That is the best way, but not the only
I'd like to share our method of cooking absolutely perfect
ribs in a fraction of the time without sacrificing texture (they are still fall
off the bones tender) or that amazing smoky flavor that only real coals and
wood chips can impart.
Our recipe for Quick
Ribs is first baked in the oven and then finished on the barbecue where it
picks up its smoky flavor.
Our Quick Rib recipe calls for a rub and sauce, but you can
also use one or the other but I think both add layers of flavor. When I make this recipe I always have
left over rub and sauce. I seal the
rub in a plastic bag and use it on anything I want to grill in the future. I put the left over sauce in a sealed
plastic container and freeze it for another day.
The first step in preparation is to remove the membrane on
the underside of the ribs. This is
done by using a small sharp knife point to pry the
edge of the membrane loose at one end of the ribs. Once you have a small piece loose, you
can grab it with your fingers and pull it off. Do this with dry hands
as it will be slippery. If you get
a good start, you can usually pull it off in one or two pieces. Removing this membrane will allow the
rub and sauce to permeate the flesh.
The key to the cook time in the oven is after the first hour
to remove the ribs from the oven, open the foil and carefully pour off the
liquid, there will be a significant amount of liquid.
After this point, barbecue ribs as usual over
briquettes. I like to pre-soak wood
chips and add a handful once or twice while the ribs are finishing which
intensifies their smoky flavor.
The total cook time for this method is 1 1/2 -1
3/4 hour vs all day and the results are fantastic!
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 juice
- 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.
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. Meanwhile,
prepare the barbecue. Fill a chimney
with briquettes and stuff the bottom with paper and light. When coals are gray and hot,
transfer them to the barbecue. Remove
from oven, drain off liquids and brush with sauce.
Place ribs on the grill over the coals, meaty side up and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, then turn the
ribs over, brush on more sauce and barbecue for 15
to 30 more minutes.
Cut into single or 2 rib sections and serve hot.
- Chef Yvonne