Is there anything better then a great outdoor BBQ with friends and family? Here are the latest and greatest gadgets in outdoor cooking and pro tips on how to get the very best ribs.
- The Flexible Grilling Skewer, a simple adaption from the traditional kabob. These give you more options while marinating and grilling, available here.
- The Himalayan Salt Plate, thick hand-cut slabs of pink Himalayan salt add a wonderful flavor to food. Available here, what a great hostess gift idea!
- The Stuffed Hamburger Press, creates the perfect Juicy Lucy and ensures a perfectly proportioned patty. Available Here
- The Flame Pizza Stone, creates a perfect oven grilled pizza with a crisply crust. Available at Cooks of Crocus Hill . This is a great option when you feel like having something different, Cooks of Crocus Hill also offer cooking classes.
Damon, founder and grill master of Croix Valley Sauce gives us tips to ensure the very best ribs.
My preferred method to cook ribs on the backyard barbecue is to use lump hardwood charcoal, banked to one side of your grill so that you are cooking over indirect heat (adding additional chunks of hardwood for smoke every half hour). Maintaining yourgrill’s heat at about 250° to 270°F is the target goal. If you’re using a gas grill, the same results can be achieved by turning off a burner or two and cooking on the side without the flames. Adding soaked wood chips in a smoker box for gas grills is essential for imparting the smokiness to the ribs that you’re looking for (you can pick this up inexpensively at any home improvement store). If you’re fortunate enough to own a smoker, you’ve got a leg up on the neighbors, but you can get great low and slow barbecue results on any backyard grill by following these simple steps.
You can certainly use any type of ribs, but I’d suggest pork spare or baby back ribs. As with most true barbecue, you want the smoke, rubs and sauces you use to flavor your meat. Only one hurdle to overcome on ribs that will prevent this from happening is on the bone side of the rack. There is a silvery membrane, called the pleura, which should be removed to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat from both sides as you cook. Begin by removing the membrane on the backside of the ribs (TIP: use a butter knife to begin peeling the membrane from the bone, then grab the membrane with a paper towel and gently peel it off). Removing the membrane will also expose additional fat. Most of the fat will melt away during cooking, but you may want to trim excess areas of thicker fat from the rib rack to provide for a more even, leaner cook.
With the membrane removed, it’s time to rub your ribs. There are numerous recipes on the web for rib rubs and you can certainly purchase commercial blends as well. I suggest finding a good recipe that has the flavors you like or simply be creative with the herbs and spices in your kitchen – you can’t go wrong with this one! A great all-purpose rub can be made from granulated garlic, paprika,onion powder, cayenne and pepper. With the rub in hand, generously coat all sides of your ribs, massaging it into the meat as you go.
Place your ribs on the grill or smoker, bone side down for about 2 hours over indirect heat. At the2 hour mark, this is where the real secrets of the pros come into play! You’ll know the ribs are ready for this next step when the meat begins to pull back from the bone, exposing what is known as“pirate’s teeth”. Remove your ribs and place on large a large aluminum foil sheet. Sprinkle both sides of your ribs with brown sugar, drizzle with honey or agave nectar and wrap the ribs completely in the foil. This will lock in the flavor, create a nice glaze, prevent the ribs from drying out and create a nice mahogany color. Place the ribs, meat side down in the foil,back on the grill to finish cooking. After about another hour on the grill (the meat should be extremely tender and juicy at this point), remove your ribs from the foil, brush with your favorite sauce and place back on the grill for about 10 minutes for the sauce to set.
Ribs that are drenched in sauce, falling off the bone these are not (you may as well make pulled pork). This method for barbecued ribs will have an explosion of flavor at each bite with a perfect texture that will allow you to taste the meat, enhanced by the sauces and rubs. Once you truly barbecue ribs, you’ll never consider par-boiled, crock-potted or oven-baked ribs again!
Keep on grillin’!