Much like my article a couple months ago on making the perfect steak I'll be explaining the steps needed to make the perfect slab of ribs!! I mean after all, you don't want to waste your hard earned money on ruining the perfect bbq food. Follow my steps and you will soon be enjoying the ultimate “foodgasm.”
Those of us who know how great bbq ribs taste when a little effort and patience is used. I want you to know right now the myth of "falling off the bone" tender is exactly that, a myth. If your bones fall out of the meat then all you've done is made bbq meat mush. There should always be a slight pull to remove the meat from the bones. Use my methods and you'll see what I mean. Enjoy friends!!
To get started, you'll need 2 or 3 slabs of baby back pork ribs, a good bbq sauce, a rib rub, white vinegar. For the rub and sauce there are countless to use, and I've tried bunches of different types. The rub / sauce combo I've liked best is what I used while on the professional bbq competitions with Rasta Joe's team. He had the best I've ever used. You can get them at Martin's. Start by peeling off the white membrane (silver skin) from the back of the ribs. This not only allows the ribs to absorb more of the rub and smoke, but it will also allow them to be more tender. Wash them after the skin is off with the vinegar.
Apply generous amounts of rub to each rack and then wrap them in aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight. Before cooking, you'll want to make sure that the ribs have come down to room temperature, so allow plenty of time between pulling them out of the fridge and throwing them on the grill.
YOUR TOOL OF CHOICE
What if you don't have a smoker? What if all you have is a charcoal grill? Or an electric/gas grill? Don't be scared. Any of these will allow you to smoke the perfect ribs. Make sure your chosen seasoned wood has soaked for at least an hour in water. Then, if you're cooking on a charcoal grill, only put charcoal on one side of the grill. If you're cooking on an electric/gas grill, simply ignite only one side of your grill. In either case, you'll throw your wet wood on top the heated side and place the meat on the non-heated side, thus smoking your ribs and cooking them with indirect heat. If you've got a smoker, better yet.
Regardless of what you're using, if you're able to put a drip pan under the ribs, I recommend doing that. And be sure to fill your drip pan with apple juice, peppercorns, onion and garlic that's cut with water. The steam from your drip pan will make for even tastier ribs
SMOKE EM IF YOU GOT THEM
Get the temperature to around 225 degrees and throw on the meat. Make sure you keep the fire going by adding charcoal as you need it, and just as importantly, be sure to continuously feed that fire some soaked wood so the meat is always flowing with a healthy amount of smoke. Also, move the ribs from time to time, especially if you're smoking on a charcoal or electric/gas grill. Move the slabs closest to the heat source to the position furthest away and vice versa. Try to do this quickly because you'll lose valuable smoke every time you open the door. Add about twenty minutes to your cooking time for every five minutes the door is open.
SAUCE AND TOSS
My favorite part, after they've been smoking for about four hours you're almost done, as evidenced by the fact that the meat is starting to creep up the bone and can be bent in a 90 degree angle when lifted half way up with tongs. Turn your flames all the way up. Place ribs bone side down, now watch for bubbles to start gathering around the ends of the meat. That's when you'll add sauce and toss them over. Watch again for those bubbles I just mentioned. When you see them, add sauce again and toss. Repeat this until they are caramelized in sauce and your getting those gorgeous grill marks. You're closer to being done now.
SERVE EM UP!
So serve 'em up. I like mine with baked beans, ala and cornbread. Make sure you cut them perfectly with the bone leaving meat on each side. Serve with extra sauce. So there you have it. My five steps to smoking some award-winning ribs. Yes award winning. I won people's choice best ribs in Fargo, ND and Kalamazoo MI!!!
Now go smoke your meat!!!