Barbecued ribs are one of my favorite dishes to make during the summer months. If made the correct way, barbequed pork and beef ribs are juicy, flavorful, and most importantly- tender.
Here are a few secrets to making delicious barbecued ribs.
Pork or Beef?
I’ve made beef ribs before, but usually opt for pork. Pork ribs have a higher fat content (fat=flavor!) and are readily available (and affordable) at your local supermarket. There are a few kinds of pork ribs- country-style, and baby-back are the most common. Baby back pork ribs tend to be the easiest to pre-bake, and cook on the grill.
I usually don’t cook my ribs from start to finish on the grill. It’s difficult to control the temperature, and the ribs often become burned before they’re done cooking.
Pre-baking the ribs in the oven before grilling is an easy way to assure that they turn out the way you want them to.
Baby Back Pork Ribs
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
Prep-time: 2 ½ hours
2 racks of pork ribs
Place the rack of pork ribs on a clean, sanitized cutting surface. Carefully make cuts between the bones ¾ of the way down. When you get to the third of fourth rib, make a complete cut through the flesh removing it from the rest of the rack. Continue this process until you have worked your way through both racks of ribs.
Put the rib pieces in a large stainless steel bowl. Coat the ribs with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Massage the ribs making sure the oil and seasonings get between the meat of each cut rib.
Place the seasoned ribs in an ovenproof stainless steel baking dish. Seal the baking pan with aluminum foil and cook the ribs until fork tender- approximately 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the pan and let cool slightly.
Light your grill and let the temperature reach 350 degrees. Lightly grease the surface of the grill so that the ribs don’t stick.
Carefully place the ribs on the cooking surface. After a few minutes of cooking, rotate the meat with tongs- don’t over-handle the ribs!
Once the ribs have become brown and caramelized, apply barbecue sauce. At this point the ribs should only cook for 2-3 more minutes, or the sugar in the sauce will cause them to burn.
Remove the ribs from the grill and serve immediately.
Chef Chuck Kerber