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txrogues BBQ'd ribs

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  • txrogues BBQ'd ribs

    txrogue Posted August 01, 2005 06:05 PM
    You'll need:
    -A covered kettle grill. It doesn't have to be a "kettle" grill (like a Weber)...but, it must be covered.
    -Charcoal briquettes...can be the all-natural briquettes. Briquettes give the best heat consistency for our purpose.
    -Hickory smoking chips. Here's where I'll get the e-mail. But look around. The professional BBQer uses hickory, not mesquite. There's a reason. It tastes better.
    -2 slabs of pork spare ribs. Not "country-style," not "baby backs." Just plain, ol' spareribs.
    -Your favorite dry rub. I'll give you a recipe below.
    -Your favorite BBQ sauce...or try the one below.
    -Heavy-duty aluminum foil.
    -A large, brown paper grocery bag. (This is a key piece of equipment!)


    METHOD

    -Trim an excess fat from the ribs.
    -At least an hour before cooking, rub generous amounts of your dry rub onto each side of the ribs. You can leave the ribs at room temperature for an hour (plenty of time for the seasonings to mascerate)..any longer and you'll need to wrap them in plastic and refrigerate them.
    -Start with a grill that's free of any leftover ashes or coals. You'll need 40 (or so) charcoal briquettes. Push all of the coals to one side of the fire grate, arranged in a mound two or three briquettes high. Keep the bottom vents of the grill completely open. Light the coals. They will be ready when they are covered in a light gray ash.
    -Meanwhile, wrap two large handfuls of hickory chips in heavy duty aluminum foil. (You really don't need to soak the wood chips, but if it makes you feel better, go right ahead). Poke several holes in the top of the foil packet.
    -Once the coals are ready, lay the foil-wrapped chips on top of the charcoal. Put the cooking grate in place and position the ribs on the grate, OPPOSITE the fire. On a 22-inch kettle grill, you should have room for two full slabs.
    -Put the lid on the grill with the vents over the meat. Open the vents two-thirds of the way. At the start, the heat inside the grill will hover around 350 degrees. It will drop by about 100-degrees over the next couple of hours.
    -Turn the ribs every half-hour for a total cooking time of about 3 hours. (Make sure you replace the lid!) The coals will begin to lose some of their vigor toward the end of the cooking time. Don't worry. They still have enough heat for slow cooking.
    -Signs of doneness include the meat starting to pull away from the bone. Grab a bone and twist it. If it almost turns in the meat...the ribs are done.
    -If there is a secret to achieving the restaurant-style authenticity we discussed earlier, the editors at Cook's Illustrated discovered this is it: IMMEDIATELY AFTER TAKING THE RIBS OFF THE GRILL, COMPLETELY WRAP THEM IN HEAVY DUTY FOIL. PUT THE FOIL-WRAPPED RIBS IN THE BROWN PAPER SACK AND FOLD THE SACK TIGHTLY AROUND THE RIBS. ALLOW TO REST AT ROOM TEMPERATURE FOR AN HOUR OR MORE.
    -Unwrap the ribs...swab 'em with the sauce of your choice and enjoy!

    How does the grocery bag trick work? Well, I'm not sure and neither were the folks at Cook's Illustrated. It probably has something to do with the moist, enclosed heat allowing the juices to return to the meat..giving it more flavor and making it even more tender. All I know is that it does work and if you follow these steps...you'll be making BBQ ribs that will leave your friends bowing in your general direction.
    Dan's Award-Winning BBQ Sauce
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