Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Barbecuing Baby Back Ribs

     I know that there is a lot of talk already surrounding Fall food...root vegetable dishes, soups, stews, chili and the like, but I am just not ready yet to change with the season.  Since the weather is still beautiful though slightly cool, I figure I do not have to.  There will be plenty of time for that soon enough as we have a very, very long winter here and tons of time for winter fare.

    I say bring on the barbecue baby, don't be shy, break out those Baby Back Ribs, oh my!

     I like to start with a nice dry rub and let the ribs marinate in that for an hour minimum and up to four hours maximum (personal preference), you can certainly let them sit for as long as 24 hours if you like.  I first rinse and pat dry my rack of ribs.  I then remove the thin membrane from the back side of the rack.  Many people argue whether it is necessary or not, for me, I truly believe the rub has a better chance of flavoring your pork if it is removed.  There is also a debate on which is better, sweet or spicy and dry or wet.  I like it all so I just go for it : )  I start with two full racks of ribs, there is plenty of rub left over after making it for either more if you're having company or for saving it till later.

     Jenn's Dry Rub, A mix of Sweet and A little Heat...

     3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
     3/4Cup White Sugar
     1/2 Cup Paprika
     1-2 Tablespoon Chili Powder
     2 Tablespoons Ground Ginger
     2 Tablespoons Rosemary (Fresh chopped is best)
     2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
     1/4 Cup Salt (I only use Kosher)
     1-2 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper (Dependent on how hot you like it)    

     Rub some of the mixture over both sides of the racks of ribs and let rest for desired time.  Don't be shy, I am very liberal with the rub mixture as I believe the more you have the more flavorful your meat will turn out.

     When you are ready, heat the Barbie!

     I place the bottom section of my broiler pan on my grill with preheated water (hot) inside and bring my temperature up to around 300-350 degrees.  I place my ribs already sitting on top of the broiler pan on top of the bottom section and close the lid letting them heat for 30 minutes.  I think of it as the time it takes to heat the outside of the ribs and create a crust or bark dependent on what you like to call it.  It seals in some yummy juices and helps the pork to brown nicely for the rest of the cooking process.

In the beginning

     After thirty minutes, I turn my temperature down to 225 degrees and I let those babies cook for 3-3.5 hours depending on their size and thickness until they are ready for basting.  Turn the ribs over every 30 minutes or so but no sooner as you want the temperature in the barbecue to stay steady at 225 degrees.    

     Check when you are turning your ribs that the water in the broiler pan has not evaporated and if it is low, refill it with HOT water so as not to bring the temperature of the barbecue down too much.  I resist the urge to open the lid in between turning times as I like the saying...if you're looking, you're not cooking.

     When you are ready, bast your Baby Back Ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce.  If you like your ribs dry, you can skip the basting all together, but for me, I love the sauce!  I have gone back and forth between ready made from the store and my own creations, just depends on the day and my energy level.

     When you are ready to baste the ribs, remove the broiler pan and turn the heat up on the grill.  Place the ribs directly on the grill racks and start slathering away.  It only takes a few minutes for your sauce to caramelize on each side and once that happens, you are ready to head back into the kitchen for dinner.

Close up

It is an investment of your time, but Sooo worth the effort, you are going to love them!

Just in from the Barbecue

Getting ready to go in our belly : )

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