Ribs! All barbeque fans want that, but the way they want it varies greatly. Some want them to fall off the bone, some want them oven braised and roasted, some want to use a charcoal grill, and some want them smoked, but whatever way you want them, rest assured it’s not all that difficult to master.
For this article, we will stay with pork ribs as the main ingredient, both Spare and Baby Back, (Pork Loin Back Rib).
Store bought racks of pork ribs are what most of us are going to use. Choose those that look light pink and moist with even amounts of fat, not too much.
Whichever type you purchase, they will need to have the membrane removed. On the underside of the rack, starting from a corner, lift the membrane and pull it off the entire length. This can be difficult, so take your time to assure you get it all. The membrane acts as a barrier, preventing seasoning or smoke from entering the meat itself.
Once the membrane is removed, season your ribs with your favorite rub or simply sea salt and pepper. Be sure to rub the seasoning all over the meat.
Now we can begin the cooking process.
How to cook ribs in the oven
Take the seasoned ribs and brown them in a pan with 2-3 tablespoons of oil, for about 5-7 minutes. The darker you brown them, the better. Do not let them burn.
Fill a roasting pan 1/8 full of water and bring to a simmer on the cooktop. Add whatever aromatics you would like to the water, onion, celery, garlic, parsley, chilies, and carrot are good choices. Bring back to a simmer, immerse your browned rib racks in the water and seal the pan with foil or a tight-fitting lid, or both.
Place the roaster on the middle rack of a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven. Cook them covered for 1 ½ hours.
Remove from pan and drain. Place the ribs on a baking rack, apply your favorite sauce with a brush, and put the pan under a broiler for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce. Repeat.
You are now ready to eat these fall off the bone beauties.
This process is also great for charcoal or gas grill production. Instead of under the broiler, put them face down on the charcoal or gas grill, brush the back with the sauce, flip them when the front bubbles, and sauce the front again. Flip them when the back bubbles. They will be ready to eat when the front bubbles again.
How to cook ribs on the grill
Begin the same way by preparing the racks and seasoning them with a dry rub or sea salt and pepper.
Bring your grill to temperature, (either gas grill or charcoal grill) only heating one-half of the cooking surface. This is known as indirect heat.
Place your ribs face down on the heated part of the grill to mark them and let them brown, for about 5-7 minutes. Turn them to the bone side and repeat the process. Once browned and marked, remove them from the heat.
Wrap the ribs in heavy-duty foil, in two layers. Return them to the unheated side of the grill, face up. Cover the grill and, monitor the temperature to stay between 300°F (150°C) and 350°F (175°C). Tricky, but can be done with vents and opening the lid from time to time.
Roast for 45-50 minutes. Remove from the grill and let them steam in the foil for 30-45 minutes.
Unwrap the racks, sauce them and return to the heated side of the grill. Repeat the same process as with how to cook ribs in the oven. Serve immediately.
How to smoke ribs
Prepare and season the ribs with a dry rub.
Prepare your wood smoker, pellet grill, or indirect heat smoker. You want your temperature to be 250°F (125°C).
Prepare your ribs as described before.
Place your prepared racks on the grates of the smoker and add your favorite wood or pellets. You want your ribs on smoke for only two hours at 250°F (125°C).
At the end of the two hours, remove the racks of ribs from the smoker and wrap them in heavy-duty foil or butcher paper. Let them rest for 30 minutes and return them to the smoker for two more hours without smoke and at the same temperature.
Remove them from the smoker at the end of the two additional hours. Let them rest for 20 minutes. Unwrap them and return them to the smoker for 15-25 minutes to form a bark.
Serve immediately, or you can baste them with sauce and finish them in the same manner described in previous sections.
There is a myriad of ways to prepare ribs. Brining, basting with apple cider vinegar, or the 321 methods. All produce an enjoyable finished product, but the three processes I discussed here are the most straightforward, tried, and tested ways for the home cook to achieve spectacular results.
I would love to hear from you about your successes and challenges regarding your ribs. Share them with others so we can all celebrate and learn the joys of pork ribs.
Until next time, the secret’s in the smoke!
If you are interested in trying our mouthwatering pork ribs view our menu and order today.