BBQ Baby Back Ribs:
Barbecuing baby back ribs is just about the best thing in the world. I have been trying to perfect my dry rub. Currently it consists of the following:
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
and this time I added some Chipotle
I’d love to hear from any of you on what you use.
So pat these bad boys dry, then load up the rub. I have it in a shaker and use it generously. I let them sit with the rub on it for about an hour. So open up the ribs, pat them dry with some paper towels and load’em up with rib rub. Massage the rub into the meat (like you love your ribs, oh yeah baby!). Wrap them back up and put them back in the fridge for about an hour.
I’m sure BBQ purists will have a different opinion on what the best method for queing these is, but I’ve had great success with my Weber grill. I usually use Kingsford charcoal, but occasionally I’ll splurge for the good stuff. Real charcoal, not the briquettes, but the burnt mesquite wood. Whatever you’re comfortable with that you can reasonably control temperature with. Even using a propane/gas grill is cool, whatever gets you out and grilling!
So about 15 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking fire up your coals in a starter and when they’re glowing and have a layer of white ash on them dump them out so they are piled up on one side so you can do some indirect cooking.
Put the grate back on the grill and let it get nice and hot. Place your rack (heh, I said rack) directly over the coals bone-side down. Let them sear for about 3-5 minutes, flip them over to the meat side and do the same. Be careful because the fat will start dripping and you don’t really want to burn them with the flare-ups. Once they’re nice and seared (cool looking grill lines) move them to the other side of the grill away from the coals. Close down the bottom and top vents just a bit to lower the airflow, this will cool the grill down a bit, put the cover on and check them every 10 minutes or so.
Here’s a great option for you. If you have some smoking chips you can add them at this point. You can buy bags of hickory or mesquite at any good grocery store, most big box home improvement stores, or a barbecue store. If you’re really lucky, fresh apple wood, pear, peach, cherry wood is an awesome choice for smoking. But, I’m not usually that lucky, so I use the chips. Soak them in warm water for about 30 minutes prior to use. Anyhow, grab a handful and put them on the hot coals, this will get some good smoke going and really kick your ribs up a notch.
Smoking is optional, you can still kick out some killer baby-backs without it. So, back to cooking. Ideally you should cook your ribs over indirect heat for at least an hour and a half, two hours if you can manage to keep the heat on the grill low.
About 15 minutes before you’re ready to pull them off the grill is when you should add the barbecue sauce. I have been using Sweet Baby Ray’s, I prefer the spicy kind, but the rest of the fam isn’t super keen on the spice, so I’m usually stuck using the regular (not that there’s anything wrong with it). Slather it on nice and thick then put the lid back on your grill. The sauce should start to caramelize a bit and you should have a sweet yummy layer of smoking hot BBQ sauce.
For dinner Thursday I also picked up some sweet corn on the cob. I paired the barbeque with 2006 Fetzer Coro Mendocino. Which is a nice big red blend based on Zinfandel, the perfect match to some sweet, spicy, and sticky ribs.