Monday, August 1, 2011


This summer, I've been brave.  I ventured out of my comfort zone and have been using our grill.  I was actually surprised that it's really not difficult nor is it much different than cooking in the kitchen!  I haven't tried very many things yet, but one thing I did try was pork spareribs.  They were mighty yummy!  Since I don't have much grilling experience, I asked the grill expert (my dad) for advice and tips on making ribs.

First of all, let me say that you don't grill ribs, you barbecue ribs.  Yes, there is a difference (my dad will be the first to correct anyone on this fact).  Grilling is when you cook something over direct heat (the flame is right under the meat).  Barbecuing is when you use indirect heat.  When making ribs, you don't want the flame to be right under the meat.  On our grill, there's a front burner and a back burner.  I simply had only the front burner on and put the meat over the back burner (which was turned off).  Second, the way to barbecue ribs is low and slow.  You want to keep the heat low (mine was hovering between 225 and 250) and slow (my ribs barbecued for almost 5 hours).

I used spareribs, because they were on sale for well under $2 per pound.  However, I think baby back ribs would be even better (but also much more expensive)!  Maybe I'll have to splurge and get baby back ribs for some special occasion!  There are different dry rub recipes, but I use the one found on The Pioneer Woman's blog.  It's simple and delicious! If you go to her blog, she gives a recipe for making these in the oven.

Barbecued Pork Ribs
Slab of pork spareribs or baby back ribs
Dijon mustard (I just used as much as I needed to coat the ribs)
1-2 tsp liquid smoke
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
Vegetable oil
BBQ sauce (optional)

In a small bowl, mix Dijon mustard and liquid smoke.  In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, pepper, garlic powder, and salt.  Set aside.

Remove membrane from the bone side of ribs.

Use a durable butter knife to separate the membrane from the ribs.

Brush mustard mixture onto both sides of the ribs.  Rub the brown sugar mixture over the entire surface of the ribs.

Preheat grill on low.  You want to maintain a temperature between 225 and 250 degrees.  Place ribs, bone side up, on grill, but not over the flame.

Allow the ribs to barbecue for an hour to an hour and a half, then baste with a little vegetable oil and flip.  Baste them with oil every 45 minutes or so until they are done.  You'll know they're done when the meat has shrunk back from the ends of the bones about 1/4 inch.  Once they're done, put barbecue sauce on (if desired) and cook on high until sauce caramelizes, being careful not to burn it. 

The meat has shrunken back from the ends of the bones.

Remove from heat and allow them to rest in foil for 10-15 minutes before cutting.  Enjoy and don't be afraid to get messy!
The ribs on the left have sauce; the ones on the right don't.

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