Friday, April 20, 2012

Baby Back Ribs

With nice weather here and grilling season upon us, I thought I would talk about grilling baby back ribs today.  I’ll share a couple of sauces and rubs and 3 different ways to cook them. 

The best rib I ever had and still go back for them is at Jim’s Rib Haven in Rock Island, Illinois.  Sure wish I could make ribs like his.  I’m no grill master, but I still like to fix them.  What is your favorite sauce recipe or rub?

Simple Barbeque Sauce - Base for  adding your own seasoning

4 tablespoons mashed and minced garlic
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cups ketchup
2 cups honey
Salt and pepper

Mash garlic with the side of a knife and then mince finely.  Add olive oil to a preheated sauté pan. Add the garlic and sauté until it gets light brown, about 1 minute. Add cider vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, and honey and stir well. Add a pinch of grey salt, then whisk in the coffee. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.

Let cool and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Sweet and Spicy Barbeque Sauce

1 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (if too sweet for you, leave out)

In a medium bowl, stir together the honey, molasses, ketchup, cinnamon, paprika, ginger, seasoned salt,  ground black pepper, salt, garlic,  Worcestershire sauce, and mustard until well blended.

Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Kansas City Style

2 cups ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, wine vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke and butter. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes. For thicker sauce, simmer longer.  Brush sauce onto any kind of meat during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Baby Back Ribs

Pull off the thin membrane on the backside of the ribs, using your finger nails to grab an edge of it. Use a paper towel to help you grip it because it is slippery.


Rub your chosen dry rub all over the ribs on both sides in a thick layer.  I use a very simple rub of equal amounts of  salt,  pepper,  paprika, onion powder. 

Hot and Sweet Rub

Dry rub can contain any dry spices you like, but for a sweet and savory rub, try combining 1 tbsp. paprika, 1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar, 1 1/4 tsp. salt, 3/4 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper.

Cover the ribs in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for no less than 2 hours, but leaving it overnight will result in more flavorful ribs. Allow the ribs to come to room temperature 2 hours before you are ready to grill them.

Grilling Method

Prepare your grill for indirect heating by placing the charcoal on one side of the grill and lighting them until they turn ashen and grey. Place the soaked wood chips on a sheet of foil punctured with several holes and place on top of the hot charcoal. Place a drip pan with 1 inch of water on the other side of the grill where the ribs will be. If you are using a gas grill, simply turn one side of the burners to high heat and leave the other side off.

Place the ribs on the grill on the side that doesn't have the coals or that is not turned on and cover.

Allow the ribs to cook for about 1 hour, turning once or twice using tongs.

Baste the ribs with barbecue sauce if you like. Some people enjoy their ribs dry, so baste with barbecue sauce only if desired.

Cook the ribs for another 1/2 hour to 1 hour, until the meat is very tender to the touch. If no barbecue sauce was added, the ribs should be slightly crispy on the surface.

Remove the ribs and add more barbecue sauce, if you like, before serving

Oven Method

Low and slow is the secret.  Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Cut the rubbed ribs into three bone pieces.

Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce and place them bone side down in shallow roaster or cover with aluminum foil. Add a little water (or beer) just to cover the bottom of the roaster. Cover and roast for a minimum of 2 hours and 15 minutes. 

Remove the cover and brush more sauce onto the top of the ribs. Cook for an additional 45 minutes or until the meat is fork tender. For the last 45 minutes, brush additional sauce on two or three more times. Leaving the cover off will allow the sauce to stick to the ribs.

Allow the barbecue pork ribs to rest for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.

Crock Pot Method

Clean rib and pat them dry. Turn oven on to broil. Place ribs on a cookie sheet and add rub. Cut ribs into serving size portions. Broil ribs until brown about 10 to 15 minutes.  This allows them to brown.

Place browned ribs crook pot.  Pour your favorite barbecue sauce over ribs.

Cook on high for six to eight hours or medium eight to 10 hours.  They are really nice to come home to!  Crock pots are one of working mothers best friends.

Be happy and may God bless your and yours.  

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