Today I’m happy to introduce you to my husband and guest poster, Steve. Steve has become the master in our house at making BBQ ribs, so I thought it would be great if he would write a post and share his recipe. As you can see, he agreed and he even went outside to grill them in 15 degree weather. Now that’s dedication to ribs!
Hello, everyone. Today’s blog is brought to you by Mr. LisasDinnerTimeDish (Steve). I’m guest-blogging because we’re making BBQ ribs for dinner – and my ribs are one of the few food things where Lisa doesn’t get to play.
As Lisa’s culinary skills have increased over the years, I believe mine have regressed at roughly the same rate. Sure, I still get my shots over the charcoal grill and I can roast a mean marshmallow, but for the most part, I stay out of the way in the kitchen (have you seen the size of the knife she uses?!). What I’ve really gotten good at is opening a bottle of wine and sliding a glass to her while I watch from the other side of the island.
However, with the ribs, I get to be master of my own domain. They’re really easy to make, they taste great and the kids love it when I make them. And since I really can’t screw them up, I think Lisa lets me get away with protecting my turf.
My approach to ribs is based on how my mother has done them in the past. All you need is a few spices, an onion, your favorite BBQ sauce and PATIENCE! Give yourself a good four hours and let the low, slow heat take care of everything. You really don’t need to babysit these ribs. Frankly, your biggest issue is not falling asleep after having a couple of cocktails while you’re “cooking”.
So, I’ll be back blogging when Lisa has her Roasted Marshmallow Series and I can once again impart some of my vast culinary knowledge.
Way-Too-Easy Babyback Ribs
- One big slab of babyback ribs. (I don’t know, get a lot – they’re good. I used 6 lbs)
- One red onion (baseball size or better, we don’t get stingy with the onion)
- Chili Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Celery Salt
- A bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. I happen to like Famous Dave’s Rich & Sassy. I’ve tried making my own and haven’t yet perfected anything that tastes better. When I do, I will ask permission for blog time.
Start by taking the ribs out of the package and dry them off with paper towels. This makes them easier to handle and I think the spices adhere better. If they are big ribs, I cut each of them in half so I can manage them better. I usually end up with 7-8 ribs in each rack. Some people cut the ribs down even further, but I think they tend to dry out if the pieces get too small. Plus, who wants to manage 50 pieces of meat on a grill (remember, it’s 15 degrees outside tonight. I’m not spending any more time out there than I have to). One last thing I do is score the back side of the ribs. I like to think that the spices and BBQ sauce have a better chance of getting into the meat as well as help keep the ribs flatter as they cook.
Time to spice up the ribs! There is really nothing scientific here so use whatever combos you happen to like. I don’t usually go too heavy on the spices as your BBQ sauces are often pretty complex already. For me, I like garlic powder, some chili powder to get a little heat, celery salt as well as some ordinary black pepper and sea salt. I put on as much as I would if I were just grilling the ribs. If you like a lot of garlic or heat, knock yourself out and go crazy. Basically, you are spicing these up to make a good, tasty base for when you start saucing them up later.
Grab yourself a cookie sheet and line with tin foil. You can usually get three racks per cookie sheet. Put them meaty side up. At this point, I cut up the onion into pinky-size chunks (try to keep the actual pinky out of the recipe). I put several pieces of onion on each rib. There is just something about having the onion cook down into the meat that I really like.
Cover with tin foil and put into a pre-heated 325-degree oven. Cook for 2.5 hours without peeking. Let the heat and steam soften up and tenderize the ribs. When your 2.5 hours are up, take the ribs out and uncover. At this point, I scrape off the onions and give the ribs a good basting with my BBQ sauce. Then put them back into the oven at 325-degree (uncovered) for another 30 minutes. This starts getting the BBQ sauce to adhere to the ribs and preps them for the grill.
While the ribs are in the oven (uncovered) for the last 30 minutes, start heating up your grill. Gas or charcoal – knock yourself out. I like them both. I tend to use charcoal when I’m not in much of a hurry. I use gas if I’m in a bit of a time crunch or it’s too cold to light a match (like tonight….). Either way, you want one-half of your grill nice and hot (direct heat) and the other half your staging area for the ribs (indirect heat). Somewhere around 425-450 degrees works well. When the ribs come out of the oven, we are ready for the grill! I put them meat-side down on the direct heat side to get a good sear. I also take the opportunity to baste the underside of the ribs (I’m an equal sides sauce guy). After 2-3 minutes, turn over the ribs and sear the bottom side for another 2-3 minutes.
Move the ribs to the indirect heat side of the grill with meat side up. I baste them again and let them cook on the indirect heat for another 30-40 minutes. Basically, they are done when the BBQ sauce has cooked into the ribs.
Take them off the grill, cut down into half-racks or go crazy with full racks. Serve them up with your favorite BBQ sides. Tonight we went with baked potato and corn bread. These will fall right off the bone and you will eat too much. Just go with the flow.
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