Monday, April 22, 2013

Back Ribs, Hold the Baby

Being from Texas, I believe I am a rib connoisseur.  No, I haven't judged any rib cookoffs, but I sure have eaten plenty of ribs in my lifetime.  Sure, I know that Texas is known for brisket and beef, but, trust me, we eat plenty of ribs here too.  My husband has grilled ribs for us plenty of times.  But, as the kids and I have always told him how good they were, he has always said he didn't like them...until now.  He spent the day doing research on cooking methods, brining vs. not brining, rub recipes, indirect heat vs. direct heat.  And he did his research well.  If I am sure about one thing, I am sure of this.  These were the BEST DARN RIBS I have ever eaten in my life.  Seriously, the best.  They were fall-off-the bone tender.  They were moist and juicy.  With my Chipotle Barbecue Sauce, they were spicy enough to make your lips swell!  I ate six of them, which I have never eaten more than two ribs at a time.  And my daughter, who is quickly on her way to becoming a vegetarian, ate a heaping pile of ribs as well.

Now, the ribs I bought were labeled "Back Ribs."  Apparently, they're still considered "baby back."  However, if you know baby back ribs, you're expecting flavorful, yet small amounts of meat.  I implore you to try to find "back ribs" if you can.  They were a wonderful balance between the scarce meat of a baby back and the abundance of meat on a spare rib or a country-style rib.  The perfect amount of meat along with my husband's barbecuology made this an amazing treat.

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back...ribs.  Don't you?

2 1/2 C brown sugar
2 T mustard powder
1 T paprika
2 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 T salt
1 T black pepper
Squeeze bottle of butter
Peanut oil

A spray bottle filled with apple cider vinegar
A disposable 9 x 13 aluminum tin
Hickory wood chips, soaked in water for 20 minutes
1 recipe of my Chipotle BBQ sauce, warmed (under the Sauces/Relishes tab)
3 pork back rack of ribs

Remove the membrane from the bone side of the ribs.  Lightly brush the peanut oil over all surfaces.  Mix the rub ingredients together and spread generous amounts (waste not, want not) evenly over all surfaces of the ribs.  Let the ribs sit at room temperature covered for at least an hour.

To prep the grill, fill the 9 x 13 pan with water.  Place it in the center of the bottom of the grill.  Spread charcoal around the pan of water.  Wrap the soaked wood chips in two pieces of foil and pierce the foil.  Place foil packages of wood chips on top of the coals.  Light the charcoal.  When the coals are gray, put the ribs in a rib rack or directly on the grill grate in the center over the water.  Set a timer for 15 minutes.  When the timer goes off, spray the ribs with the apple cider vinegar.  Repeat this spraying process for about 2 1/2 hours.  (Time consuming, yes, but it breaks down the meat and makes it super tender.)  At about one hour, add more charcoal to keep the temperature steady.

After 2 1/2 hours, remove the ribs from the grate and place them on top of a large piece of heavy-duty foil.  Generously squeeze the squeeze butter over all surfaces of the ribs.  Remove the water tin from the coals.  Spread the coals around evenly to cover the bottom of the grill.  Wrap the ribs tightly in the foil, return to the grill, and grill an additional 30 minutes on direct heat, rotating every 10 minutes.  Remove from the grill and let rest at least 10 minutes in the foil.  Brush on the BBQ sauce as desired and enjoy.

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