The ever intimidating barbecue. I have wagered a few bets and said a few prayers while trying to work my magic on the grill. I have a tendency to over cook meat and it has taken me years to master grilling a perfectly rare steak but my burgers consistently resemble hockey pucks. There was also an isolated incident where my BBQ may have ended up on fire while cooking ribs. I suppose Oscar Wilde would call me “experienced” in the barbecue sense.
With summer rolling to a soft end, the nights are a little cooler, the humidity is breaking and it is officially my favourite part of summer. Those two weeks where August and September kiss leaving us with the warmest ocean waters, cricket serenades well into the evening and some of the very best sunsets. Traditional BBQ fare is also on sale, or at least the prices come down significantly compared to the high points of summer. That is why I bought a rack of back ribs AND a rack of side ribs last week. I was inspired and apparently I had some extra confidence while strolling through the supermarket.
When I got home I bunkered down and did some research. I was not going to set my bbq on fire again and I wanted them to be fall-off-the-bone, finger-licking-good. Like I said, my bbq confidence was high. What I learned about ribs is that it is better to cook them (par boil or low heat) prior to placing them on the grill. They will be much more tender. I also learned that a dry rub seems to be what most people recommend and it is a traditional southern style of cooking ribs. Deb from Smitten Kitchen swears by it and if it is good enough for Deb, it is good enough for me!
In the end I wound up combining a few recipes based upon what I had in my pantry. They were cooked on low, blanketed in a dry rub, wrapped in foil and then finished on the BBQ with a mop made of my favourite barbecue sauce and the drippings from the foil. I would be doing you all a disservice if I didn’t tell you that these were hands down, the very best ribs I have ever had. They were so good I forgot to take pictures. They were in fact so delicious, that I took some across the fence to my neighbour who promptly took a bite and asked for the recipe. The next time I see a rack of ribs on sale I won’t hesitate and I will no longer have flash backs of my BBQ on fire.
Happy grilling all!
The Best *EVER* BBQ Ribs
-When I made this recipe I used both a rack of side ribs and a rack of back ribs. Both were equally delicious so no need to stand in the meat fridges having a moral grapple over which to buy. Buy whatever is cheaper!
-I used two racks of ribs, which were probably 2.5 pounds each. There was enough dry rub to do four of said sized racks. I had lots left over and I ended up using it on my sweet potatoes prior to roasting them(which was a brilliant and delicious idea!).
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees and lay each rack on a hefty piece of tinfoil (enough package ribs in a double layer). Let them come to room temp if you have time, if not well that is ok too!
In a bowl combine the following…
- 2 Tbs garlic powder
- 2 Tbs onion powder
- 2 Tbs chili powder
- 2 Tbs smoked paprika
- 2 Tbs cumin
- 2 Tbs of brown sugar
- 1 Tbs black pepper
- 1 Tbs sea salt
- 1 Tbs dry mustard
- 1 Tbs cayenne (optional*)
Once combined, pat a good, fairly thick layer of the dry rub on BOTH sides of the ribs (I am not talking about a sprinkle!) and wrap the ribs in tinfoil. Place in pre-heated oven and cook for 2 hrs. Once two hours is up, drain juices out of tinfoil and combine with 1 cup of your fav BBQ sauce (this will make the most delicious mop for your ribs!). Finish on the BBQ not on too high of heat as you will risk burning them. Mop and turn several times with the sauce until they are done. Serve them to someone you want to impress and enjoy!