Cooking 101: Ribs!
Looking for something to wow your guests? You could work with our catering department, but pulling off a flavor-filled and irresistibly juicy rack of ribs is another sure-fire way to do it!
While cooking up ribs is easier said than done, we’re going to touch all the bases when it comes to making the Perfect Ribs.
Beef VS Pork
Before we can get to the process of preparing and cooking your ribs, you’re going to need to go out and get them! Before getting out there, you need to ask yourself a couple questions: pork or beef? Spare or St. Louis style? An all-day process or ready in a couple hours?
We lay it all out below to make your decision a little easier!
This is where our on-site butchers and fellow rib-lovers come in handy! As long as you know how many mouths you intend to feed, a chat with your butcher will reveal how many pounds of ribs you need. One rule of thumb to go by is 3-4 ribs per person. You will usually find a rack of ribs to have 13-14 ribs. You can tell your ribs have a good amount of meat if it is about an inch or so thick. Always look for visible and marbled fat throughout and –remember: more fat = more flavor!
For any rack of ribs you get you must make sure the thin membrane is removed before cooking. If not you will have tough and chewy ribs!
If your butcher has not already removed this membrane, this how-to video is a rib-saver!
Treat your rack of ribs as you would a brisket. A spice rub of salt, pepper, garlic and other savory / smoky seasonings will do you good.
Let the seasoning seep into your ribs overnight. Rub your dry spice mix over both sides of your racks evenly and completely. (Do not forget the sides!) Wrap your spiced ribs in foil and refrigerate.
Not sure what rub to go with? Try this spice combo and let us know how it goes!
- 3 Tablespoons salt
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Rubs VS Sauce
We know you may be thinking “but where’s the sauce?”. We love saucy ribs too, but that comes later! Rib sauces commonly have sweet tones in them. Putting them on before cooking will burn the sugars and result in a burnt flavor, not what we’re going for at all!
Now that your spice rub has set into your meat and all is ready to go there are a few ways to cook your ribs.
In The Oven
Preheat your oven to 250º F and choose a large pan that can comfortably hold all ribs in a single layer. Wrap each rack of ribs tightly in foil and place on pan. Bake on middle oven rack for 2 hours if baby back ribs, 3 hours for spare ribs, 3-4 hours for beef ribs (or until fork tender).
Open the foil and drain any liquid. Brush on your favorite barbecue sauce and broil for 5 minutes before removing from oven. When you do remove your ribs let them rest 5-10 minutes before cutting.
On The Grill
104 degrees out and I’ve been smoking these racks of ribs for a little over 3 hours now and keeping cool in the kiddie pool! Man they smell amazing! 😅🔥🔥🔥🍖🍖👌🏼 #grilling #grillingribs #traeger #traegergrills #smokingribs #lovemesomebbq #girlswhogrill #womenwhogrill #bbq #bbqlife #bbqenthusiast #countrylife #lakelife #countrygirl #homemaderub
When grilling your ribs you will need indirect heat to avoid drying them out or overcooking. The way you to do this on a conventional gas grill is to only have one burner heating your grill with your ribs near the ignited burner, but not over it.
It is important that your grill maintains a steady heat of 300º F during the cooking process.
Place your rack of ribs bone-side down on your grill, close the lid and allow to cook for 30 minutes. (No peeking!)
Once time is up, check your ribs. They should be browned on all sides. If they appear raw on the surface anywhere, continue grilling another 10-15 minutes. If they are browned, wrap your ribs tightly in foil…but before you close it up, pour in 2 tablespoons of water or apple juice. The liquid will create a steam in the packet for more tender ribs.
Cook your foiled ribs for another 30 minutes. Once this time is up, it is time to turn down the heat and unwrap the ribs. Lower the grill temperature to 250º F. Return the unwrapped ribs to your grill to finish cooking. This is where you can begin saucing.
The best method to saucing your ribs is to sauce one side, cook 5 minutes. Then flip, sauce, and repeat for another 5 minutes. Do this for 30 minutes for a nice heavy coating of sauce.
How To Tell Your Ribs Are Done
Take it from these pros!
Looking for a smoky flavor?
This is only achievable on a grill using wood chips. To make your “smoke bomb”, place a ½ cup of damp wood chips on a piece of foil. Wrap the chips so that one side has a single layer of foil. Poke holes in this area to let the smoke out. Additionally (or for a large amount of ribs) you can put the wood chips in a disposable aluminum pan with holes in the cover as well.
You could also invest in one of these!
Your smoke bomb goes under the cooking grate as close as possible to your single burner. While preheating your grill you will need to first get it hot enough to begin the combustion process of the wood. Once you see smoke coming out of your smoke bomb, turn down the heat to the temperature you need for your ribs.
There are many different types of flavored wood chips for barbecuing. For ribs we suggest a hickory, oak, mesquite or for a sweeter smokiness woods like cherry, apple, maple or pecan are great.
If you do end up wowing the crowd at your next barbecue with all you learned, just don’t forget to tag us in any photos with #BestMarket – we’d love to see!
August 9, 2017