This title was voted most likely to succeed but there was the alternative THIS LITTLE PIGGY NEVER CAME BACK FROM THE MARKET. Both are true in my opinion, but I promise I will digress no further. Now when it comes to grilling there are a million opinions on how to do it. Some will argue that you have to use charcoal and gas grills don’t have the same flavor, some will argue that there is no difference and charcoal is so slow and laborious. Then you have the folks with grills the size of a small sedan and use only wood chunks. There are smokers, jokers and even some midnight tokers I suspect, but at the end of the day I believe it doesn’t matter how you get there as long as the end product is delicious!
I have my preferences and my dreams for an ideal grilling and smoking setup, but for now I am happy enough with the ways I have found to share my joy of cooking. I can hold my own in a kitchen these days after much training from my wife, however when I am in front of the grill I am in my domain. I love it so much that I volunteer to cook whenever possible to be with my love and my wife even joins me occasionally.
Today I’m talking about my take on one hour ribs. Cue the smokers out there crying out about sacrilege, don’t worry y’all I smoke ribs as well, but when my little princess looks up at me with those big blue eyes and asks, “Daddy can we have your ribs tonight?” well, I fold like a cheap chair. Now to my grammar police out there, yes I know punctuation saves lives and I may have just opened myself up for slow and painful death, but here’s the truth…I don’t care! Those administrative notes aside I will give you the best way do prepare these and then the down and dirty way and it will be complete with pictures.
In a perfect world. My ladies will tell me they want them a day in advance so that I can go to the store, pick out two good racks, come home, put on the rub, let them sit in the refrigerator overnight and pull them out the next afternoon with enough time to come up to room temperature on their own before going on the grill. Keep in mind this is optimal, and children (especially young girl children I have found from my own experience) like to keep you on your toes with a request at 9:30 in the morning…cue internal sighing.
So, let’s talk about the down and dirty methodology that while not perfect will allow you to put out a well done product with a modicum of time. First, run out and get those suckers as quickly as possible, this allows you to maximize the time you do have. Second, have the rub made already, I will give you the basic ingredients but no proportions, mainly because…I have not recorded them down myself. I just put everything together until it looks and tastes right. Playing with the mix is half the fun after all. Third, slap the rub on them pouch them in tin foil and into the refrigerator.
You may ask, do I have to sacrifice bringing them up to room temperature to allow the rub to set longer? Answer, no. That is if you live in a place where the summers are hot enough to suck the water out of a pebble. If you are so fortunate then set them outside in the sun for approximately 10-20 minutes accounting for which flavor of Dear God! you live in. If you are not so blessed, set your oven to warm and give them about a 10-15 bump, this will let you get them less cold without starting the cooking.
Now my methodology involves a gas grill with an upper deck. Many gas grills have these, most charcoal do not, however since charcoal is a much trickier beast I will give the directions for a gas grill and charcoalers can figure out how they can improvise it. First step, put down tin foil over the direct grilling area.
Second, place the rack meat side down on the upper deck, turn on the outside burners to about mid heat, leaving the middle unlit and close the lid promising yourself to only open it on one of two conditions. One, an hour has passed and therefore they are done. Two, the temperature has jumped above 400, this likely means somehow a flare up is occurring and likely has lit the drippings on the tin foil and you are about to have charcoal ribs. If the second condition occurs, open the grill long enough to identify the culprit and solve by either replacing the foil or extinguishing the fire and adjusting the foil positioning to prevent a repeat and closing again as soon as possible.
Couple of tips that I use to monitor the progress. I want the temperature in the range of 250-300 degrees personally and if you see it climbing higher it means something is not working out quite like we hoped. Don’t obsessively stand over it, but check on it every ten minutes or so or if you see a lot of smoke coming from it. I like to read on the patio while I cook to pass the time, but not be so wrapped up in what I’m doing to lose all track of what my ribs are doing.
One of my personal tricks is to take them after the hour of indirect heat and put them on direct heat for five minutes before taking them off.
Last, remove from the grill, package in foil and let set for preferably an hour, in this case longer is better if you are able. My methodology for letting it set is to wrap the foil wrapped ribs in a towel and place it into an portable cooler. This will help it keep temperature and finish the last bit of cooking. From there, cut into portions and serve, preferably again with mashed potatoes and banana pudding, but that could be my personal bias speaking.
I hope you will be able to try this out in your backyard and enjoy an easy an affordable summertime treat!
Pork Ribs (some recipes tell you to cut the membrane from the back of each rack, I have done it both ways and don’t think it matters all that much personally)
Brown sugar (I use three regular dinner utensil spoons full per rack of ribs being cooked, this helps the rest stick to the ribs better and you don’t have to use bbq sauce)
Paprika (Provides that nice smoky flavor if you are not able to actually smoke them)
Ground Mustard (Use a bit more thank you think you need, it really gives some great character to the meat)
Chili Powder or Cayenne (depending on the amount of heat your guests can stand)
Then just to show you I’m not the dude that tries to pass myself off as perfect every time, I’ll include this blooper shot.