Championship Baby Back Ribs
I’ve written about outdoor cooking for more than a decade with thousands of columns and articles, hundreds of hours of video, TV and radio and 3 successful cookbooks – and have decided most backyard cooks use their grills to prepare food in 3 primary categories.
- Burgers, Brats and Hot Dogs
- Chicken (parts and sometimes whole on a beer can)
- Steaks & Chops (beef, pork, lamb)
And based upon the number of emails and questions I’m asked at cooking demonstrations — just about every backyard cooks wants to learn how to make “ribs” on their grill. The most popular ribs are pork – either baby-back ribs (usually these are not from an actual baby hog but cut smaller from the loin ribs – thass OK) and spare ribs. Here’s as good an explanation of the difference of these two cuts of pork ribs:
Baby Back Ribs: These “loin” ribs is smaller and less meaty and that makes them easier to cook on a backyard grill that isn’t a “professional smoker.” There are usually 11-13 ribs in a rack that from the back bone. If you’ve every purchased a loin roast with ribs, that’s the same thing.
Spare Ribs: These are larger ribs (approximately 10-13) connected to the loin bones to the belly or breast bone area. I s’pose you could call them “Belly Ribs” as the opposite of “Back Ribs.” Depending upon the place where you purchase these ribs they may come in a cryovac sleeve and contain part of the sternum (breast bone) and a strip of cartilage and meat (aka rib tips). It’s best to trim these sections off prior to cooking because they cook at a different rate than the spare ribs.
There are many styles, theories and cooking myths about how and why and what you need to do to prepare the perfect ribs. Let’s just say I enjoy simple basic preparations when it comes to cooking. Buy good ingredients and don’t mess up. Once you’ve mastered the basics you may wish to pursue other methods, techniques and ambitions. To that I say “May the Pork be With YOU!”
My rib preference for backyard cooking is the Baby Back, sometimes labeled Loin Back and my reasoning is simple – they are easier to prepare and cook on my backyard cookers. I’ve prepared this recipe on a gas grill set up for indirect cooking and using a smoke-bomb to add smoke flavor. And I’ve prepared these on a basic off-set smoker too. Recently I’ve returned to using charcoal as my fuel of choice – I use hardwood lump charcoal, not the popular petroleum-based briquettes – and love the heat and flavor the wood charcoal adds to the meat. My preferred cooker these days is a Hot Box Grill 360+ and I’ve become associated with the product because I believe it is a great all-around cooker that most backyard cooks will find delivers the kind of food they want in all 3 basic categories (see above) and especially smoking meat like pork, beef, chicken and … ribs.
Time is an essential element of barbecue that is too often disregarded by the average backyard cook. Taking time to prepare the meat by removing the membrane and trimming away excess fat or cartilage is not something to ignore. Rubbing the meat with spices before wrapping and resting in the cooler or fridge so the chemical reaction between the natural sugars, proteins and enzymes in the meat and the compounds in the spices can interact and work their magic takes time…rushing this process will produce less-than-satisfactory results. And gee-whiz – everything is so rush rush rush these days, one of the reasons we enjoy outdoor cooking like this is to slow down and get away from the hectic lives of computers, phones and even TV.
When you’re finished cooking ribs they will kinda look more-or-less like these in the photo below. Don’t worry if they aren’t exactly like the photo – what matters is the taste and you can fiddle with the ingredients and the smoking and cooking times to get the taste you want. I hope you enjoy the process. ~ Barry CB Martin
- 3 racks of baby back or loin back ribs - about 4-6 pounds
- 1 cup of CB's Rib Rub
- 1 part garlic powder or granulated garlic (not salt)
- 1 part ground ginger
- 1 part smoked paprika
- 1 part kosher salt
- 1 cup of El Diablo Steakhouse Mustard
- 1 cup of CB's Finishing Sauce
- 1 cup tomato ketchup (try to get one without corn syrup if possible)
- ½ cup red wine - merlot and syrah are perfect
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Prep the ribs by removing the membrane from the back of the ribs.
- Place rib racks one-at-a-time in large sheet pan or food safe tub and apply rub all over, working it in with your hands. It's a good idea to wear food safe gloves when doing this.
- Wrap individual rib racks in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator over night or at least 8 hours.
- Combine ingredients in jar and shake vigorously to combine
- Remove plastic wrap and slather or brush on El Diablo Steakhouse Mustard to give a light coating of all meat surfaces, doesn't have to be thick.
- Place ribs in smoker or barbecue set for indirect cooking and holding at about 350°F - 375°F. If necessary rotate position of ribs about every 45 minutes - mopping with finishing sauce each time - cook for about 2 hours.
- Wrap each rack of ribs with foil after mopping with finishing sauce and cook an additional 45 minutes or until the meat begins to pull back from the ends of the bones about ½ inch or so and the bones feel loose when using the "wiggle test."
- Remove racks as they each are ready, unwrap and rest for about 15 minutes before slicing off sections of ribs in "2 rib" pieces.
2. Some folks enjoy a bit of a crust on the rib and toss them on the grill to roast over direct heat for just a few minutes
You could win one of two excellent prize packages in the #GetGrilling Giveaway for National BBQ Month!
GetGrilling Giveaway for National BBQ Month
GetGrilling Giveaway for National BBQ Month
I’ve joined 9 fellow food bloggers across the country to celebrate May is National Barbecue Month and each of us has developed a delicious recipe inspired by the versatile flavors of El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustard. And guess what else?? There are two prize packages to be awarded!
Have fun checking out all the recipes from my fellow food bloggers and good luck…who knows YOU could be the winner of one of the 2 prize packages!
- Welcome to the Cookout! – Championship Baby Back Ribs
- Souffle Bombay – Bacon Wrapped BBQ Shrimp with a Chipotle Mustard Glaze
- All Day I Dream About Food - Cocoa-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle Mustard Sauce
- Little Kitchie – Grilled Spicy Mustard BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Girl Carnivore – Spicy Mustard Brats with Sauerkraut
- Musings of a Housewife – Sweet & Spicy Baked Beans with Ham
- Sugar Dish Me – Hot Honey Mustard Wings
- The Vintage Mom – Spicy Mustard Mayo Chicken Kabobs
- The Suburban Soapbox - Grilled Beef Tenderloin Sandwich with Spicy Steakhouse Aioli
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- The Backyard Grill 4-Burner Gas Grill features an attractive stainless steel lid and a cast iron cooking surface with a 28-burger capacity. This outdoor gas grill also boasts a large warming rack, a convenient stainless steel tube handle, a built-in bottle opener and a handy temperature gauge. Two plastic wheels help to make positioning quick and easy. This full-size grill is a must-have for anyone who takes their outdoor cooking seriously.
- The 3-Piece Ergo Handle Tool Set includes a long-handled spatula, fork and tongs. The set is made with high-quality stainless steel construction and patented, arched handles for maximum comfort and control.
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Prize package #2 includes:
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