Yesterday, we had a big family barbecue, with 11 of us, and brother Tim was in charge of the barbecued ribs. Today, I am sharing his procedure, flavor and barbecue style for baby back ribs.
Step 1 — Remove membranes from the ribs.
First, remove the membrane from the bone side of the ribs. You can insert a knife under the membrane to loosen it and get it started and then pull it off with your hands.
Step 2 — Rub in your barbecue rub.
Massage some dry barbecue rub into your ribs. Tim used a pre-packaged St. Louis style rub. Depending on your taste preferences, there are many options for rubs. You can find rub mixes in the grocery store or mix your own from a recipe. An online search for St. Louis style rub brought up several different formulas, so I wasn’t sure which one to link.
Step 3 — Soak your hickory chips.
Hickory chips add a nice smoky flavor to your ribs. If you want to use these, you will want to presoak them in a pan of water for maybe 15 minutes or so.
Step 4 — Heat your charcoal and prepare your grill.
Tim used a Weber grill and a variety of other Weber products. First, he filled a Weber chimney with charcoal.
Then, he lit a Weber lighter cube, made of wax, and set the chimney over it.
When the charcoal was hot and smoking, he poured them out onto the grill. He tells me that, at this stage, often flames and sparks shoot up. This time, it wasn’t quite this dramatic.
Using tongs, he then moved the hot charcoal to one side to make room for a foil pan to catch the drippings from the ribs. He also added the hickory chips in with the hot charcoal.
Then, he added the top grill grate over top, sprayed it with Weber grill spray and rested a rib rack on the grate over the foil pan.
Then, he arranged the ribs in the rib rack.
Step 5 — Grill your ribs.
At this stage, you can close the vents and maintain a grill temperature of 275 degrees. Cook the ribs for four hours. You will want a meat temperature of 195 degrees and can use a meat thermometer to monitor it.
Step 6 — Brush on your barbecue sauce.
The final step is to brush on the barbecue sauce. Tim used Sweet Baby Ray’s which is a highly rated and popular sauce. Of course, there are many different taste preferences, and you can add the sauce of your choice.
Many instructions will say to add sauce when you have 10 minutes left of cooking time, but Tim added his right before serving to prevent some mess and keep the ribs from sticking to the grill.
The results were delicious. The spice mixture had some zing, and the barbecue sauce was on the sweet side, so it made for a nice blend of flavors.