When you talk about ribs and what the proper way to cook them is, you can get into some heated conversations with your poolside guests. Do you like dry rub? Wet? Spicy? Smoked? Vinegar-based? Slow-baked in the oven with coca cola then grilled? Ketchup-based? Mustard based? The options are seemingly endless, but one thing is for sure — ribs, no matter how you cook them or sauce them are delicious!
Ribs, we have found, though require a skilled hand at the helm. We think that anyone can become a grill master, but you need to master the art of the rub as well as the art of the rib! The one thing everyone can seem to agree on is that ribs need to be fall off the bone tender and if they have a carmelized exterior and a smoke ring, even better!
Grill Up Some Ribs This Summer
We gathered information on the steps you should take to become a grill rib master. Ready to wow your guests at your next pool party or gathering? Let’s get started on terminology:
The first step to a delicious rib is to tenderize it
Some grill masters swear by falling off the bone ribs and others think there should be a bit of “tug” before you get to the meat. Either way, the tenderizing phase is crucial to delicious ribs that your guests will rave about.
To get started:
- Remove the thin membrane from the back of the ribs by slicing into the membrane with a sharp knife and then simply pulling it off the rib meat.
- To tenderize, combine kosher salt with black and red pepper and set aside. The salt will tenderize and flavor the ribs.
- Add flavor by rubbing the ribs with the cut sides of a lime, squeeze the juice into it as you rub. The citrus will impart a delicious flavor to the food.
- Massage the salt and pepper mixture into the ribs
- Cover all sides of the meat.
Wrap the ribs with plastic wrap and chill for up to eight hours. Trust us. You don’t want to take a shortcut here, your patience will be rewarded!
Another way to tenderize the ribs after you’ve removed the membrane is to cook them low and slow in the oven covered in ginger ale, root beer or cola. The soda tenderizes the meat but you won’t even taste the soda flavor once the grilling is done.
After they’ve marinated
Let the meat marinate for about eight hours — trust us, the wait will be worth it. After the marination process, the meat will be infused with the flavors and will be ready for the grill. Believe us, we know that’s what you’ve been waiting for and dreaming of!
- Light the grill
- Let it heat it up to 350 and 400 degrees.
While you’re waiting for the grill to heat up, let the ribs stand at room temperature.
Stack the ribs onto the unlit side of the grill. Leave them stacked, on the unlit side of the grill for up to 40 minutes on indirect heat.
After 40 minutes, rotate the ribs, move the top rack of ribs to the bottom and leave again under the indirect heat.
Trust us, it will be worth it!
Add the heat
- Seperate the slabs
- Baste them with your favorite bbq sauce or dry rub
- Lower the grill temperature to 300 degrees – medium heat.
- Place the racks of ribs side by side on the heated grill with the grill lid closed.
- Baste them occasionally
- Grill for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let them rest for ten minutes.
Grab your napkins and dig into the ribs you’ve waited so long to savor!
Our favorite homemade BBQ sauce
Gather your ingredients (yes, this is a vinegar based wet rub)
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp celery seed
1/2 tsp red pepper sauce
1/2 tbsp liquid smoke, if desired
Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Apply to ribs when they’re on the grill.
Side dish ideas
Serve your barbecued ribs with a side dish of: grilled dill potatoes, corn on the cob, macaroni salad, tossed salad or your favorite cornbread.
Griled dill potatoes
- Take salt potatoes or larger potatoes and cut into quarters
- Boil for five minutes
- Place on piece of foil
- Cover with olive oil
- Sprinkle on salt and pepper
- Toss in dill sprigs
- Wrap up the potatoes in foil
- Place on the grill on indirect heat until cooked through
- You can finish the potatoes off on the heated side to give them grill marks.
- Serve with sour cream or melted butter
Grilled fruit is a delicious and nutritious way to end the meal
- Grab peaches, pineapple slices, pears and even watermelon or honeydew melon
- Slice peaches, rmove the pit. Slice pears and remove seeds. Slice melons — leave rind on.
- Brush with olive oil
- Grill on indirect heat until soft
- Serve along or with vanilla ice cream or whip up some homemade whipped cream
We’ll bet your guests will be raving about your rib dinner and who knows it may lead to a “grill cook off” — a friendly rivalry between grill masters!