There is nothing better on a lazy, hot summer day than to fire up the grill and be complimented for the best tasting ribs around. There are some who are convinced that only a charcoal grill is the way to go for good ribs, however, gas grills are just as effective and sometimes more simple to use. No matter what type of grill is used, these steps will produce ribs that will be so tender that they hardly have to be chewed.
First, pick a good cut of meat. Lean cuts of meat are not the best option. Look for ribs that have fat, either on the outsides or running through the meat. Ribs with the bone still in the meat are a good way to ensure that some fat will be in the cut. Beef or pork are both good options for ribs, however, pork typically produces the best flavor.
After choosing the meat, the next purchase is the sauce. There are so many different types of barbeque sauces on the market today that it relatively easy to find one that has really good flavor. Beef ribs are satisfying with a tangy or spicy sauce. Pork ribs are terrific with a sweet sauce. It is all personal preference and even exploring making a sauce is an option.
Preparation before grilling is the key to success. Once the meat and sauce are present, do not just throw it on the grill and slather on the sauce. Such an action could result in tough and tasteless ribs. Instead, it is preferable to marinate. Use a shallow pan or a gallon sized sealable bag, place the ribs and sauce in together. If a slab of ribs was purchased, the most optimal way to marinate and cook the ribs is to cut them into strips, usually along the bone. The longer the meat can marinate, the better the taste and tenderness. If preparing ahead, overnight is perfect, but as little as two hours will suffice.
Once the meat is marinated, it is time to fire up the grill. One thing many novice cooks forget to do is close the lid to the grill. This step is crucial for success in grilling savory dishes. The smoke from the charcoal, fat, and sauce will seal itself in the meat and provide a mouth-drooling flavor. Another novice mistake is to forget to preheat the surface of the grill before laying the food on it. This step will help prevent foods from sticking to the surface and becoming difficult to turn or remove once it is cooked.
If charcoal is used, layer the briquettes and use a small amount of lighter fluid to start the charcoal. Optimally, the briquettes should be evenly distributed and burning at about the same temperature to ensure that the ribs are uniformly cooked. Once the briquettes are ready and the grill surface is hot, lay the ribs about two inches apart from each other. Remember to close the lid. If using a gas grill, cook on low to prevent scorching the sauce and leaving a burnt taste to the ribs. To seal in the juices from the meat, after about eight minutes, open the lid and use tongs to gently turn over each rib, remembering to leave about two inches between each piece.
Depending upon the temperature of the grill and the thickness of the ribs, it may be necessary to cook longer than sixteen minutes. The best way to determine if the ribs are cooked is to use a sharp knife and cut into one of the pieces to check.
It takes preparation to be successful in any cooking endeavor and using a grill is no exception.