Ribs are great anytime and almost everybody loves tender, juicy, falling-off-the-bone barbecue ribs. Most people think the only place to get truly excellent ribs is a specialty restaurant. The reality is you can grill ribs at home to rival any restaurant. By using just a few tips, they can be as mouth-wateringly addictive as those prepared by any professional chef. Before long, your friends and family will be clamoring for more of your secret recipe barbecue ribs.
Grilling ribs so that the finished product is tender and juicy is an art. Preparation really matters here, so you may have to do a few trial and error experiments to get it just right. Whatever you do, however, never be tempted to boil ribs. Sure, they’ll be fall-off-the-bone tender, but they will also be lacking in flavor. Boiling ribs leeches the flavor from the meat, so save the hot water for washing your hands.
One key to great barbecue ribs is to keep two words in mind – low and slow. Barbecuing takes time to produce a really excellent dish. Keep the barbecue’s temperature to between 250 degrees and 350 degrees and allow plenty of time before you’d like to serve the ribs. This type of slow roasting guarantees tender, flavorful meat. Ribs are filled with collagen and slow roasting turns this collagen into a gelatin which lends even more flavor to the meat. This process may require between three and five hours, but the results are worth it.
Before putting ribs on the grill, trim off the silver skin. This membrane on the underside of the ribs cannot by chewed and no marinade or spice in the world can penetrate it. Start removing the silver skin using a knife, then grasp it between two fingers and pull it completely off.
Any spices or marinade you will be using to flavor the ribs should be applied to the meat the night before you will be barbecuing them. Be liberal when rubbing in the spices, then cover the meat and place it in the refrigerator overnight. When you pull them out the next day, the spices or marinade will have had enough time to penetrate the meat to make a really flavorful dish.
Prepare the grill before placing the ribs in it to cook. Use a wire brush to scrub the rack clean, which prevents the ribs from sticking to the rack during grilling. With a brush or paper towel, apply vegetable oil to the grate. Then turn the grill on to preheat.
The best ribs are prepared over indirect heat that provides a lot of smoke. Keep ribs well away from any flames to ensure that they cook slowly. The smoke will add additional flavor. Consider using a barbecue or grill that utilizes wood chips for a little extra flavor. Resist the temptation to open the grill too often. Opening the lid lets out a lot of heat and smoke and only prolongs the process.
Most cooks like to put a bit of barbecue sauce on their ribs, but it is important to save this step until the ribs are nearly done. You can test the doneness of ribs by attempting to lift them off the grill surface they are cooking on. If the rack looks as though it is about to break in the middle, then the ribs are just about ready to be eaten. Better yet, use a meat thermometer to be certain the ribs are safe to eat. The temperature should ideally read between 190 degrees Fahrenheit and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply the sauce of your choice to the ribs, turn the heat up to medium, and let them cook for a few minutes more. At most, you’ll leave them on the grill for 15 to 30 minutes, which is enough time to caramelize the sugars in the sauce. In no time at all, they will be ready to eat!