Many people out there claim to have the best advice for cooking barbequed pork ribs. As a matter of fact, many states, especially in the South (from Southwest through Southeast) boast on having the best tasting barbeque. Depending on where you live, outdoor cooking may be called barbeque in one area and grilling in another. And while there are many different preps, different sauces, and different ways to cook it, taste and texture is what really counts.

So your new at this outdoor cooking thing, right? Well even though you are just beginning, it doesn’t mean your food has to taste like it. Though your partakers of this protein may not be connossieurs, you definitely want them to “taste the love” you put into preparing it. How do you do this?

Start off with the type of grill you use. There are differences in using a gas grill as opposed to a charcoal grill. A gas grill could be compared to cooking on a gas stove. You basically hook up the propane tank to the grill, turn it on and you’re ready to go. You can controll the heat/temperature because there are knobs to turn it up or down. These grills usually have concrete type rocks or “charcoals” to help give a hickory smoked flavor. The advantage of this type of grill is that it is quicker to set up and get started. Turn it on, place the meat on it and it starts cooking. The disadvantage is that you have to work harder in getting that “smoked grill” flavor.

Charcoal grills require placing charcoal in the “belly” of the grill. There are various types of charcoals that can be used. Some require help from “charcoal lighter fluid” which helps start the fire. There are others that have the lighter fluid already in it; all you do is light it and the fire starts. You can also inhance the flavor by placing flavored wood chips in (such as mesquite, hickory, pecan) once the fire has died down. The advantage of this type of grilling is that it gives the meat a deep smoked flavor, all the way through the bones. The disadvantage is that grill prepping takes longer and clean-up is more detailed. I personally prefer to use charcoals,because it gives the ribs a better, stronger flavor. Its the cook’s choice!

Once you’ve prepped the grill you’re ready to start cooking. Preparing the ribs also helps with the flavor. There are many dry rub seasonings that are great to use. You can also marinate the ribs in a sauce of your choosing. The longer you marinate, the more the flavor goes through. Here again, its the cook’s choice. After you’ve prepared the ribs, place the raw ribs (do not parboil) on the grill, not directly over the fire (you don’t want to burn them). Ribs should be slowly cooked. Make sure your grill’s internal temp is at least 350 degrees. Use a meat thermometer. Place the grill cover down so that the smoke and heat stays in and helps cook the meat. Lift the cover only to turn the meat or to check to make sure it isn’t burning. Allow it to cook until the internal temperature of the ribs are 165 degrees. Pork must be thoroughly cooked. Once done, you can serve them with or without sauce. Do not put the sauce on at the beginning, as it may burn. If you use sauce, put it on the last 5-10 minutes before taking it off the grill. There are a lot of great tasting ready made barbeque sauces you can purchase. But if you want to really look like a “seasoned cook” make your own. Just blend (to your taste) ketchup, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Mix it in a pot or bowl and heat on stove or microwave. Paint on ribs. Delicioso!!!

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