Monday, December 19, 2011

Recipe: Gibbs Ribs

My all time favorite BBQ is ribs. When cooked correctly they are a combination sweet pork and savory spices with hints of smoke that marry the flavors together in a magically wonderful way. Ribs aren't difficult to make but take about 5-6 hours to do correctly.

There are many different ways to make ribs and various methods and spices you can use. Below is how I make them and the way my family likes them. They are based off of our teams 1st place ribs but tweaked for our home palates.
  • 1 rack of St Louis style ribs 
  • Q Rub 
  • Q Sauce - tomato based 
  • Strawberry jelly (preferably homemade) 
  • Butter 
  • Honey 
  • Tin Foil 
  • Basting brush
Prepare the ribs
Take your ribs out of the fridge an hour before your ready to cook them. Make sure they are trimmed and the membrane removed from the bone side of the ribs. Lightly sprinkle the bone side with the rub and pat it on. Flip the ribs so the meat side is up. Liberally sprinkle the meat side with rub, pat it on and sprinkle some more.

Let the ribs sit out while you warm up the cooker. As the ribs rest with the rub on them it will create a reddish coating of the juices and the rub. This is good.
Rubbed and ready for the cooker.
Cooking the Ribs
Heat up your cooker to 225º-250º (this is the temperature of the side you are cooking on if you are cooking using indirect heat). Once you have it up to temperature you can lay the rack of ribs on the grill meat side up. If you are using a charcoal or gas grill you will want to set up to cook in in indirect method. If you are using a gas grill you will also want to have a smoker box or a foil pouch ready to go.

Cook the ribs for three hours. When three hours is up lay out enough foil to wrap the ribs. Remove the ribs from the cooker and place on the foil meat side up. Put about a tablespoon of butter on one end of the ribs, another tablespoon in the middle and a third on the other end. Take your strawberry jelly and spoon it on to the ribs from one end to the other. Wrap the foil around the ribs to keep the jelly, butter and future juices in and place back on the cooker where you removed them from.
Ribs on the cooker.
While the ribs are cooking for the next hour mix up a little Q Sauce, honey and strawberry jelly to make the glaze for the next step. I usually have about five parts sauce to one part honey and one part jelly. Taste it to make sure you like it and adjust accordingly. When I remove the foil from the ribs I add a little of the juice to the glaze. If you add too much of it the glaze becomes too runny.
Adding the glaze.
After the ribs have cooked in the foil for an hour remove them from the fire and remove the foil. Paint the glaze you made onto the meat side of the ribs and return to the fire for another hour.
Ready to eat.
After the last hour of cooking remove the ribs, cut and serve. You can let the ribs rest for about 30 minutes before you cut them if you want. The ribs should not be fall off the bone but when you bite into the rib you should get a watermelon bite (the meat comes off the bone but you can see your bite mark in the meat).

Things to remember:
  • Let ribs sit for about an hour with the rub on them before cooking 
  • Cook between 225º-250º (use indirect heat) 
  • Cook times should be 3-1-1. 3 Hours unfoiled, 1 hour foiled, 1 hour unfoiled and glazed.