Thursday, June 21, 2012

BBQ Back Ribs

I'd love to share with you my smoked chicken success story, but I have no pictures to do the story justice, so I'm going to start with BBQ ribs. Why ribs? Because they are in the refrigerator right now covered in my dry rub and getting themselves psyched up for the smoke flavor I am about to treat them with. That's why.



So lets start. This batch of ribs are my classic BBQ pork back ribs. They have a sweet smoky flavor that works great for summer evenings, and go great with a pale ale, fresh corn on the cob, and basil rice.

There are 4 of us in my family, but my youngest daughter is still a baby, so she won't get to enjoy these succulent ribs for a while yet. My step daughter doesn't mind them either, though she usually doesn't like many things I make simply because 'I' made them. But she is starting to realize that I'm no slouch in the kitchen and my food is always tasty.

I started with one full rack of back ribs. Side ribs work too, and I have had equal success with both. I'm not a snob who doesn't like cheaper cuts of meat, so if you get a good deal on side ribs or back ribs or whatever, go for it. My set of ribs came from the local store a while back and have been sitting in my freezer waiting for me to eat them, so after they thawed out slowly in the refrigerator overnight, I cut the rack in half (optional) and seasoned liberally with my home-made BBQ rib spice rub, and then put in a vacuum marinator to help soak in the flavor. (The marinator was a recent birthday gift, so I'm using it a lot and seeing what works best)


BBQ Rib Rub.
I have never been one to give away recipes lightly, but I am willing to make an exception on this blog and let you all enjoy what I have created, and encourage you to use, modify, and share as much as you like:

Sean's BBQ Rib Rub
2 cups demerara sugar (you can use plain brown sugar if you prefer)
1/2 cup mustard powder
1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup chile powder
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tbsp ground ginger
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cayenne
Combine all the ingredients and blend together. Store in a mason jar or other airtight container and sprinkle liberally on all your soon-to-be-barbequed meats.

After I covered the ribs in the rub, I packed them into the vacuum marinator:

http://www.foodsaver.com/product.aspx?pid=7471

So far, I am happy with the gift and will continue to experiment and let you know what I find!


Left these in the fridge for a few hours and now they are ready to be smoked!
Today I am using cherrywood to smoke with. Some might have a favorite wood, and certainly some big chefs always say big flavored meats, big flavored woods. Naturally, light meats like fish and such tend to not go with heavy flavored smokes, like hickory and mesquite. But heavier meats like roasts and certainly ribs work fine with those heavy smokes. But sometimes a nice subtle maple, apple, or cherry works just fine too. And I do like to stir the pot every once in a while too. So Cherry it is tonight.
wood chips in a smoke box
Cherrywood chips soaking inside the smoke box

chimney starter in the kamado grillI use a smoke box that I picked up some time back to keep the wood chips in. I actually use the box to soak the chips in too, filling it up with water and replacing the lid. When it comes time to cook, I simply invert and dump out all the water, then straight onto the coals with the box. Works great!

With the ribs on the grill, I set the vents to keep around 200-225°F in the kamado. This will ensure the ribs have plenty of time to soak up the flavor from the smoke.



I turn them over every hour, and baste with a mixture of water, brown sugar, white vinegar, mustard, and a little BBQ rib rub. Sometimes I like to finish the ribs with a last minute sauce made of ketchup, mustard, apple cider vinegar, paprika, garlic powder, chile powder, and sometimes a little dried parsley. Tonight I decided to just use the basting mixture every 5 minutes or so during the last quarter hour. Once finished, and rested, they are ready to serve. I didn't have any corn on the cob on hand, we ate it a few days ago, so I cooked up some frozen corn and added a dash of salt and butter to taste.



Summary:

1 Rack of BBQ Back ribs
Cherrywood Smoke Chips
Sean's BBQ Rib Rub
Basting liquid made of water, brown sugar, white vinegar, mustard, and a little BBQ rib rub.

Rub the ribs liberally with the rib rub, and refrigerate for a few hours (more is better). Prepare your kamado for 200-225°F and the cherrywood smoke chips. Cook the ribs for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, turning and basting every hour. During the last 15 minutes, baste every 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let rest for 10 minutes. Enjoy, then enjoy some more.

plate of food with ribs
Actual Flavor






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