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Rib Grilling Tips From a Master

By on May 1, 2016

Rub Recipe for Righteous Ribs

This recipe from Weber’s Real Grilling, packs a zing, thanks to a spicy rub applied to the ribs before grilling and a tangy homemade barbecue sauce.

One caution: Don’t baste the ribs with the sauce too early, because the sugar in the cola sauce will burn and blacken the ribs. Wait until the last 15 minutes of cooking.

1. Make the sauce by warming the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients, whisk them together and allow the sauce to simmer for about 5 minutes.

2. Remove the thin membrane from the back of each rack of ribs by sliding a knife between the membrane and one of the bones. Gradually work the knife down the bone. Stretch the membrane to open up a flap; use a paper towel to get a good grip and peel the membrane off the ribs. This allows the seasonings to better penetrate the meat. Let the ribs stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.

3. To make the rub, mix the ingredients together in a small bowl. Season the ribs all over with the rub, pressing the spices into the meat.

4. Drain the mesquite chips and toss them onto the burning coals or into the smoking box of a gas grill. Grill the ribs over indirect low heat (about 300°F) until the meat is very tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. At 15 minutes before the ribs are done, brush occasionally with the sauce on both sides.

5. Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet and tightly cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm. Makes four servings.

Ribs should cook for the better part of an afternoon. Use indirect heat—stack coals around the sides of the grill and place an aluminum pan beneath the ribs to catch drippings and prevent flare-ups.

Seasoning Options:

Once the ribs are finished cooking, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil for a half hour and let them sit. Don’t worry—they won’t cool down. Instead, the moisture allows the meat to become even more tender and better absorb the barbecue sauce.

For information on the book Weber’s Real Grilling, visit  realgrilling.com.

For the Sauce:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup cola

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon mesquite liquid smoke

For the rub:

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 rack baby back ribs, 1-1/2 to 2 pounds

About 2 cups mesquite chips, soaked in water for an hour


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