We think of ribs as the quintessential summer party fare – they stand up to a ton of flavor and are easily prepared ahead of time. Low and slow is the name of the game. In a pinch ribs can be cooked within an hour, but if you have the time to cook them for several you will be truly rewarded. Here’s our go-to technique for ribs that will set the bar to a whole new level.
For the Grill:
Fire up your grill half an hour before you plan to begin cooking. Once your coals are ready, we recommend creating two cook zones by piling 3/4 of the coals on one side of the grill. You can create this on a gas grill by turning one side up fully and leaving the other on low. Having two cook zones will allow you more control over how quickly your food cooks and how much char it develops. Items that require longer cook times will live on the cooler side of the grill. While cooking, remember to leave the grill lid on as much as possible for more even cook temperature throughout.
For the Ribs:
1. An hour before cooking pull the ribs from the refrigerator to allow them to come up to room temperature.
2. Season the ribs with a bit of salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add BBQ sauce or rub as desired.
3. Wrap and seal the ribs in tinfoil. This will allow the ribs to steam a bit, keeping the meat moist while tenderizing and lessening cook time. Cook the ribs low and slow for several hours. We recommend aiming for 2.5 hours so the meat is falling off the bone, but the ribs will be fully cooked within an hour. You can do this in the oven at 350° for 2.5 hours then finish on the grill. Or if you’re planning to have the grill rocking for several hours, you can cook the ribs low and slow directly over the coals. Keep an eye on the development of carmelization so you don’t get more char than you want. Feel free to turn often.
6. Finish the ribs over high heat on the grill top. Keeping them in the tinfoil will keep the ribs moist and temper the char created from high heat. The ribs will be fully cooked and soft off the bone when you pull them from the oven. Throwing them straight on the grill will add smoke, char, and delicious caramelization of sugars from the BBQ sauce.
7. Once you’ve achieved your desired state of char, pull the ribs off the grill and let them rest for 12 minutes before slicing.
Pro Tip: Sweet Baby Ray’s is like the Heinz of the BBQ world, a go-to that won’t disappoint available at most grocers. If you find it a little too sweet add vinegar to taste.
You also likely have all the ingredients necessary to make a simple and delicious BBQ sauce at home. There are a ton of recipes available online, which vary depending if you prefer a molasses, vinegar, or mustard based sauce. Happy Grilling!