In the honor of football starting this week, I have decided to share my rib recipe. If there’s one thing that my husband likes just as much as his chicken wings, it’s ribs. I love ribs as well but I’m really picky about them. Probably in part because I come from the South and I have eaten a lot of ribs. I haven’t had that many good ribs here in Denver, or that much great BBQ anything for that matter. Everyone says “you gotta try this place.” and I do and I’m generally disappointed. Usually the ribs are stringy and not cooked to the point of falling of the bone tender and many of the sauces aren’t that great either.
I will say we recently found a little place in Idaho Springs that gets it right. Or at least they get the pulled pork and brisket right. The ribs were left wanting because they were stringy. My husband liked them but then again, like I said, he LOVES ribs. If you’re in the area make sure you stop by Smokin Yard’s BBQ and get some of the brisket, pulled pork and fried okra. They’re sweet tea was good to. A Southern thing I know, but I still love it with my BBQ! Oh and get some of the boiled peanuts.
So anyway one of the secret to perfect ribs is cooking them before you hit the grill (unless you have hours to sit back and slowly grill them to tender perfection). Since we live in a condo building, we share the grills with everyone else, so using them for 3 to 4 hours to grill the ribs is out of the question. Instead, I pop them in the oven with a dry rub and in foil for two and a half hours and then we finish them on the grill with the sauce.
I also don’t use the bottles BBQ sauce. That is the really big secret to really good ribs (unless of course, you have someone in the area that makes awesome sauce). Making homemade BBQ isn’t all that hard because it’s mostly just about combining the ingredients and letting it simmer down to the perfect thickness for a couple of hours. I do this while the ribs are in the oven. My sauce uses a good bourbon and it’s something that I don’t recommend leaving out because it adds so much flavor to it. Like any cooking with alcohol, spend the money for a good one, don’t go cheap cause the taste does show up in the food.
The other secret to my ribs is the dry rub I place on it before it goes into the oven. The dry rub adds plenty of spicy flavor and depth to the taste of the ribs. Massage it in to the meat so it doesn’t fall off.
The last secret to great BBQ is lots of love. In the South, it’s nothing for people to stay up all night tending to a slow smoked pig for a pig picking the next day. Often times over 16 hours or more will go into cooking up the pork to perfection. Chicken and beef are also treated the same. It’s that love and patience that makes the best BBQ. My recipe is actually pretty easy but it is one that can’t be rushed. So make sure you have plenty of patience and love when you setup to make it. And watch out for my hubby, cause if he finds out you’re making my recipe, he will find a way to invite himself over for some beautifully, yummy, tender ribs. Happy Football Season Everyone!
Grilled Baby Back Ribs
2 pounds baby back ribs (usually 2 slabs, or use your favorite rib)
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground annato
1 tsp. ground chipotle pepper
1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 300° F. Mix together the spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle the ribs generously with the spice mix on all sides. Massage the seasonings in to keep them from falling off when you flip the rack. Wrap each slab in foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet or pan. Pop into the oven for 2.5 hours. Can be cooked overnight and used the next day. If you do chill the cooked ribs before grilling, set them out about an hour before grilling to come to room temp.
To grill ribs: Preheat and use high heat because you are not cooking the ribs, just searing them for color and setting the sauce. Place the ribs on the grill and grill for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Brush the racks with your favorite BBQ sauce right before removing from the grill or the sauce will burn. Allow ribs to rest for 5 to 10 minutes and then enjoy. Serve extra sauce on the side for those who want more.
Makes 2 pounds of ribs.
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