Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:53 am Post subject: BBQ Ribs
Serves eight to ten.
If ribs are the main part of your meal, a slab will feed two to three. If you're serv¬ing other grilled or barbecued food, a slab will go a little further. (Of course, every¬one's going to want the ribs.)
FOR THE RUB:
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup seasoned salt
2 Tbs. garlic salt
1 Tbs. onion salt
1-1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/4 cup sweet Hungarian paprika
1 Tbs. chili powder or seasoning
1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tsp. rubbed dried sage
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Pinch of ground cloves
FOR THE RIBS:
2 to 4 slabs spareribs, preferably with tips attached
Homemade Barbecue Sauce (see our recipe elsewhere)
Make the rub:
Spread the brown sugar on a baking sheet and let it dry out for an hour or two to keep it from clumping. Sift the brown sugar and the remaining rub ingredients together in a bowl; you may have to do this in batches. Stir or pulse in a food processor to combine.
Prepare the ribs: Remove the thick mem¬brane covering the bone side of the slab by slitting it with a knife at one end of the slab and forcing your fingers underneath. Pull the membrane down the length of the slab and discard it. Find the skirt - the meaty flap that curves down the bottom of the meat side - and trim off the thick membrane on its edge. Using a sharp knife, cut off the rib tips, cutting parallel to the bottom of the slab. Cut the rib tips into several pieces. Sprinkle the spice rub amply over both sides of the ribs and tips.
Prepare a charcoal fire: Using a chimney starter, light 40 to 50 pieces of good-quality lump charcoal. When the coals are glowing, remove them from the starter and stack them on one side of the grill. (If you don't have a chimney starter.
Add 3 or 4 hand-size pieces of apple or oak hardwood, preferably a little of both, to the stack of coals. Put a pie pan full of water next to the coals. Position the grate so that one of the holes is over the stack, allowing you to add coals and wood chips as needed; otherwise, you'll have to lift the grate.
When the coals are about 90% white, position the ribs on the grill anywhere but directly over the coals. Cover the grill with the lid, making sure that the air vent is on the side away from the fire. Cook the ribs for about 2 hours, maintaining a temperature of 230° to 250°F by adjust¬ing the vents. (Opening the vents lets in more oxygen and raises the temperature. If your grill, gas or charcoal, didn't come with a thermometer, you can set an oven thermometer on the grate near where the ribs are cooking.) Add more coal if the temperature drops below 230°F. (You'll likely need to add 1 5 to 20 coals about 30 minutes in.)
After about 2 to 2-1/2 hours, turn the ribs. Add more coals and a few pieces of hardwood to the fire. Cook the ribs about another 2 hours. To see if the ribs are done, take off a tip piece to taste. Or tug on one of the ribs; if the meat is cooked, you should be able pull it away with ease (as you see in the photo).
If you want to glaze the meat while it's cooking, separate a small amount of barbecue sauce and brush it on the ribs twice during the last 30 minutes on the grill.
Remove the ribs from the grill and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Cut the slabs into individual ribs and serve hot with the barbecue sauce on the side.
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