Thursday, September 3, 2009

Perfect BBQ ribs

My favorite BBQ food is definitely ribs.  Nice smoky flavor, sweet and spicy aromas and the meat just about falling of the bone - heaven!

How to make perfect BBQ ribs in a Weber kettle?

Easy.  Get some baby back ribs from your local meat supplier.  Pull off the membrane (rubbery film on only one side of the ribs) with a dull butter knife or similar.

Apply the rub.  I often smear some mustard on the ribs before applying the rub.  The mustard makes the rub stick better and gives you a thicker crust. It's really optional. The mustard won't affect the taste whatsoever.

Set up your grill (Weber kettle in this case) and ignite the charcoal. As you see in the picture below, the kettle is divided more or less in to four sections.

1. Under the griddle I have a drip pan below the food. This just makes cleaning the grill afterwards so much quicker and easier.

2. On the other side is the heat source, charcoal and the wood for the smoker.

3. On the top of the griddle on the other side are the ribs.

4. Directly over the the charcoal is the water pan. The boiling water gives enough moisture for the food to keep it from drying.

Hardest part of the process is to control the temperature.  On a One-Touch Gold Weber kettle I use about 2 fist fulls of hot charcoal.  Any more and the temperature will be too high.  On a warm calm day even a good fist full might be enough. You just have to experiment with this to learn how much charcoal is needed to keep the temps between 110 and 140 °C (225-285F).

Place the ribs on the griddle or in a rib rack, add a chunk of apple or cherry tree on top the charcoal, put the water pan directly over the charcoal and close the lid. Enjoy the nice smoke pouring out of the grill.

I usually open the lid every 45min, turn around the ribs and spray some apple juice or apple cider vinegar on the ribs.  This again helps to keep them moist and gives you more flavor.  I prefer the apple cider vinegar to juice for the extra flavor it adds. You might need to add 1 or 2 pieces of charcoal and an other piece of wood.

Usually after approx. 3 hours the ribs starts to be ready.   When they have a nice mahogany color and the meat feels firm, not mushy and the bones pulls cleanly off the meat, they are definitely ready.

I still prefer to mix some BBQ sauce with running honey, glaze the ribs with the mixture and close the lid for another 5-10 minutes.  The sauce then really sticks on the ribs and they look just beautiful.

Serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side or maybe some potato salad and BBQ beans.


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