Confession time: I used to not eat meat, especially barbecued meat, and I most definitely never ever touched ribs with a ten foot pole. I was the girl nibbling a grilled cheese when everyone went out for BBQ. But now? Now I LOVE all things cooked on the grill, and ribs are no exception. Call me crazy, but eating ribs is kinda like being able to take out aggression with my teeth. YUM—GET IN MY BELLY!
It turns out that May is one of my favorite months, and the only reason I say that is because it’s nice enough to be outside without feeling like you’ve stepped into a sauna. But more importantly, it’s when we usually bust open the grill. (And just for the record: when I say “we” in this post in regards to grilling, I usually mean “my husband.” I know how to turn the grill on, and technically I could certainly get my grill-on, but I’d rather be inside…away from the bugs and the additional heat from the grill.)
When we made our menu last week I had a craving for ribs. After I stopped singing, “I want my baby back, baby back, baby back…(you know the song!),” I headed over to Walmart and picked up a slab of Smithfield baby back ribs. I had a brilliant idea for them, and I’m pumped to share that with you today.
This is technically a family recipe, passed down from my father-in-law, but is so easy to tweak to your liking. We’ve put this rub on prime rib and roasts, and now on ribs. There’s a hint of sweetness, followed by a twang of spices, and then there’s the kick of heat that’s so addicting you’ll just want to keep eating—it’s literally finger-licking good.
- Smithfield Pork Style Ribs
- 4 Tablespoons New Mexico red chile powder (you can actually sometimes find this in your produce section or you can substitute regular chile powder)
- 4 Tablespoons Brown sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Garlic powder
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Onion powder
- 1 Tablespoons Ginger powder
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon Oregano
- 1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 Tablespoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon Thyme
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
Five hours before you want to eat, open the package of ribs, drain, and pat dry. Place a rack over a cookie sheet; put ribs on rack, meat side up. Mix all ingredients together really well. Pat red chile rub over the meat and sides really well. Let ribs sit for three hours so the flavors can seep in and mingle with the meat. About two and a half hours before eating, turn the grill on to its lowest setting (~225 degrees—for our grill that meant turning on just one burner to its lowest setting). Place ribs on the grill, bone side down, on indirect heat (whatever burner isn’t on). Close the grill lid and walk away. When the temperature of the ribs gets to around 145 degrees, baste (paint) a light coat of BBQ sauce over the ribs. Close the lid and walk away. Repeat every five minutes until meat reaches 155 degrees. Flip ribs (so it’s meat side down) to get some nice char on the meat. Take ribs off the grill and let them rest for around five to 10 minutes (carry over heat will bring it up to 160 degrees). Five minutes before eating: cut up ribs, plate them, grab some napkins, and enjoy!
How do you like your ribs? Check out Get Fired Up Grilling for more recipes and tips from BBQ Pitmasters Moe Cason and Tuffy Stone. While you’re there, enter to win a trip to the American Royal BBQ contest and other great grilling prizes!