- Buying Ribs – Baby Back ribs are smaller ribs on the loin back of the pig. They have less fat and are the most versatile rib, cooking great on a grill or smoker. There are 13 bones in a full rack of ribs, and ribs have two distinct sides – the bone side and meat side. Select meaty ribs that appear uniform in thickness. Fat is where the flavor is, so try to find a slab with an even distribution of fat.
- The Great Membrane Debate – The membrane is a thin layer of cartilage that looks like a white skin on the bone side. Some like to peel it off but leaving the membrane intact holds the natural juices in the meat.
- Preparing the Meat – Apply Worcestershire sauce liberally on both sides of the rib, then cover the meat side of the ribs with a flavorful rub. The Original Texas BBQ Rub is a five-time national award-winning BBQ rub that packs a spicy kick, while the Grand Champion Rub is sweeter with less spice.
- Smoking the Ribs – Indirect heat from the smoker requires low cooking temperatures for a long period of time. Place ribs bone side down and cook slow and low at 225 degrees. No need to flip ribs over while cooking. Cook Time:3-4 hours
- Grilling the Ribs – Direct heat from the grill cooks ribs quickly at a higher temperature. Place ribs bone side down on the grill and watch carefully so the rub does not burn. If a char forms, place aluminum foil under the ribs. Maintain heat at 300 degrees and if desired, add sauce in the last 15 minutes. Cook Time: 1 – 1 ½ hours
- Wrapping the Ribs – This step is optional, but wrapping ribs shortens cook time and makes for tender meat that falls off the bone. Don’t wrap ribs too long or the meat will become mushy. Pour in apple juice, honey, butter or Dr. Pepper when wrapping to add flavor and moisture. Updated cook times are as follows: Smoked: 2 hours unwrapped, 1 hour wrapped, 15-30 minutes unwrapped. Grilled: 1 hour unwrapped, 45 minutes wrapped, 15 minutes unwrapped.
- The Tear Test – The best way to determine if ribs are done is to pick them up with special barbecue gloves and twist the ribs at the top. If you see the meat tearing away from the bone, they are done. If you don’t have gloves, run a toothpick between two bones and if it passes through easily, they are done.
- Cutting the Ribs – To prevent the ribs from drying out, cut just before eating and cut one serving at a time. Place the ribs bone side up and start at the top, using an 8” boning knife to cut between the rib bones.
About Bill Cannon and Texas BBQ Rub:
Bill Cannon, president of Texas BBQ Rub, is a Houston native with 45+ years of BBQ cooking experience. His first experience with BBQ was at the age of five when helping his parents BBQ on a big brick pit. He has cooked at the World Championship Houston Rodeo BBQ Cook Off for the last 28 years where he has been a finalist in brisket for three of the last five years. In addition to creating one of the premier BBQ rubs in the world today, Bill was voted 2014 BBQ Person of the Year for his positive impact on the BBQ community. His main passion is helping others learn to cook great BBQ, and he has created a BBQ community of 30,000 through his newsletter and online forum. Texas BBQ Rub is the proud creator of award-winning dry rubs and grilling spices as well as providers of superior BBQ cooking tools. His BBQ expertise has been featured on Great Day Houston, KPRC-TV, Fox Houston and the Houston Chronicle. www.texasbbqrub.com 281.344.1076