Friday, September 10, 2010

Amazing Grilled Baby Back Ribs


Wow!  It's 80 degrees and I'm home from work.   Mother Nature didn't let me down.  Visitors who come to visit the seaside city of Pacific Grove, California complain how cold and overcast summers are.  Yes, I know that! I've lived on the Monterey Peninsula since 1963!  What I do know is that September is when some of the most beautiful weather comes to this beautiful part of the world.  If we're lucky, blue skies and 70 degree temperatures stick around until October.  I don't live in Pacific Grove, but I work here. I commute 25 miles inland to where I live in the sunbelt of the Salinas Valley.  In this fertile valley, is where I can enjoy plenty of sunshine, strawberries, corn and plenty of summer vegetables for a few extra weeks.  That also means that grilling season doesn't end with Labor Day.  Pumpkins and winter vegetables will be transformed into pies, soups and stews-- but not just yet!  Speaking of Labor Day, these are the ribs that we grilled and they were amazing!

There really isn't a recipe for these luscious ribs.  It's all about technique and-- I have come to believe-- in buying quality grass fed ribs (or any kind of beef or pork).   This summer, I'm so pleased to say that my husband-- who admits he doesn't like to cook, therefore he can't cook (said with love, Sweetie)-- has been transformed into quite the grill master.  I thought we'd share a few tips that have created off-the-hook tasty pulled pork, tri tip and now-- these baby back ribs!   I've grilled ribs before and I've tried all kinds of recommended tips.  Year ago, I was told to braise them in water and then grill them.  Nope, that didn't work.  I've oven-roasted ribs, per Tyler Florence. They were good, but they couldn't compare to honest-to-goodness grilled ribs.  My best friend, of 34 years, is known for her legendary ribs.  At least, that's what I hear, but I had yet to experience them first hand. Two weeks ago, we drove north to the Bay Area to visit. She made them for us and I have to admit they are legendary!  She graciously showed me how she does it.  It's simple, but it's all about "technique". So, here are the tips we have learned with the help of  this book and our own trial and error with grilling:


  1. We enjoy adding rubs to meat.  You can buy them at the store or learn to make your own. I've done both.
  2. I like to let the meat come to room temperature before grilling.
  3. Learning to cook meat with indirect heat is the key.  As amateurs, we used to throw the meat right on top of the coals-- which led to burned meat/sauce and mediocre results.  Now we understand to cook it low and slow.  
  4. We never baste the meat with sauce, until the very end-- if at all.  
  5. Soaking wood chips and then adding them over coals creates a flavorful smoke. It kicks the flavor up a few more notches.
  6. It's worth an extra dollar or two, per pound, to buy quality meat.  If you're always looking for bargain meat prices, try buying from a reputable butcher who sells grass fed meat. Trust me, you'll truly taste the difference.  Whole Foods ribs cost $1.00 more, per pound, than my local large grocery chain. No hormones and free-range. 

To make these particular ribs, I bought McCormick Schilling Grillmates Rub for Pork. That's what "Pat" uses...


 Pat adds some garlic salt & seaoned salt. Instead,  I added some Susie-Q Brands Seasoning mix. I love this product!

Rub, rub, press.  These ribs are well seasoned and ready for the grill.  I have photos on my pulled pork post, that shows you all about indirect heat grilling and adding wood chips for smoky flavor.  Like my best friend, Pat, did-- we cooked these for about 1 1/2 hours, with the Weber grill cover on, with the meat away (not on top) of the coals.  Halfway through cooking, we added more coals.  We added the soaked Susie-Q Red Oak Wood Chips to the coals for the last 15 minutes.

The meat has pulled away form the bones, and it's ready!

 Look at that color, from the rub!

How off-the-bone tender does this look?!

I basted half of the ribs with my homemade barbecue sauce. Personally, I prefer no sauce, because I want to taste the flavor of the grill, oak chips, rub and seasoning.

Of course, I had to make another batch of compound butter with fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice and Susie-Q seasoning.   I give thanks to my best friend, for showing me how to make ribs her way.

The barbecue sauce recipe is at the bottom of this page.  I really like this one, if you enjoy a tomato based sauce with some flavor kick and garlic. Yummy!


I'm off to swim now! Have a great weekend!









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14 comments:

Ciao Chow Linda said...

You're making me drool with those ribs - something I rarely make but would gladly sink my teeth into.

Joanne said...

Um yeah. When it comes to grilling, your husband is seriously OFF THE HOOK. I want a huge place of meat right now. Strange because I NEVER crave meat!

Mary said...

Your ribs look divine. I do mine in the oven with a last glaze on the grill. I may have to rethink that. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

theUngourmet said...

Gorgeous baby backs! I've never grilled ribs but after my husband sees your post he'll be begging me to make some! Hopefully mine will turn out as perfectly as these! :)

Healthy and Homemade said...

I'm freakin drooling that looks so good!!!

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

I love ribs! Yours look amazing, nice and brown and juicy!

Nan said...

Wow, do those look great. Tender, and just right. Yum

Monica H said...

"Pumpkins and winter vegetables will be transformed into pies, soups and stews-- but not just yet!"

That is exactly how I feel! Autumn isn't for a couple more weeks!

These look seriously good Deb. I'm craving ribs now. We were going to go out for a dinner that didn't involve ribs but I might have to change that because I'm going to crave them til I get them!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

OMG - the color and "savory-ness" of those ribs is driving me nuts!

Jen_from_NJ said...

WOW do those ribs look fantastic! I'm craving them now!

Emily Z said...

Ooooh, these ribs look delicious. My husband and I are from Kansas City - arguably the best BBQ town in the country - so we definitely appreciate good ribs!

Lala said...

Please invite me for dinner at your house :D
It looks sooooo good.

xoxo lala

come and visit me
http://lala-tulpe.blogspot.com/

Kim said...

Oh wow!! Those ribs are making me lick my lips. They look so tender and fall of the bone. Sounds like you had a fabulous meal on Labor Day weekend.

Mary said...

Wow, these are beautiful ribs! My husband is going to love reading this... bookmarked!!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls