10 Steps to Cook Smoked Ribs That Fall Off the Bone
Gathering your friends or family for a backyard grilling session is one of the fun things to do this summer. Grilling barbeque steaks or barbeque on sticks is a cool idea. But grilling those fall off the bone ribs are the hotter idea.
Here are 10 steps to make those bones fall off smoked ribs:
Buying the meat
Pork rib cuts are readily available at local super markets, meat shops, or wholesale grocers. Be sure to source out the one that sells quality meat at a lower price. There are three types of ribs to choose from:
- Baby back ribs -These are taken from the top of the rib cage and these are shorter than spareribs and take lesser time to cook.
- Spare ribs -These are taken from the side and contain less meat than baby back ribs and more fat.
- St. Louis style ribs -These are spare ribs with tip of the ribs, sternum bone and cartilage removed. After cutting, they are rectangular in shape.
Rinse and Cut
The meat should be washed completely and rinsed in cold running water to rid it of loose meat, fat or bone specks. Dry the meat slab with paper towels. Cut off loose pieces of meat or fat on the slab. If these are not removed, they will burn and leave marks on the ribs. Completely remove the thin membrane covering the bone part of the ribs. If this is not removed, the meat will not absorb all the flavor.
Marinate and drain
Place the ribs in a large bowl with the meat side down. Add your marinade and make sure that the ribs are completely soaked in the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stay.
After two hours, pour out the marinade. If you want, you can leave just a little of it to add more flavor to the ribs as you cook them.
Apply dry rub
A dry rub is important in cooking smoked ribs. The combination of herbs and spices will improve the meat’s flavor and give it a tastier surface crust. So the first thing that you should do is to apply a small amount of vegetable oil to cover the ribs. Most dry rubs are oil-soluble so doing this will help the rub in penetrating the meat. Apply an appropriate amount of dry rub to both sides of the meat.
Wrap in foil
Wrap the ribs tightly in a foil sheet. It would be much better if you double wrap it. The reason for wrapping the meat in foil is to keep the dripping juices inside the foil so that the ribs will cook in those juices at the bottom of the foil wrap. As it steams the meat, these juices will act as the final tenderizer for the ribs. Refrigerate for two hours.
Cook in oven
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Place the covered ribs inside the oven. Cook at 225 degrees F for three to four hours. The meat will be tenderized in the oven as it absorbs the flavors from rub. There is nothing else to do here except that you have to ready your barbeque sauce and grill.
Brush with BBQ sauce
Once they’re removed from the oven, it’s time to remove the foil. Since the meat is covered in dry rub, make sure that you purchase a barbeque sauce that compliments the rub. Brush the meat with the barbeque sauce. Be sure that you apply it evenly.
Ribs grill best when you cook them slowly over low heat. This is done by grilling the meat indirectly. Indirect grilling means you turn up the heat on one side while the meat is positioned at the opposite side. To set up the gas grill, turn one of the burners on and leave the other one off. If your gas grill has three burners, turn off both edge burners. The key thing here is that you should maintain your goal temperature of 225 degrees F.
Adding smoke flavor make the ribs much tastier. It is recommended that you use hickory or mesquite woodchips because these quickly yield strong flavors. These can be bought in home improvement stores.
In smoking, you can use either a smoking box (which you can purchase) or make your own “smoking pouch” using foil. Since we are doing indirect grilling, put the smoker box or pouch on top of the burner that is on. Turn it to maximum heat until smoke starts to emit from the pouch or box.
Turn the burner back to medium heat and place the slabs on the grate at the top of the unused burner. Remember that we are cooking via indirect heat. You meat will absorb a lot of flavor after 45 minutes or so of smoking. The meat will be cooked in 4 to 5 hours, depending on the type of ribs used.
Check for doneness
The crucial thing in grilling ribs is checking them for doneness. A meat thermometer will not read correctly with ribs because of the bones. The bones emit heat and this causes inaccurate readings. But there are others ways to check if your meat is done. You can cut through the meat with a knife. If the meat is still pinkish, it’s not yet done. Otherwise, you’re good to go.
Another way of checking is piercing through the meat using a toothpick. If the toothpick goes in and out without resistance, the ribs are ready for your enjoyment.
Ready for gastronomic nirvana? This mouth watering dish is waiting. Spare no rib and spoil that grill.