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Ribs 101

Cook Time4 hrs 30 mins

Everybody is always asking us how to do ribs. People think that there must be some kind of magic or secret recipe. The problem is that most folks tend to over think BBQ. So, we ask, what is BBQ?

 Baby Back Ribs or St. Louis Cut
 BBQ Rub
 Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce - any flavor
 Apple Juice

Everybody always asks us how to do ribs. People think that there must be some kind of magic or secret recipe. The problem is that most folks tend to over think BBQ. So, we ask, what is BBQ? BBQ is when you cook Low and Slow. Grilling is Hot and Fast. No matter your heat source BBQ is LOW AND SLOW. That is all there is to it. Even the toughest cut of meat can’t hold out to Low and Slow.


Now, where things change is where you start using different types of wood or wood pellets. It is unbelievable how the smoke from these woods can add another layer of flavor to everything you cook. In time you will learn to match woods up to what you are cooking. An example would be how pecan blends really well with chicken, giving it a sweet nutty flavor. I think apple does a nice job with baby backs. Patti especially like apple with pork chops. I could go on here, but let’s talk about ribs.


At our house, ribs are undoubtedly the most requested fare. So, let’s get to it! I am using a Royall Pellet grill tonight. On our patio, we have a lineup of grills, including the Louisiana, Memphis, Royall and Traeger pellet grills, Charm Glow, Char-Broil, Brinkman, and Weber. I call it our “Wall of Grill”. Our grilling styles will fit pellet heads, gas, and natural wood and even charcoal purists. Almost any of our recipes can be done on any kind of good BBQ grill.


The ribs: I trimmed them up and removed the tough membrane from the back side. Then, I seasoned each rack with a spice rub, working it into the meat with my fingers. (I use different spice rubs all the time, depending on the direction I want to go with the flavor. After that, Patti wrapped them and put them into the fridge overnight. Or, if you want, just let them chill for about an hour and you are good to go.


You can use any rub that you enjoy. So, use your favorite rubs and seasonings here. I know that Nate likes to use the Honey Habanero All Purpose as a glue for his rub. He coats both sides of the ribs and then puts on a generous amount of rub.


I use a spray mixture of 50/50 Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce and apple juice in a spray bottle. The Country Bob’s adds tons of flavors and the apple juice is a natural tenderizer. I sprayed everything down real good before adding my dry rubs and worked it all in.


We put these on the smoker for 4-5 hours at 180 degrees.


Cooking Directions: Royall Pellet Grill


Open the lid and set the dial to “Smoke”, after about five minutes shut the lid. Give it about 10 minutes to heat up. Patti has lined the drip pan with foil for me, it makes for easier cleanup. Place ribs directly onto the grill bone side down, leaving space for air to flow around them.


Let these guys get happy in the smoke @ 180 for about 4-5 hours. You can tell when they are close to being done if they bend easy and are soft to poke with your finger.


Your weather will have some effect here. If it’s cold it will be harder to reach your temperature and maintain it. So, your cooking times may be longer.


Sauce: Country Bob’s BBQ Sauce or one of our All Purpose Sauce flavors


Most times I serve my sauce on the side and let the ribs speak for themselves. But sometimes I want them all thick and gooey. So you add your sauce the last 30 minutes of your cook time. Brush it on both sides nice and thick and leave them bone side down for 15 minutes then coat them again with your sauce.


Note: I get a lot of questions about the kind of pellets you can use with a recipe. Here I am cooking with apple juice so apple wood is a good flavor match.


Directions: Gas Grill
Cook Time: 4-5 hours
Grill: Low Indirect Heat
Preparing Grill: Low Indirect Heat


Preheat your grill to low heat (180 – 200) and turn off one side so you will be cooking with indirect heat. Add your wet hickory chips over the fire and oil the grill. A cooking spray is easiest for this. (Note: you can add your hickory directly to the grill or you can use foil smoke packets. (Two handfuls wet chips and one dry, fold foil into a packet, poke holes in it with a fork and you’re good to go.)


Cooking time is 4-5 hours at 180 degrees.


Preparing Charcoal Smoker:


Get the smoker ready, you will want your temperature of around 180-225 degrees. Remember, you are going low and slow here. This will take all day (4-5 hours); make sure you have plenty of cold beer. Your cooking times and temps will be the same as above.


Cooking In the Oven:


We have been getting requests for recipe conversions for the oven. I tell folks all the time that cooking on a Traeger is just as easy as cooking in your oven. Just about anyone can do it and do it well. Think about it. You set your control knob to the temp you want, put your meat in and leave it for a set time. For ribs try 200 for 4 to 5 hours, 6 racks.


It is the same thing, time and temp. is what it is all about. The Royall is just like your oven except it uses wood pellets and has wheels.


The important thing to keep in mind is TIME & TEMPERATURE. You can even do some of them in the oven or crock pot. But, then you lose all the flavors you get from cooking outdoors. Sometimes it does rain.


Remember that a recipe is simply an outline; it is not written in stone. Don’t be afraid to make changes to suit your taste.


*Recipe courtesy of Ken F. with Date Night Doins