Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2013 Contents A26
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, June 22, 2013
It has been years since I learned
to make competition-worthy bar-
becued baby back ribs. And I still
consider myself lucky to have
learned from some of the best in
My first year at the barbecue
competition Memphis in May, the
head cook from a team called
Bubba s Bunch befriended me and
taught me to make ribs the same
way barbecue great John Willingham
did. Willingham was the creator of
the amazing all-purpose barbecue
rub known as W ham Seasoning.
And it is amazing stuff.
Following my rib tutorial, I made
those ribs more times than I can
count, and have taught them many
times in my barbecue classes. I
named the recipe after the team who
taught me, and they are perfect for
a first-timer. Or if you are like me,
it may become your go-to recipe for
All you need are a love of great
barbecue and three ingredients---
meaty baby back ribs, lemons and
my W ham-inspired rib rub. You
can make these on a gas or charcoal
grill or a smoker.
If you have never made ribs
before, you need to know a few
things. Buy a meaty rack with no
"bone-shine." This means that you
should inspect your ribs to see how
close the butcher got to the bone
when they were cutting the ribs.
the bone on the rack when it is raw,
there isn t enough meat on the ribs.
When the ribs are cooked and the
meat recedes from the bone, you
will have a very bony rack. Make
sure you buy racks of ribs that weigh
two to three pounds each.
Most recipes will tell you to
remove the membrane from the ribs
(and I used to do it, too). But the
more I cooked ribs, the more I liked
leaving the membrane on the back.
One reason is that it holds the
ribs together---especially important
if there is any bone-shine---and it
also is a good indicator of when the
ribs are done.
When the membrane pulls away
from the back of the rack and looks
like translucent parchment paper,
you know the ribs are done. If you
want, you can remove the membrane
before you cut and serve the ribs.
When you prep your ribs for the
grill, squeeze a lemon over both
sides of the ribs to "refresh" them.
That little bit of acid creates a
brightness, a "clean canvas" for your
seasoning and helps the rub adhere
to the meat.
Next, season liberally by holding
your hand about a foot above the
racks and sprinkling the dry rub
over the ribs evenly, like you are
"raining" rib rub over the racks.
Do it no more than 15 minutes
before cooking. I like to use a rib
grilling rack because it positions the
ribs so that the hot air and smoke
from the closed grill rotate equally
around all of the racks of ribs and
you can cook twice as many than if
they lay flat on the grates.
As for the actual cooking, true
barbecue demands indirect heat.
This is what allows the meat to cook
slowly, melting the fat and connec-
tive tissue. Barbecue also calls for
smoke, so be sure to soak wood
chips in advance.
You can look for two visual clues
when making ribs at home: the meat
should pull away from the ends of
the bones, which should be dry and
dark; and the ribs should bend easily
without breaking if you gently fold
That covers what you should do.
Here s what not to do.
First, don t parboil your ribs. It
isn t necessary, and it will rob your
ribs of flavor. Ribs should only take
2 to 3 hours to cook and they should
be cooked from start to finish on
your outdoor grill.
Second, if you are a barbecue
sauce lover, only put the sauce on
the ribs during the final 10 to 15
minutes of cooking.
Otherwise the sugar in the sauce
will burn while the ribs are still
If you follow these tips, you will
be amazed at how easy it is to make
ribs in your own backyard. All it
takes is a little patience and a little
love of the game. (AP)
• Written by Elizabeth Karmel, a
grilling and Southern foods expert
and executive chef at Hill Country
Barbecue Market restaurants in
New York and Washington, as well
as Hill Country Chicken in New
York. She is the author of three
cookbooks, including Soaked,
Slathered and Seasoned.
Bubba's Bunch barbecued baby back ribs. AP PHOTO
If you have never made ribs before, you need to
know a few things. Buy a meaty rack with no 'bone-
shine.' This means that you should inspect your ribs
to see how close the butcher got to the bone when
they were cutting the ribs.
Secret to great barbecued
ribs at home
Links Archive June 21st 2013 June 23rd 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page