Rib cooking methods have always been a bone of contention for rib-cooking enthusiasts. Grill Masters are passionate about their secret recipes and stick to what works to yield their own, tender, tangy, lip smacking ribs.
From what I have seen and heard, smoking is the preferred method for most cooks, and many will use wood chips to enhance the flavor; and of course, slow cooking helps tenderize-low and slow, that's what they all say.
For me these options were enough to turn me away from attempting ribs. First off, I don't have a smoker; wood chips are just not something I usually have in my pantry,or would know what to do with and lastly, I don't have all day.
Many rib cooking specialists boil their ribs prior to grilling to cut down on overall cooking time. My brother swears by it. Well, I don't have all day, so then I'm left with a decision: To boil, or not to boil? That is the question.
Trying to pry recipes out of this very secretive and peculiar group is next to impossible, believe me, I’ve tried. In short time it became clear if I wanted to serve up this delicious dish, I would have to go it alone.
Being Irish means I haven't met a meal I couldn't boil. But over the years, I really have moved away from that style of cooking, (sorry, Gram!). These days I prefer to infuse a lot of flavor using herbs and seasonings, and seal them in by roasting, broiling or grilling. The thought of taking this beautiful rack of ribs and boiling them just seemed wrong on every level. Everything inside of me is screaming NO! (Bottom line: no boiling.)
I was sure I could get great tasting ribs by sealing in flavor with seasonings, and cooking on the grill using the lowest possible flame just on one side. Feeling the thrill of the challenge, I set off to Market Basket in search of the perfect St. Louis Style Ribs, some dry rub, and a big bottle of my favorite Sweet Baby Rays barbecue sauce.
By cooking the ribs slowly and indirectly on the grill with the dry rub only, the ribs were able to absorb all the yummy flavor, before the final stage: basting on the sauce in layers to build up a nice tangy coating.
This method really worked for me-the ribs were delicious. They were not falling off the bone, but easily separated from the bone and most importantly stayed moist. The best part: it didn't take all day. These were done in under two hours.
Now, I know I'll get a lot of opinions about the cooking time; for sure, slower and longer is better. In a perfect world there would be 30 hours in a day, dinner would prepare itself AND do the dishes and calories wouldn't count. Ever.
I wanted to serve up tasty ribs, and get them to the table quickly. Ultimately what I discovered is not to be afraid to take on a challenge, and in so doing, I realized I could make a delicious meal that tasted slow cooked, and get it all on the table in a lot less time. Below is my method for Easy Barbecued Ribs-Enjoy!
Easy Barbecued Ribs
1-2 racks T. Louis Style Ribs
1 container dry rub (found in the spice section, or with the barbecue sauces)
1 bottle of your choice barbecue sauce
Trim the extra fat, rinse and pat dry. (The extra fat may cause flare ups, and you're not cooking your ribs long enough to make much added difference in flavor).
Use a prepared dry rub and cover the meat entirely, front and back.
Set grill to low, using only one side of the burners. Close lid, and allow grill to heat up. Place rack bone side down away from heat, so the heat cooks the ribs indirectly.
Close lid and leave for 40 minutes. Move ribs to the top grate and turn them so the bone is now facing up. Close lid and leave for 20-25 minutes more.
Apply barbecue sauce to bone side of ribs and turn them back over, and apply to meat side (which is now facing up). leave lid up, and continue basting the meat every five minutes for 20 minutes, building up a coating of sauce, with meat side facing up for the rest of the cooking process.
Total cooking time is no more than two hours. Remove from heat and allow to cool for ten minutes before slicing, and serve.