One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my love of barbecue, barbeque and BBQ. I would consider it my main hobby even though I only make it about once a month. I hate to admit that I am one of those pedantic people who thinks that "real" barbecue is only four or five items.
1) Ribs - All kinds Babybacks, St Louis style, Beef.
2) Brisket - Texas style not anything my grandmother would have recognize.
3) Pulled or Chopped Pork - Pork Shoulder
4) Whole Animals - Pig, Mutton, or Goat. I can dream of doing a whole hog, the other two not so much.
That's it hamburgers and chickens and hot dogs can go on a grill but barbecue takes time anywhere from three hours to 20 plus depending on the size of the items being smoked. That is the other essential item to make barbeque, smoke from some sort of wood. Depending on what I am cooking I will go with hickory, apple, cherry, pecan, or alder wood. I stay away from mesquite because it can make food taste bitter really fast and I am not willing to sacrifice meat just to learn how much to use.
So with all this. Let me tell you how I make my ribs. I usually buy the three pack at Costco and then take the thin membrane that is on the back side of each rack.
The first step then is to brush on a mustard slather. The idea of a mustard slather comes from Paul Kirk a professional barbecuer know as the Baron of Barbecue. The slather is brushed on so that the rub will stick to the ribs. This recipe comes from his book Paul Kirk Championship Barbecue.
Art's Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup French's mustard
1/8 cup pickle juice
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce ( I use Texas Pete)
The slather is just a thin layer on the ribs. you will not taste mustard or pickles in the end result.
Now it is time for the rub. This recipe comes from the book Killer Ribs which has recipes from fairly famous BBQ joints all across America. I modify the recipe from Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City. I have been to this restaurant and can tell you it is a spot any barbecue lover should go to.
This recipe is for 12 racks. I change it by using less salt than is in this recipe.
1 cup salt
2/3 cup paprika (I used smoked paprika)
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground mustard
2 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground celery seeds
2 teaspoons granulated onions
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
Mix the ingredients together. Sprinkle both sides of the ribs. Give them a nice little massage. Put them in the fridge for 8 hours to over-night.
The next day. Make sure you have the charcoal ready. The smoker I use is a Brinkman $59 special we got from Home Depot. If you use gas, I have no advice I do not know what to tell you. You can do this on a Weber Grill but again I am not going into the details of barbecuing on that. If you own a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker, I hate you just a little because that is what I want one day. (That was a subtle hint to my wife and children in case they read this)
In the smoker you put down a layer of hardwood charcoal. In the chimney starter I will start a holder full of Kingsford. Once they start to ash over I will add them to the hardwood charcoal. If you want more information on different charcoals go here.
My smoker have water pan in it to keep the meat moist while it cooks. I put apple juice in the pan to add a little more flavor, but water would be just fine.
Add the ashy charcoal to the hardwood charcoal this is called the Minion Method.
I add two baseball pieces of wood usually hickory and apple sometimes only hickory.
The ribs will take four to five hours to cooks. The ribs should cook at 225° to 250°. Next open a beer or some wine. Do not open the lid to your smoker. The smoke needs to go on the ribs not in the air. You need to not touch the ribs or smoker.
Two hours in and it is time to add the baste. you will be basting the ribs every half hours after you reach the half way point in cooking. The baste recipe also comes from Paul Kirk Championship Barbecue book.
Memphis Basting Sauce (for three racks)
1 cup water
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Heinz 57 steak sauce
1/6 cup worcestershire sauce
1/6 cup ketchup
1/12 cup of yellow mustard
1/3 stick of butter
1 and1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (some say this is cheating, I don't)
Medium heat for 15 minutes. use it warm.
We are almost done. I believe in making homemade BBQ sauce. I make all different kinds for different meats. My rib sauce come from the Paul Kirk book also.
Memphis -Style Smoky Barbecue Sauce
3 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (this does add some heat, so it depends on what you are looking for.)
Baste the ribs at the last five minutes with the sauce and dig in. You know the ribs are done when you can hold them up and they bend. Ribs should not fall off the bone but rather have a little tug at the end.
If anyone makes these let me know how they come out.
The Ribs pictured above are not mine. I will rectify that the next time I make them.