How To Grill Ribs
Source of Recipe
Ribs have a lot of flavor, but they also have a lot of strong tissue holding the muscle together, and binding it to the bone. The best way to tenderize this type of meat is to cook it for a long period of time, at a low temperature.
Start by cutting the ribs into serving-sized portions and cutting off any excess fat. Also be sure to remove the silvery membrane from the bone side of the ribs, as it will prevent your rub or marinade from being fully absorbed into the meat.
Rubs are a terrific way to add even more flavor to ribs. Your local supermarket should have a variety to choose from, or you can create your own. To help the seasoning stick to the meat, you can start by coating the ribs with a thin layer of mustard. Sprinkle the seasoning over the meat and then rub it in well. Wrap the meat in platsic wrap and refridgerate for at least 4 hours - allowing the seasonings more time (up to 48 hours) to absorb will give you a fuller flavor.
Marinades are another good option for seasoning your ribs. A marinade is liquid mixture that will both season and tenderize the meat. For ribs, the marinade should be thin and contain no sugar - as thick or sugary sauces will not be absorded as well. You can find a number of commercial meat marinades at your local supermarket. If you'd like to create your own, be sure to include:
Something acidic, such as vinegar or a citrus juice, to help tenderize the meat;
Something fatty, such as vegetable oil or butter, to help keep the meat moist;
Your favorite spices to add the flavors that please your palate.
To use the marinade:
Put the ribs in a large plastic bag, or deep glass, stainless steel or ceramic bowl
Completely cover the ribs with marinade.
Seal the bag or bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours - allowing the marinade more time (overnight) to absorb will give you a fuller flavor.
Prepare the Grill
Clean your grill well. A clean grill will help keep the meat from sticking.
Rub a light coating of vegetable oil on the grate - using a long-handled brush.
Place an oven thermometer close to where you will be putting the meat. You can also place the thermometer on one of the vent holes, so you can monitor the temerature without openning the cover.
Light your coals and wait until they are white hot.
Arrange the hot coals on one side of the grill, and put an empty disposable aluminum pan on the other side to serve as a drip pan.
Put a disposable aluminum pan over the hot coals, and fill with boiling water
Close the lid, and heat your grill to an internal temperature between 200°F and 225°F.
Adjust the vent openings to maintain this temperature throughout the cooking process.
Cooking your Ribs
Once your grill is maintaining the proper temperature, place your ribs over the drip pan, and close the lid.
Check the grill regularly to be sure the correct temperature is being maintained.
Add coals, adjust the vents, and replenish water as needed.
You can add wood chips to the fire to add a smoke flavor to your ribs.
Depending on the consistancy of the fire, and the thickness of the ribs, your ribs should be cooked in 3 - 5 hours. Remember, the lower the temperature, and the slower you cook the ribs, the more tender they'll be.
Are They Done Yet?
You will know your ribs are done when:
The internal temperature of the meat reaches 180°F. (Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat)
The meat almost falls off the bone!
The meat close to the bone is white (or tan).
Adding the final flavor
Now that the meat is fully cooked, it's time to add the sauce.
Start by heating the sauce over the stove (or in the microwave), so that you don't cool the meat when the sauce is applied.
Brush on a generous coat of your favorite sauce
Turn the ribs over and coat the second side with sauce
Cook about 5 minutes, flip once more and cook another 5 minutes
NOTE: If you want to carmelize the sauce, cook directly over the coals.