Sunday, March 29, 2009

Recipe: Making Killer Pork Ribs Without A Smoker!

Wayyyy back in the day, I didn't own a smoker. I'm sure that I wouldn't know what to do with it if I did have one. Successful smoking' takes years of trial and error. Trial and error in terms of money, getting the rub right, getting the cook time, temperature, and procedure right, choosing the right rib (baby back, St. Louis cut, spare ribs), etc. Following is a procedure that I have used to produce tender, lip-smackin', ribs without a smoker. This is a basic recipe that will give you a good starting point. You can embellish it to fit your taste if you like. I have made these ribs countless times with no complaints, so they will appeal to the masses.

First, always use baby back ribs. If at all possible, get ribs that are from Denmark. Baby backs have the least amount of fat, true Danish baby backs are the leanest ribs in the world. Majesty is the brand name of Danish baby back ribs that I like the most. If you have the opportunity to buy these particular ribs, choose the 20 - 22 oz. ribs.

For this article, I bought baby backs from Central Market.

These particular ribs weighed in at about 1 1/2 lbs. Next, remove the membrane from the "bone" side of the ribs. This creates a very tender rib. It is easier to remove if you put the ribs into a freezer for about 30 minutes. To get started, use a spoon to pry up the membrane, then just use your hands to pull the membrane from the ribs.

Next, season the bone side of the the ribs. I use a blend of 3 Tablespoons Kosher Salt, 1 Tablespoon of Black Pepper and 1 teaspoon of Granulated Garlic. Evenly apply 1 tablespoon of spice to the bone side of the ribs and rub it in using your hands.

Flip the ribs over and evenly season the meat side with 1 Tablespoon of spice mix.

I pour bacon fat rendered from apple wood smnoked bacon over the ribs for flavor. You can add liquid smoke to the bacon fat for smoke flavor at this point if you are so inclined. Just follow the instructions on the label for the amount needed.

Double wrap the ribs with foil.

In my oven, I place ribs on a sheet pan and place into a 275° oven for 3 hours. The indicator of being done is when the bone pulls away from the meat easily. Ovens vary, so begin checking your ribs at the 2 hour mark until the bone pulls away from the meat easily.

When ribs are finished, I let them cool down until I can handle them with my hands. Once cool enough, handle them gingerly or they will fall apart. I use tongs to get under the ribs to lift them up and double wrap them in plastic wrap. Put the ribs into the refrigerator to cool all the way. This will allow you to grill the ribs on a BBQ grill without falling apart, but still being tender.

The ribs will hold in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 days. Grill for 12 minutes, starting with the bone side down first, turning every 3 minutes. Apply sauce if you like during the last 6 minutes of cooking.

Bon Apetit!

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