Americans’ love for all things grilled is quite unmatched! The Barbeque Lifestyle, Usage & Attitude Poll by the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association (HPBA) once found that the majority of grill owners, that is 63%, use their grill all year round. Another 43% cook at least once every month during winters. If you too wish to start cooking BBQ ribs, it is a good idea to learn a few golden rules. Fret not! All you need is good equipment, little preparation and some time and patience. Following the directions accurately can help you end up with the most succulent and delicious ribs ever. Read on.

Getting the Meat Ready

Ribs are perfect for those who do not prefer meaty cuts. But it is a good idea to tenderize them first via pounding, salting, enzyme application, marinating, velveting and scoring. The main ingredients in these processes are yogurt, wine, buttermilk and vinegar. Peanut or vegetable oil, cornstarch and oyster sauce are especially perfect for velveting. These seasonings are known to break down proteins. This softens the beef, pork or chicken to a great extent. Here’s what else to do:

  • Pat the meat dry with tissue paper. This is a fantastic way to make it moisture free and helps you get a sear and stops the steam from forming. You also get a crispy brown caramelized exterior or a crust which adds texture.
  • Dry rubs contain chile powder, cayenne pepper and brown sugar which must be used with plenty of BBQ sauce for flavorful layering.
  • Avoid touching the meat after you place it on the grill. There is no special need to lift or move it with tongs. You may use a food thermometer to ensure it is cooking safely. These can keep the pieces from tearing apart.
  • Flip the pieces carefully when the fond has been formed on one side. The frequency will depend on whether you are using a charcoal grill or a gas grill. You can turn the ribs every 4-5 minutes when cooking over direct heat.
  • Remove from the grill when both sides are evenly cooked. Let the ribs rest for a while. This is when the ‘carryover cooking’ starts automatically where they are allowed to equilibrate in own retained heat.

It will eventually stop when the internal and external temperatures become equal. This usually takes about 15 minutes. Make perpendicular cuts before putting them on the plate. This way the meat fibers are shortened and give a softened bite.

Flip, Fire and Paint Technique

Achieving the perfect crispy and gooey ribs requires the right sauce application. Brush the glaze in the final 5 minutes on the grill. Apply in thin layers using the heat from the grill to make it crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. This technique helps to add the much-needed coating and taste to the BBQ ribs.

Serve hot with sides like tomato cucumber salad, baked potato bar, German potato salad or creamy coleslaw. Cornbread or a bowl of buttered corn is also an excellent pair with BBQ ribs. Beer or Bourbon are great choices in drinks. For non-alcoholic folks, pick iced tea, other lightly sweetened drinks or lemonades. If you feel the whole process could be too tedious or time-consuming, simply order out to save the hassle.

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