Sunday, August 21, 2011

What's on the Grill #225: Weeknight Baby Back Ribs

Although I enjoy great BBQ at home, these aren't exactly quick last minute meals to enjoy on a whim.  Dishes such as pulled pork and brisket take some planning.  So, when you are craving BBQ, but either A. Didn't plan or B. Don't have the time, what do you do?  For me, the only middle ground and quasi last minute BBQ meal are ribs.

BBQ Baby Backs

Don't worry, I'm not going all "30 Minutes or Less".  When I say "quasi last minute", I'm talking about 270 minutes...or more.  I doubt that would make compelling television.  Anyway, dinner won't be early, but it will be better and cheaper than going out.

As per my MO, the ribs came from Sam's.  Three ribs in a pack equals two racks for dinner and one stuck in the freezer for a treat next week.

The rub is a standard of mine:

2 Tbls Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbls Sweet Paprika
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Garlic
1 Tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Mustard
1/8 Tsp Celery Seed
1/2 Tsp Ancho Chili Powder

Prep: 15 minutes

Start your grill/smoker.   I would say soak your wood chips, but this is "last minute" and I always have some soaking for just this purpose.  Fear not though, when jammed for time, just throw them on the coals un-soaked.

Remove the ribs from their packaging and then remove the membrane from the back of the ribs.  Cover with the rub.

Cook: 3-4 hours

Grill or smoke the ribs indirect for at least 3 hours. A good rule of thumb for determining doneness is the meat pulling back from the bone.  I find if its moved back around a half an inch or more, they are good to go.

Racks from above

I did something I usually don't do on this cook.  I sprayed the ribs with apple cider vinegar.  Every hour or so, I had Bean give them a healthy dose from the spray bottle.  I know I said "I" sprayed them, but it was really a joint effort.  He pulled the trigger and I made sure he had the right bottle.

As I said, I'm not usually a baster, mopper or sprayer, but I thought this time I would give it a whirl.  The end result was great, but I'm not so sure yet how much the spraying added to it.  At least it gave Bean something to do and me to supervise.

A little spray

The ribs can be served wet or dry.  I typically go wet, so during the last 30 minutes I painted BBQ sauce on them.

Along with some fresh corn and grilled sweet potatoes, we had all of the bases covered.

Spud & Corn

Yes, it's not the fastest meal, but it's the outdoor cook's version of "set it and forget it".  The downtime allows me to knock out some other projects, most notably sampling the new Sam Adam's Bonfire Rauchbier, which is now out in their Harvest Collection Variety Pack.

Bonfire Rauchbier

I love smokey beers and the Rauchbier is just that: smokey, sweet and very smooth, much like some of my late night music collections.

Well there you have it.  Good BBQ, good beer, and a relatively small amount of planning on a weeknight.  Remember to tell a friend, ribs aren't just for the weekend.

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