BBQ Ribs

You'll need about a pound of ribs per person; remember, they're mostly bone. Like may other cuts of meat that used to be cheap, spareribs have become popular and more expensive. Pound for pound, spareribs are not the most economical cut of the pig, but they can be one of the most delicious.

Rib Rub
3 T. garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
3 T. salt
1 1/2 T. ground black pepper
1 1/2 t. dried oregano
2 T. chili powder
1 t. dried thyme
2 T. brown sugar
3 T. paprika
1 T. ground coriander
6 lbs. of spareribs
1 1/2 C. barbecue sauce
1/2 C. beer

Combine all the rub ingredients and use it generously on the slabs of ribs, massaging it into the meat. This rub is good on chicken, too, so you can make extra without worrying about when you'll use the leftovers.

Cover the rubbed ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (24 hours is even better).

When you're ready to grill, bring the ribs to room temperature first. I won't bore you with basic grilling instructions, but use low heat, whether using coals or gas. If cooking with charcoal, pile the coals to one side to provide indirect heat. If using gas, turn off one side of the grill so that the ribs will cook slowly.

For extra smoky flavor, use hardwood chips (hickory or apple are great) or chunks. Make sure you soak either in water for at 30 minutes before adding them to the fire.

Grill your ribs for at least an hour and a half, turning them every 30 minutes and basting them with beer if you like.

During the last half-hour, begin basting with the barbecue sauce of your choice to add that final layer of flavor.

Your ribs are done when the meat shrinks from the bones. Test them by grabbing a bone and twisting it (use tongs or a hot pad); the bone should slip from the meat. If you use a meat thermometer, the meatiest part of the ribs should be at about 165F.

I know you'll be tempted to go ahead and eat your ribs right from the grill, but if you can wait, you'll be rewarded with an even richer, moister rib. Put the slabs on a tray or baking sheet and cover them with foil, then drape dishtowels over the foil to seal in the heat.

Let them rest for at least twenty minutes, then slice between the bones and serve them warm, with sauce on the side.


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