Friday, March 23, 2012

Secret BBQ Ribs

Have you tried my friend Josh's peanut butter cookies?  The recipe is here, and I suggest you take out a stick of butter and let it start softening now.  And while you do that, I will let you in on a little secret.  I didn't successfully make cookies until about four years ago.  I'm still not sure what I was doing wrong.  In high school and college while other girls were gathering around mixing bowls and bonding over the process of making cookies, I was staring dismally at a pan of flattened, crispy disks of sugar, butter and chocolate chips.  My oatmeal cookies turned out like day-old biscuits and my peanut butter cookies crumbled like sawdust at the first bite. 

What I came to realize is that although some people have success with the recipe on the back of the bag or the side of the oatmeal tin, I had to carefully research and find the recipe that works for me.  Josh's peanut butter cookie works for me every time.  When I take that cookie places, people sit up and take notice. 

So when Josh told us he had a trick for cooking BBQ ribs, I pulled out a pen and a pad of paper.

These ribs will make you look like the crackerjack of outdoor cooking.  People's eyes will roll back in their heads, and they will try to hide the fact that they are sucking on the bones.  And when they ask you what your secret is, you'll act all coy becaues you won't want to admit that you made them in the slow-cooker.

That's right: a slow-cooker!

Don't worry, you grill them for thirty minutes at the end; just in time to install confidence in your friends with the scent of smoke and BBQ sauce. 

Now that we have our new Bayou Classic, I use the same methods on the grill.  But if we're serving these on a work night, I don't hesitate to pull my out my slow cooker.

Here's what you do:

Buy a rack of ribs.  I buy mine at Trader Joe's, but that is because I'm an addict and can't stop shopping there.  It doesn't hurt that every time we go, Matt says, "I should you buy you some of those flowers."

Rub the ribs down with salt, pepper, and brown sugar.

I know I rolled these wrong side out - it seems to help them stick to the bones when I grill later.
Using a sharp knife, make an incision along one side of each rib on the "bone side".  Then, starting with the broader end of the ribs, roll the slab up as tightly as you can.  (The incision will make it roll up more easily.  Do not cut too deep or the meat will fall of the bones before you want it to.)

Wrap the ribs in foil and fasten the ends securely. Poke a few holes into the foil.

Here is where you have a couple options:

Option 1: Place in slow-cooker and add about a 1/2 cup of water.  Cook on low for six hours.

Option 2: Cook on the grill at 250 for six hours.  I do ours on the grill with the water basin.

Carefully remove the ribs from the foil, glaze with BBQ sauce (this sauce is still our favorite), and place on the grill for fifteen minutes on each side.

Serve with your favorite sides to your favorite people.  Or eat them all yourself.  I won't judge. 

One final thought: I like to serve make-ahead sides with ribs, because then I can prepare everything six hours in advance, and only have clean the kitchen "once" (yeah, well, I try).  My favorites are Asian slaw and baked potatoes.

What are you all cooking now that summer seems to be here to stay?  Do you have any tricks for grilling or make-ahead side dishes you'd care to share?


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  2. These look so good! I do love ribs on the grill, even though I've never made them myself, nor do we have a grill right now. . .

    1. Carrie, my mom finishes hers in the broiler.

  3. Made these today in the crock pot with beef spare ribs. Soooo good! Will have to do them up with baby backs another time. Everyone LOVED them.

    1. I'm glad you all enjoyed them. We made them today too!

  4. Hey- do you mind sharing the recipe for the peanut butter cookies? I love that you have such a variety of things on your blog. =) Hope that you have a great weekend!

  5. We made the ribs last week - so good, and we even used prepared BBQ sauce!


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