New York is one of the biggest cities in the world…OK, like 38th, but that’s pretty big. Still, there are things you just can’t do here.
Like big meat grilling…I mean unless you have a big terrace, deck, back yard (ha!)…you just can’t outdoor grill. And, then there are those pesky laws about transporting gas tanks – like for a gas grill – through any of the tunnels or over any of the bridges. Uhm, this is an island, how am I supposed to transport my off-island bought gas tanks?
No worries…With any luck, we have all found friends and relatives with places outside of the city. In a perfect world, these generous people who open up their homes to us, have a grill. While I prefer a gas grill, no need to be picky…In many cases a charcoal grill is actually better.
On a recent trip to Cincinnati – remember, where my people live and cheerleaders date minors – I marveled as the grill master (aka, my brother) made some unbelievably good smoked and bbq baby back ribs using his old school charcoal Weber grill.
Tiny Apartment Tip: Make friends with homes off the island….
Hickory and Applewood Smoked Baby Back Ribs (serves 6)
Warning: This is an all day event….but, you’re in the country or at least out of the city, what else would you be doing?
2 giant packages of pork baby back ribs – 3.25 – 3.5 lbs each
1 – 2 cups City Barbeque Original Barbeque Sauce
- 2 TBSP Sea Salt
- 2 TBSP Garlic Salt
- 2 TBSP Garlic Powder
- 2 TBSP Onion Powder
- 1 TBSP Paprika
- 2 Meat Injectors worth of Bacon Grease – just go with it
- A Bunch of Hickory Chips
- A Bunch of Applewood Chips
1. In a large bucket or pot or bowl or whatever, combine the wood chips, cover with water and soak for at least 2 hours…
2. Remove the ribs from packaging and peel the membrane from the back side. This was a bit tricky because the membrane is slimy and tough to pull off…but, you can lift the edge of the membrane with a butter knife and then use a paper towel or rubber tongs to pull back the membrane
3. In a bowl, combine the Sea Salt, Garlic Salt, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Onion Powder. We also threw in some Hickory Flavor Rub…
4. Rub the meat on both sides generously with the spicy mixture – my anal retentive brother puts his hands in plastic baggies and then rubs…but you can also just use your bare hands and, omg, wash them after – your call
5. And, this is pretty OTT…but, whatever…Using your meat injector (a tool only found in Sweeney Todd’s or Hannibal Lector’s collection…or the home of teenage boys who like science and bacon) Inject each rib with a good squirt of bacon fat…Yeah, that’s right, we injected pork fat into pork ribs…
6. Wrap the ribs tightly in tin foil and put in the fridge – ideally overnight – but, at least 3 hours
7. After the overnight dry rub fridging….Prepare your grill – this is a charcoal grill only event:
- Set the grill for indirect heat – that means the center of the grill basin doesn’t have any charcoal in it…but, instead, the charcoal is in two piles – one on either side of the grill basin. My brother used bricks to keep the charcoal piles contained to the side of the grill – he’s smart like that.
- Get the charcoal going, then cover the charcoal with the wood chips and replace the grate
- Cover the grill…and, yes, it’s going to smoke…a lot…that’s the point
8. Prepare your ribs for the smoking process…In my brother’s case this meant:
- Don some murderous looking grill gloves….these are like totally jacked up kitchen gloves – specifically designed to withstand great heat
- Spray a rib rack (again, not a city accoutrement, but apparently quite the rage off the island) with non stick cooking spray
- Place each rib in its own rack slot
- Using a large skewer (preferably a wooden one that you’ve soaked for at least :30mins) pierce through the ends of each rack to elevate them
9. Place the racked ribs on the grill and cover. Cook for 2 – 2.5 hours
10. Remove the ribs from the rib rack and place in a large, high sided pan. Preferably a tin foil one you can pitch afterwards…
11. Generously cover the ribs with Barbeque/Barbecue sauce – we used City Barbeque Original Sauce…pretty good
12. Preheat oven to 250 degrees
13. Cover the ribs with tin foil and put in the oven for 2 hours
14. After the low baking process…remove the ribs from the oven and from the pan…BUT, don’t eat yet! Nope, put the ribs on a cutting board and cover with tin foil for up to an hour to give the meat a chance to rest and re-juicify
15. Slice and serve
The ribs were fall off the bone amazingly smoky, sweet and fabulous. Took all day…but, more than well worth it.
If you’re lucky enough to guest at the home of a Killer Griller…try this.
My brother and I have always been pretty competitive with one another – it’s a gene, I think. And, let’s just be honest, I’m the much better cook. That said…my brother is a Killer Griller.