On this page you will discover the proper cooking preparation for your favorite pork spare ribs to make them taste even better and to achieve really beautiful barbecue spareribs. And you can apply the same procedures for improving the quality of beef ribs or veal spare ribs!
Pork spareribs are probably the most popular barbecue meat worldwide. The meat of spare ribs is tender and juicy, and those little bones make spareribs ideal finger food.
To prepare spare ribs in an optimum way for a fantastic barbecue, we can recommend the following procedures:
Wash Your Beautiful Spareribs:
Rinse the sparerib slabs thoroughly under cold running water, or in a bowl with water and vinegar, removing any loose meat, fat or bone particles. If left in place, those loose particles would probably be burned by the heat of the grill, and you don't want any black spots on your beautiful barbecue spareribs! And loose bone particles are even worse! You definitively don't want to go to the dentist after every barbecue! Blot the rib slabs dry using paper towels.
Cut the Crap!
Cut off any dangling pieces of meat or fat from the rib slab; As you can imagine, these would otherwise be burned on the grill, and we definitely don't want any black pockmarks on our beautiful barbecue spareribs!
Remove the Tough Membrane:
For a better barbecue result we remove the tough membrane that covers the hollow side of the rib slab. Without this hard tissue the spareribs will be easier to eat, while the flavors and aroma of the marinade or dry rub will be able to penetrate the rib slab from both sides; And that's exactly what we want more than anything else for our beautiful barbecue spareribs! Remove the membrane by pulling it from the thicker end of the slab towards the thinner end; The easiest way to make a start and get a hold on the membrane for removing it is by poking your finger or the blunt end of a table knife or screwdriver in between the membrane and the bone of the first rib on the slab; Once you've got a hold on the membrane, use your fingers or a pair of pliers to pull the membrane in the direction of the thinner end of the slab; On the picture above you see what the hollow side of the rib slab looks like after removal of the tough membrane;
Note the open texture of the meat which will allow the flavors and aromas of our marinade or dry rub to easily penetrate into the meat; Perfect for our beautiful barbecue spareribs!
Trimming the Sparerib Slabs:
Trim your rib slabs to a convenient length by cutting off one or more ribs from the thinner end of the slab;
Note: By trimming your ribs they will not only fit your barbecue nicely, you will also end up with slabs of a more even thickness which will cook more evenly; Ideal for our beautiful barbecue spareribs! Meanwhile, the thinner "waste" morsels will be smoked to perfection a lot earlier than the thicker slabs, making for a tasty appetizer!
Your beautiful barbecue spareribs are now ready to receive the blessings of a beautiful marinade or a spicy dry rub.
Season the ribs with Dante's Devine Pork Dry Rub the night before you plan on cooking them to give it plenty of time to penetrate and flavor the meat.
Special Note: Don't ever boil your ribs! This is a BBQ abomination.
The problem with ribs is that they can be a bit tough and ornery. They are full of collagen, and if not cooked properly, they will be incredibly tough and chewy. You want fall off the bone BBQ ribs, and you can achieve this by boiling them, but it's a bad idea. When you boil ribs, what you are effectively doing is making a pork broth. You are stealing a lot of the delicious potential flavors from the ribs, and they will be much blander and more one dimensional when cooked this way.
What you really want to do is sort of roast the meat. BBQ is a low heat method of roasting, and by dry roasting will concentrate the great flavors of the meat.
Low and Slow:
The secret to tender BBQ ribs is a long cooking time over a low temperature. If you roast these slowly, the collagen in the meat will transform into luscious gelatin, and the meat will be tender and flavorful. You want to keep the heat between 250 and 300. Lower than 250 and you risk drying the meat, and higher than 300 is getting too hot for tenderizing cooking.
Cook them over indirect smoky heat.
You can use any receptacle that will provide heat, and hold smoke. I've built an offset firebox smoker, smoked in my brick oven, and found best results from an old gas fired pizza oven. The heat in the pizza oven is nice and steady, and I just whack a big cast iron fry pan full of fruit tree wood with some charcoal mixed in to provide lots of smoke.
The lesson is that it doesn't really matter what is providing the heat, as long as there is a lot of smoke, the heat is good and even and low; and the meat is not too close to the heat source. You can use a backyard gas BBQ with wood chips to good effect, but it is hard to keep the ribs away from the direct heat of the flames (unless you've got a really BIG BBQ!).
You can get a little bullet smoker at most hardware stores for about 50$, and they will work reasonably well, or use your imagination, and design your own cue pit!
Don't sauce until the ribs are done.
They're done when you lift up the rack in the middle a bit, and it threatens to split in two. When they are done, heat the grill up to medium and grill the sauced ribs for a few minutes.
Follow these 6 steps and you are well on your way to an outstanding BBQ meal. People can debate for hours between the different merits of rubs, mops, different woods and sauces; so you will have to make your own mind up about all that. Just remember the principles of low and slow and steady indirect smoky heat, and you will be just fine!
Nothing beats the backyard aromas of an afternoon's labor tending BBQ ribs, so get out there and enjoy a great weekend afternoon at the cue!
Grab your shoulder and pat dry - prepare for injections!
Grab a meat injector - you can get them at any food store.
We fill ours with Dante's Devine Roasted Garlic Injector Sauce!
We inject the meat all over creating many pockets for the pork fat to slowly render and flavor the shoulder.
Mustard Painted Meat - add mustard paint to the exterior.
Add our Dante's Devine Pork Dry Rub to the outside of the meat.
Let meat set covered for 30 - 45 minutes. This will help create a crust or in BBQ parlance - the "Bark"
In competition, judges are looking for a nice bark on your shoulder!
Put this baby on the smoker! And let the Temp from 200 degrees to 220 do its magic over time (We cook about an hour per pound!) 18 pound shoulders!!! You've got to plan ahead!
Pull your Shoulder off and let the meat rest for about 20 minutes.
Pull the shoulder blade out - (if done correctly this should pull out very easy!)