Another Rib Try

I made baby back ribs again for the game today (argh!) and they turned out great. The main difference was that I smoked them with hickory chips and I cooked two racks at a time instead of just one. A neighborhood cat tried to eat them right off the grill.

I almost screwed up the smoke, because I forgot you have to get the chips smoking before you start cooking. I put them on at the same time and the proper procedure is to start out blazing hot until the chips smoke like crazy and then turn the heat down and load the meat. Unlike the Eagles today I was able to come back from my bad start and produce something worthwhile.

Also, I tried to buy the meat yesterday at Acme but all they had were the precooked Tony Siragusa ribs, so I drove all the way to Superfresh.

In my NFL Pick’Em league I’m 12/13 so far, but I have three upsets picked for the last three games. I doubt I’ll be that lucky.

Baby Back Rib Recipe

You can count me among the fans of baby back ribs, but they’re a little intimidating to make. Here’s why:

  1. Long marinating times
  2. Long cooking times
  3. Tricky heat settings
  4. Removing that damn membrane from the bottom

My first attempt at making ribs was about two years ago and I spent all day working on them, only to have them burn to a crisp in 10 minutes. I was so distraught I ended up eating at Red Hot and Blue. It took me a while, but I made my second attempt this weekend and it was a huge success.

Baby Back Ribs

Here is my recipe:


1 package of baby back ribs
1 container of apple juice
Stubs BBQ seasoning
Sylvia’s herb seasoning
Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce


Remove the membrane from the bottom of the ribs. This is the most annoying part of the process, but it’s not that difficult and don’t worry about getting every last bit off. A lot of crazy websites say to use a screwdriver to get under it and pull it off, but I just used a knife and wiggled it between the membrane and the bone.

Marinate the ribs in the apple juice for about two hours and flip them over half way through if they’re not fully submerged.

Set up your grill for indirect cooking, which is almost like baking. You heat up the side of the grill you aren’t going to use. Some gas grills are set up with burners on the left and right and some are front to back. Mine has three heat zones (front, middle, and back) and usually I turn the front off, set the middle to low, and the back to medium when cooking on indirect heat.

Take the ribs out of the apple juice and pat dry with paper towels. Apply the Stubs BBQ rub generously to both sides, but the bottom is really just for show. Sprinkle some of the Sylvia’s seasoning on both sides as well. Make sure the meaty top side looks evenly covered by the BBQ rub. DO NOT put on the BBQ sauce yet, because it will burn.

Now that the grill is hot, put the ribs on the cooler side and cook for at least 1.5 – 1.75 hours. Check it often to make sure it isn’t burning and that your hot side is hot enough. I like to flip it twice and that way it’s mostly cooked from the bottom up.

About 20 minutes before your time is up, apply the BBQ sauce with a basting brush to both sides. The final internal temperature should be at least 140 degrees. Enjoy!

Credit: Almost everything I’ve learned about grilling is from the amazing book, How To Grill by Steven Raichlen. My rib recipe is based on one from the book.