If you love ribs and want to impress your friends and family, then give our recipe a try!
A grill set up for indirect/2-zone cooking (gas or charcoal is just fine) or a smoker for roasting and a grill for charring.
Smoking Wood of Choice (I used big chunks of hickory, but you can roll with whatever flavors you want to try -- next on my want list is cherry!)
A good digital oven thermometer (It MUST be accurate. I would splurge on this piece of equipment, as it pays for itself in the quality it contributes)
Our Flame Tree Inspired BBQ Rub AND Flame Tree Inspired BBQ sauce
Your favorite style of pork ribs (stick to baby backs, St. Louis, and spare style ribs -- country ribs aren't really ribs, and need to be cooked differently!)
Prep: 15 minutes active, up to two hours inactive
Cooking: 3-4 hours for baby backs; 5-6 for spare or St. Louis. Add an hour in any case if you're roasting them close together.
1. Rinse & Trim Your Ribs: Start by rinsing the ribs under cold water to remove any residues left from butchering, and then pat them dry with sturdy paper towels. Next, trim the ribs of any hard fat deposits on the meaty side of the rack. Finally, peel away the tough membrane on the bone side of the ribs by inserting a butter knife between the membrane and the bone and pulling it from the rack by hand. This part is extremely important because this membrane is not only tough when cooked, but it also will hold the fat inside and keep it from rendering out properly. If you want your ribs to have a proper mouthfeel, you just can't skip this.
2. Rub 'em Down: Up to two hours before smoking, it's time to heavily season the ribs using the BBQ Rub. I'd recommend that you pat the ribs dry (again, just to be sure), smear a little oil on all sides of the meat, and very liberally apply the rub. Some folks like to salt the meat separate from the rub (we actually skipped the salt altogether and left it out of our rub recipe because of a family history of hypertension). In that case, salt a couple hours in advance and then oil and rub right before cooking.
3. Heat Grill or smoker to 225*F: Trust your new-fangled digital thermometer and NOT the dial on your grill. It may take a bit to get it right, so do it while your salt and/or rub is setting into the ribs.
4. Get 'em Roasting: Put the meat on the indirect side of your setup and put on your smoking wood. New to smoking your food? Curious how to smoke your food on a gas grill? Comment below using Facebook comments and I'll be happy to help you out. After half an hour, add another chunk of wood. You probably only need 8-10oz of wood in all. Depending on your setup, you may need to rotate the slabs' positioning relative to the heat source. Again, don't be afraid to ask for help below!
5. Use Your Downtime Wisely: Much like our Rubbed 'N Smoked Chicken you have plenty of time to prepare some killer sides like these, which are also inspired by Flame Tree BBQ at Disney's Animal Kingdom. This time, we made a big double batch of jalapeno cornbread muffins, since they became a new favorite! You should also check out this cool article at AmazingRibs.com on checking your ribs for doneness. The bend test is the easiest and most reliable in my opinion.
6. Check 'em and Char 'em: At the beginning of the aforementioned cooking window, check your slabs for done-ness. When they pass the test, crank up the direct heat and start crisping the bark, meaty side down. Then, flip em and slather those babies with your favorite BBQ sauce (or give our Flame Tree Inspired BBQ sauce a try!). Flip meaty side down again to give the sauce a char too if that’s your style (p.s. As I've said before, you'd best make it your style otherwise we're gonna have trouble), and don't forget to put sauce on the now exposed bone side. One more turn, meaty side up, and smear a tad more sauce. Now, turn the heat off and let it set for two minutes or so.
7. Tear 'em Apart: I'm a monster, I know. If you're going be a meat eater, there is something so real and "in touch" with the earth to eat meat right off the bone. Like I've mentioned before, I try to live a veggie-first lifestyle most days of the week for a multitude of hippie reasons (we can discuss that in the comments too if you'd like), so good meat is a serious treat and I am grateful on a primal and spiritual level when I do eat it. Be sure you go heavy with the sauce, add a little extra sprinkle of the rub, and dig in.
Share pictures and comments of your own efforts below! You won't be disappointed by this recipe.