Nothing grilled, nothing gained as they say. Five years after Pete Watson and his wife Lara gave us a Weber kettle grill for a wedding gift we finally made ribs on it. What idiots we were to deny ourselves the pleasures of grilling ribs on charcoal for sheer procrastination.
But we have gained, oh yes, we have gained. Sticky fingers, kind of sexy, smoky smelling hair and the most envious aroma of deliciousness coming from any backyard in the neighborhood. If only I had begun the process in the early afternoon as I declared I would, we could have actually had the ribs for dinner rather than the cold pizza we half-heartedly choked down waiting until the ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender at 11pm.
Here is our talented little grill pre-show.
And then I bought myself some apple wood chips and though I could not get a coal chimney (sold out) I got some quick burning coal starter things which were quite effective as long I did not let my thought wander to the substances that made them so quick-burning.
I have the coals on one side and a drip-pan filled with water on the right. I put a stainless steel box of soaked applewood chips on the coals just before I added the top grate and the the lid.
Two racks of baby back ribs, about 2 lbs each. I put a dry rub on them and left them for an hour at room temperature. The rub had sweet paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, celery seed, fresh back pepper and chili powder. The recipe (BBQ Back ribs with Sweet and Sticky Sauce) came from the Saveur BBQ Issue (I know, what else, right? I will branch out one day but once again not only were the magazine’s recipes lipsmacking but the stories of BBQ, coleslaw, baked beans, coals, tradition and rivalry were addicitive too!)
And while the ribs cooked between 225 F-250 F over 3 hrs ( I actually found it hard to keep the heat below 300 F even adjusting the vents as much as I could) I made the sauce. Honey, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, worcestershire, hot sauce, cloves……MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMessy.
And finally at 11pm, with the grill lit from the soft glow coming through the back door of the kitchen, I was able to pull off shreds of the crispy rib-ends that were slowly caramelizing from their recent basting in sticky sauce. And I ate them greedily, slightly out of site of my husband before he next opened the door to ask, “are they done yet?”. And they were good. Sigh with pleasure good.
Like Angelina Jolie, I am now a Pitt master.
And that’s why I want to thank you Pete Watson.
5 responses to “Thanks for the ribs Pete Watson”
Your dry rub sounds great (my favourites are all quite similar, but usually have some brown sugar in there). The easiest fall-off-the-bone rib recipes I’ve tried involve a dry rub, ribs standing upright in a slow-cooker on a bed of celery (to avoid sticking to the crock) and left at low for 8 hours. When you get home (or when the guests arrive or the sangria is about to run out), delicately retrieve the ribs, apply grilling sauce and give them a little fire to crisp the outside. Oh, and don’t forget to stuck up on the paper towels, and lots of them, as finger-licking just slows you down.
Aha! This is excellent information. See, I hope my amateur attempts draw like magnets the experience of true rib experts. I didn;t even have Sangria during the whole process. What was i thinking?
Sloooooow ribs = loads of sangria-sippin’ time that automagically turn an otherwise harassed grill jockey into the perfect host/ess and life of the party. What indeed were you thinking, Ms. Riedl?!?
We tried to BBQ at the theatre cottage I’m staying at in Chester, MA. WE mounded up our charcoal, tucked in the kindling, and lit ‘er up. And… nothing. We doused the coals with a liberal dose of lighter fluid, and… nothing. The coals refused to catch. After an hour of this, we gave up and pan fried our steak. (Still delicious!)
As we were enjoying our dessert, we looked out on the patio and saw a roaring charcoal fire. It had only taken three hours from first attempt to get the stupid coals to light.
So, next time we’ll light her up at 1 PM to get ready for dinner.
That’s crazy! What kind of coals were those!
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