As promised, I'm starting my new white noise housegating series to describe my culinary process during football season. I'm starting it off with Ribs.
There are as many opinions on how to cook ribs as there are people who love to eat them. Albert's guide on Deadspin is a really good guide as well. I'm here telling you my middle of the road, store bought technique to make as many people happy as possible.
I cook mine on a smoker, but I have a bunch of commercial smokers at my shop, this will work no matter what you have.
When cooking meat, the fat content tells you how to cook it. Fatty meats are cooked low and slow, lean meats are cooked high and fast.
When cooking for my family, I prefer to use either St. Louis style or Baby Back ribs. (I use more traditional larger racks for competition, though)
The first step for good ribs is to remove the annoying skin from the bottom of them. This is best done by turning the ribs over, making a clean slice along the largest bone, and pulling it off with a paper towel.
Then, as I'm letting the ribs get up to room temperature, I apply my dry rubs. My store bought dry rub consists of garlic powder, a very little bit of seasoning salt, and Bad Byron's Butt rub. I sprinkle the Butt Rub and Garlic Powder liberally, and am very careful with seasoning salt. (You can also add black powder)
Next, it's time to put the heat on them. If you have a smoker, this is easy, just keep the smoker at 225. If you don't, you can grill them for 45 minutes to an hour on a charcoal grill and then put them in an oven set to 225.
How long do you cook them? This depends on your personal taste. They are technically done in around 3 and a half hours. At that point they will be flavorful and stay fully attached to the bone. The great thing about ribs, however is that their done temp is also the temp where the fats and collagens do a phase change from solid to liquid, increasing the tenderness and moisture in them. So, if you want fall if the bone rib meat, you can leave them on for another hour to hour and a half.
When they hit 190 or are close, douse them in your BBQ sauce. There are many great sauces available at the store. I like Corky's, Tony Stewart's BBQ sauce (which is a Western Ky style sauce) or Dreamland's BBQ sauce. Cook for 10 more minutes and pull them off.
Have a great weekend guys and post your own football food :)