Introduction: Ribs and Pulled Pork Without the Fuss

In this instructable I'm going to give you my ridiculously easy recipe for making amazing ribs and pulled pork. It's very simple, very cheap and uses only a few simple ingredients which most people should have lying around the house. If you're like me, then when you're cooking for a large group of people you like to do as little prep work as possible so you can actually hang out and enjoy your own party, however, when you do bring food to the table you still want it to be as delicious and amazing as possible, and that's where this recipe steps in. It is going to require you to cook the meat in the oven for a long time but in terms of preparation and effort it really is minimal.

It's true that cooking your ribs and pulled pork in a smoker will yield smokier meat, but for those of us not lucky enough to own one, or whose current situation makes it a logistical impossibility (living in a small city apartment) then this recipe is a great alternative. It is truly delicious and what it lack's in smokiness it more than makes up for in ease of implementation and compatibility with standard kitchen equipment.

(Unfortunately, because my guests were hungry they tore the finished products from my hand and I barely had time to take these blurry cell phone pictures of the almost-finished product let alone a manicured picture with perfect lighting and just the right amount of neatly placed dressing. Next time I make them though I'll get a better set of pictures of the final product and upload them) 

Step 1: A Note on Timing

  • It's worth noting in advance that this recipe requires some long cooking times, and in the case of the pork butt you can also do an overnight brine.
  • We're going to be cooking the meat at a very low temperature for a long time (low and slow) to make sure that it's gets tender while still retaining as many of it's natural juices as possible.
  • This is important to take into account when planning on having guests over so that the food is ready when everyone expects to eat. 
  • I usually stick the pork in the oven first thing in the morning 8-9am and the ribs around 12-1pm so that they're ready around 5pm.

Step 2: Ingredients

  1. 4-6 lbs Pork Butt
  2. 2-4 Racks Baby Back Ribs
Pre Rub
  1. 1 Cup Salt
  2. 1 Cup Sugar
Final Rub
  1. 2 Cups Light Brown Sugar
  2. 1 Tbsp Paprika
  3. 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder

Step 3: Pre Rub

  • For the pork butt, because it's a thicker piece of meat, I like to do the pre-rub the night before then seal it in a ziplock bag and leave it in the fridge overnight, however, if you're in a hurry or it's already the day of your barbecue, then you can skip the overnight step, and just do the rub before putting the pork in the oven.
  • For the ribs you can do the rub right before.

The pre rub:

  • Simply rub the sugar and the salt all over the meat and wrap in foil.
  • When you are ready to cook the meat, place it in a tray lined with foil (or use a foil tray) and place in the middle of the oven.
  • I recommend lining the tray with foil because there are going to be a lot of drippings from the meat and this will save you a lot of washing up later on.
Note on the membrane at the underside of the ribs:
As mentioned in a couple of the comments, it's best to remove the membrane on the underside of the ribs before adding the rub. You can do this easily enough with a knife or ,as one comment mentioned, a pair of pliers. The next time I cook up some ribs i'll upload a few pics of the membrane removal.

Step 4: Cook the Meat

  • Cook the meat at 250 F
  • The ribs should take about 3-4 hours, the pork will take a bit longer 6-8 hours.

Step 5: Final Rub

  • Once the meat is cooked remove from the oven.
  • Take off the foil wrapping and drain any oil and fat that has accumulated at the bottom of the pan.
  • Set the oven to 500 F
  • Carefully rub the brown sugar, paprika and garlic powder all over your meat.
  • When the oven is hot enough place the meat back in the oven and cook for 10-15 mins or until the sugar starts to turn a dark golden brown.
  • You should probably open a few doors and windows as this is likely to cause a bit of smoking.

Step 6: Finish the Meat and Serve

To finish the ribs:
  • The meat is very tender at this point and I usually find it hard to work with it as a full rack without it falling apart so I cut  them into smaller pieces of 4-5 ribs
  • Brush barbecue sauce on the top and cook for 2-3mins on the grill ribs-down at medium-high heat with the top down.
  • Flip the ribs and brush on the bottom cooking again for another 2-3mins.
  • Flip one last time and finish with another layer of barbecue sauce.
  • For the sauce you can use your favourite store bought sauce or make your own. (Here's my recipe:
To finish the pork:
  • The pork will be very tender and can be pulled apart easily with your hands. You can either pull it apart yourself or I like to present it whole on a plate with tongs so guests can help themselves.
  • I recommend serving it on potato buns with coleslaw and then finish with some barbecue sauce and siracha on top.
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