Whether you are a seasoned backyard chef or an up and coming newbie, Slow cooked ribs are a staple in backyard cuisine. Now ribs can be done many different ways but for me nothing compares to slow cooked and smoked ribs from the grill. The only problem is not everyone (including myself) has a smoker at their disposal.
In this Instructable I will demonstrate how I used an inexpensive GAS grill to Smoke and Slow Cook ribs to perfection.
With these simple steps anyone can create wonderfully delicious ribs that are sure to impress at your next get together or just for yourself !
1 - Ribs, one or as many racks you can fit on the grill I used 2 racks for this instructable.
2 - Favorite Seasoning, Sauces and rubs
3 - Two or Three 8" x 8" tinfoil trays ( found in baking section of grocery store)
4 - Wood chips, I used Apple-wood Flavor ( These are bought at BBQ stores or some grocery stores) $10. per bag
5 - Apple Cider Vinegar and Apple Juice 1 liter
6 - Spray Bottle ( I didn't have one, so I poked a few small holes in an empty two liter bottle which worked great )
7 - Barbeque ( Mine is an inexpensive small BBQ)
8 - BBQ tools ( Tongs, Flipper etc,)
9 - Paper towel
10 - Additional meal supplies, ( I paired the Ribs with Garlic Bread, Macaroni Salad and Corn on the Cob )
******Its slow cooking which makes these ribs so wonderful so lets not rush them******
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Step 1: Choosing Ribs
Choosing the type of rib you would like to cook is the first and most important step. Go to a reputable butcher or grocery store that is known for their meat. If you want delicious ribs you must start with good quality products.
For this method you can use Back Ribs or Side Ribs. I used and prefer back ribs because I find them more tender then side ribs though they are slightly more expensive.
Because we are slow cooking side ribs will turn out just fine so if its your first time and want to save a little money side ribs will work great.
Step 2: Remove the Membrain
On the underside of a rack of ribs there is a membrane that contains " Silver-skin" this style of skin will not break down when cooked and will actually make the ribs harder to eat and less tender.
Starting and the narrow end of the rack to remove the silver skin simply take your finger and feel the meat on the underside until you feel a bone. Now with a sharp knife turned sideways work the tip on the knife under the silver-skin slowly lifting up separating the skin from the bone. Work the knife all the way until you have reached the other side of the bone and then slice the skin making a flap.
Now because the skin is very slippery use a paper towel to grip the silver-skin and simply pull it off and discard.
Step 3: Maranade and Dry-rub
After the Silver skin has been removed its time to marinade the ribs for around 30 minutes in some apple cider vinegar. you don't need much just enough to coat the ribs in a shallow plate or pan.
After 30 minutes be sure to pat the ribs dry with paper tower and then apply the DRY RUB
Wicked Gourmet Everything Rub
Freshly Cracked Black pepper
I like to let the ribs sit again for at least another 30 mins if not longer just for some of that flavor to really penetrate deep into the meet. This wait time gives you a chance now to soak your wood chips.
Step 4: Soak the Wood Chips
Allowing the Wood to soak is essential. In the 8" x 8" tinfoil trays make a layer of wood about halfway up the side of the container.
Now fill with a half and half mixture of water and apple juice until the wood chips are just submerged. Allow them to soak for a minimum 30 minutes
After they have soaked add another layer of tinfoil to the top of the wood chips and tighten it down around the edges then make holes in the tinfoil for the smoke to escape once on the grill.
Step 5: Get the Wood Smoking
We want to be cooking the ribs on a preheated BBQ of 225 for 4 hours. The KEY part of this cooking method is indirect cooking. If you see in the picture I have removed 1 side of the grill surface and placed 1 of the wood home made smoker box directly on a MEDIUM flame. The other side will be off so no heat is ever right under the ribs.
I checked the wood about 20 minutes later and the chips were just starting to produce smoke, now its time to turn the grill down to medium-low and place the ribs on the other rack
(This can be done with Propane BBQ as well just make sure you have a full propane tank)
1 - heat up grill
2 - place wood chips in tinfoil on burner at medium heat ( close lid)
3 - wait until you see smoke
3 - once you see smoke add ribs and turn burner down to Med-low and close lid.
4 - Check your watch and get your spray bottle ready filled with apple-cider vinegar
Step 6: Get Your Grill on
Now that your ribs are on the grill try to keep from opening the lid as much as possible. Check your ribs and temperature every 30 minutes and when doing so use the spray bottle to lightly coat the ribs in apple cider vinegar which will keep them hydrated and moist.
after 3.5 hours add your sauce and keep cooking for an additional 30 minutes. This is also a good time to prep your other dishes you will be serving along side the ribs.
To sum up
1 - Place ribs on grill
2 - Hydrate with apple cider vinegar every 30 minutes
3 - Make sure your temperature stays at 200-225 degrees
4 - Halfway through cooking time add the second soaked and drained wood chip tray.
5 - After 3.5 hours add sauce and cook an additional 30 minutes
6 - Prep other food
Step 7: Slice & Serve
Now that the ribs are done get a sharp knife and slice them into single ribs as this is much easier to eat and your guests can grab as many as they would like.
I hope you enjoyed this instructable and good luck making delicious smoked ribs with out a smoker.