Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Grilled Baby Back Ribs

Grilled Asian style, Jamaican Jerk, and coffee ancho chile ribs
I love grilled ribs but I also want tender juicy ribs. I like them with a bit of smoky flavor but I don't want the smoke to overpower the taste of the ribs. My solution: I bake the ribs at a low temperature in the oven and then finish them on the grill with a bit of smoke. To make them extra tender and add another layer of flavor, I bake the ribs with beer. The result is amazing ribs. To add even more pizazz to my ribs and to accommodate differences in tastes, I make three different types: Jamaican Jerk, Asian style, and coffee ancho chile. The best part is they couldn't be easier.

These were so good, I entered them in the Fine Cooking Grill-Lympics.

Thanks to everyone for voting for me---

Baked Ribs
1-2 12 oz. (355 ml) Beers (I prefer to use a pilsner, wheat, Belgian blonde ale or Kolsch; avoid using a Pale Ale or IPA)
1-3 Racks of Baby Back Ribs

Preheat oven to 300F/149C/ Gas Mark 2. Place ribs in a large roasting pan and pour beer (use one beer for 1-2 racks of ribs and 2 beers for 3 racks of ribs) over the ribs. Cover the pan tightly in foil. Bake for 3-4 hours. Remove from oven and place on cookie sheets or large plates to carry out to the grill.

The Rubs/ Marinades
Jamaican Jerk Rub

Jamaican Jerk Rub

1/4 Cup (53 g) Packed Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp of Kosher Salt (Do not use iodized salt)
1/4 Tsp of Ground Ginger
1/4 to 1/2 Tsp of Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp of Ground Allspice
Couple of Dashes of Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Tsp of Paprika (either hot or sweet depending on taste)
1 Dash of Ground Cloves

Asian Style Marinade
Asian Marinade
1/4 Cup (60 ml) of Hoisin Sauce
1/4 Cup (60 ml) of Vegetable or Canola Oil
2 Tbsp of Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp of Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp of Ground Ginger
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Tbsp of Chile Garlic Sauce
1/4 Cup (53 g) of Brown Sugar

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small dish.

Coffee and Ancho Chile Rub
Coffee Ancho Chile Rub

1/2 Cup (106 g) of Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp of Ground Ancho Chile Pepper
1/2 Cup of Dark Coffee or Espresso
3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 Tsp of Cinnamon
2 Tsp of Kosher Salt (Do not use iodized salt)
2 Tsp of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp of Paprika (Preferably Smoked)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Grilled Ribs

To finish the ribs rub the Jamaican Jerk rub on both sides on the Jerk ribs, the coffee ancho rub on the meaty-side of the Ancho ribs, and baste both sides with the Asian ribs with the Asian marinade.
The grill step is really more about imparting flavor than cooking and you don't want to dry out the ribs you've worked so hard to keep moist, so keep the temperature low.  (We used our kamado grill with the intake and chimney both nearly closed.)
Our kamado grill
Load your grill or smoker with a small load of lump charcoal plus some well-soaked hickory chunks.  Bring the temperature to about 220F/104C.  Place the ribs on the grill meaty-side up. The ribs with the Asian marinade should be basted with the marinade once while the ribs are grilling.  Grill the ribs for roughly an hour, checking every 15 minutes.  When the ribs have formed a nice smoke crust, you can remove them.

The bottom line: Will I make it again? Yes. The ribs are wonderful. The rubs/marinades are great and can be used on other cuts of meat. I really like the coffee ancho chile rub with a little bit of cocoa added to it on chicken. The Jamaican jerk rub is wonderful on cedar planked salmon. The Asian style marinade is wonderful on a pork tenderloin.

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