Summer was Invented for Grilling, the Grill Invented for Ribs

Post by Guest Blogger- Curtis Silver

Spare RibsStrange times surround us folks. Just when we thought we had this season thing figured out, Al Gore went and invented global warming and threw a wrench in the whole deal. Now the winter seems to start early, sometimes stretch into spring and summer is just a fetid stretch of dire humidity & burning concrete.

Down here in the sunshine state, it’s summer all year round. For the sake of the header of this article, I’ll pretend I live in your state, you know, where you have seasons. So when summer rolls around it’s time to roll out the grill. Whether you are from the propane school, the charcoal school or the smoker school of grilling, it’s summer so it’s time to grill.

For me, I’m a propane guy. I’ve experimented with many methods and while I sometimes turn my grill into a smoker, I prefer the clean heat of propane to the often uneven flame of charcoal. No matter your fuel, that first grill of the season had better be a good one. So you better come stronger than a basic meal of burgers and non 100% beef hot dogs. If I wasn’t grilling all year round, I’d say spare ribs would be the way to go.

Recipe: Badass Spare Ribs

First off, get some spare ribs. I prefer spare ribs because they are larger and more manly than baby back ribs. Plus, they don’t have the tiny bones in baby back ribs which makes flipping and eating them more difficult.

Second, since the first ingredient is pretty easy, make your chosen sauce. Now, you can of course buy some BBQ sauce to put on your ribs but that’s the easy way out. I prefer a nice thick Southern type sauce, with some kick to it and a thickness like 20 weight motor oil. You might notice my recipe has very few measurements, that’s because I don’t measure anything. I’m that good.

  • 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive, or that mixed one)
  • Half a diced yellow onion
  • Two diced up cloves of garlic
  • About a half cup cider vinegar
  • Same for Worcestershire sauce
  • Dry mustard
  • Dark brown sugar (same amount as mustard)
  • Paprika (same amount as brown sugar)
  • Less than the above of salt
  • Same for cayenne pepper (though I usually add an extra pinch)
  • One cup ketchup

Dump the onion and garlic in a food processor, then saute in a fairly large pan until clear. Add the oil in when you do that. Don’t burn them, otherwise you will then end up with barbeque sauce that tastes like burnt onion. Add in the rest of the ingredients, save for the ketchup. Bring it all to a boil, then turn the heat off. If you’ve got a Kenmore Induction Plate, this shouldn’t take too long.

Add the ketchup as this mixture starts to cool. Stir like you’ve never stirred before, that is – no lumps. This isn’t a brownie mix, you’ve got to smooth it out. When your old tennis elbow injury starts to flare up, you’ve probably stirred it enough.

Put the sauce aside. The trick to grilling ribs, grilling – not smoking, is to cook them first. I know, it sounds like cheating. I cook them in the oven on a broiler pan for about four hours. The ribs are rubbed with a spice mixture of random assortment, and covered with aluminum foil. It’s important to keep them moist, so every 30 minutes or so you open the oven and pour some additional liquid in the broiler pan. I like to use a combination of water, apple juice & Mountain Dew. No lie.

After the ribs are nice and tender, that’s when you throw them on the grill and apply your sauce in a very liberal manner. Slop that sauce on like you are Jackson Pollack with an unlimited paint supply. Apply sauce to both sides, flip often and alternate between top and bottom rack to avoid the sauce burning. You’ll know they are done when you go to flip them and they just start to fall apart. Throw on some Italian sausage and some shrimp skewers (coated with butter & garlic) and you’ve got yourself the perfect meat filled grilled meal to kick off the summer.

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