crane

A Worthwhile Sacrifice

I have a copy of the PBS America's Test Kitchen's The Best Recipe. It is probably the most battered book in my collection of cookbooks, though How to Cook Everything is a close second.

I've been craving ribs, slow-smoked ribs. The problem is that most of the local places either parboil 'em or only do babyback ribs in outdoor smokers; and on the Front Range, the atmosphere here is so dry that I've never been able to get rib that wasn't so dry it might as well be called jerky. Heck, even big beef ribs turn into jerky, so it may well not be the size, just the atmosphere here.

Big, meaty spareribs were on sale at our grocery store for Super Bowl Sunday, and I took advantage of the sale and bought a whole rack for about $9.



The basic idea is to just do a dry rub and then smoke the ribs on the grill, and given that we had a gas grill, it was supposed to be easier. It helped that, yesterday, the temperatures outside got up into the mid-60's, which is unusual for February, admittedly, it was so warm it felt like spring. Right when the UK was getting a huge snow hit. It was funny talking with cmc42 about that.

So I cut open the package in the morning, and sliced right into my left index finger. *sigh* I bled everywhere, and managed to get washed up and put my finger in some of Jet's waterproof Nemo adhesive bandages. That made it easy to keep a "clean" hand and a "dirty" hand when I applied the rub, though, really quick and easy to keep my left hand so that I could reach for stuff, pour stuff, or do other things, while the right got covered in pork stuff, rub, and everything else. I wrapped the whole thing in plastic after the rub went on and went on with my day.

John soaked the wood chips, and I was really optimistic as I started the grills *after* we got Jet from the bus, which was at 4. I turned off all but one burner, put the ribs on the off side, and the soaked chips on the on side and closed the lid. The lid thermometer told me that I'd probably been a bit optimistic about the outside temps as well, as after the initial warm up to 350°, it dropped down below 150° after the first half hour. *headdesk* It was supposed to be maintained at 275° for the whole time for a two to three hour cooking process.

So I started by turning on another burner. That only got it up to barely 200, and so we started jockeying the searing burners on the thing to get the internal temp up; but I realized that the lid wasn't actually showing the inside temp on the grill itself. So I finally threw an oven thermometer on the grill itself.

I'd aimed for 6. At 6:15, with a flashlight, I went out and found that the meat had pulled away from the ends of the bones, and it was all covered "with a rosy hue" (falls over laughing), so we hoped, brought them in, let them rest a little, and cut into them. The recipe says that they should sit for an *hour* sealed up in foil and a paper bag and stuff, but we weren't patient enough for that. They sat long enough for everything else to be brought to ready, and then we ate them. I'll have to admit that they were probably the best ribs I've ever made. You can get the recipe on their site, but this particular one is only available to paying members. The rub recipe is well worth it. *sighs*

We ended up with enough ribs for dinner last night for all three of us, two servings for lunch today (they were more tender today), and probably another serving for another lunch. Pretty good for a nine dollar rack... now I don't have to go to a restaurant when I'm craving ribs.

Sadly, my finger cut has been interfering with the whole left side of my body... *sighs* I got another couple thousand words done yesterday, but have ended up with an aching arm, shoulder, and neck. *growf* And this morning Jet had a late start morning, so I did nothing but watch "Mythbusters" and "How It's Made" with him while we built his huge, new Lego project together. So hopefully, I had enough rest to get on with it...
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Mmmm ... ribs.
It's one of those treats we'll make a point of having when we're in the US; they're served here too, but I've just never been quite as happy with them. And something I've never tried to make myself.
*nodnods*

Yeah, there are some places that just do it right, and others...

I really do recommend The Best Recipe's recipe for them, as they turned out very very well. But it takes about half an hour's prep and another three to four hours to make... but those last hours are mostly just watching the temperature and turning them now and again. Helps having a big grill, as we do most of our cooking outside in the summer. I'll want to try this again when it's hot out, would probably make the temperature maintenance easier.
Sorry about the finger. Mine wasn't from a knife, but Monday I got a cut from poster board so deep I wondered if it needed stiches. So I can sympathize.

But damn those ribs sound really good. My husband prefers the paraboiled ones in honey lager smoothered with his apricot BBQ sauce. And while they are wonderful, I think I'd like yours even better. But *shhh* don't tell. :D
ow ow ow.... Much sympathy from me for you as well.

Hee. I won't. *giggles*

*grins* I want to make more now...