Labor Day ribs

P9070715One dish makes the hefty price of a Big Green Egg worthwhile:  perfect ribs, with minimal effort.  Forget dry, crusty ribs; forget par-boiling or oven-baking, and forget fussing around with foil-covered pans.  Egged ribs (in my experience) always turn out juicy, succulent, and tender, yet they retain the slightly yielding chewiness of truly great ribs.  Cooking killer pork loin ribs on a Big Green Egg is ridiculously easy…

  1. Buy a slab of ribs.  Remove from the package, and peel the membrane off the underside.  (Work a butter knife under the membrane near a bone at the middle of the rack.  Wiggle a finger underneath, then pull the membrane away in one long strip.)
  2. P9070709Generously coat ribs on both sides with your favorite BBQ rub (purchased rub is fine by me).  Rest rubbed ribs, covered, overnight in the fridge.
  3. Light the Egg, put in the platesetter with the legs up, and slide a shallow foil drip pan atop the platesetter.  Put the grill grate on top.
  4. Allow the temperature to rise to 225-250 degrees, then adjust the lower vent & upper damper, stabilizing the temperature.
  5. P9070712Put the ribs on; cook for 4-6 hours, mopping with a little apple cider vinegar, fruit juice, etc. once each hour.  Test for doneness at 4 hours–the meat will shrink, exposing the bones on one side.  When a center rib bone twists easily away from the meat, consider the rack done.  For sauced ribs, apply a little barbecue sauce and cook 15-20 minutes more.

That’s it.  Nothing to it, assuming the correct equipment and 4-6 hours to hang around the house.  No great mysteries or lengthy apprenticeship to an old pitmaster required.  Without a Big Green Egg, it’s a little more challenging.  You’ll need to experiment with a gas grill to determine the right combination of flame & burner for indirect heat at 225 degrees.  With a charcoal kettle grill, the trick is to keep the fire burning for a long time at a low temperature….you’ll almost certainly have to add additional, burning coals at some point during the long cooking time.  Hey–two more reasons to invest in an Egg!

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