Over the past week or so I searched C-hound for tips on ribs and wanted to report back.
I know some think it's blasphemous to try and BBQ ribs on a gas grill but when you have no other options it's better than nothing.
Picked up 6 slabs of ribs (baby-back) from Costco. I'm not a meat expert but these ribs were pretty good. Decent amount of fat and very meaty.
I used 2 rubs - one was Bobby Flays Rub/Steak rub and the other I got from a C-hound post:
2 1/2 T. hot chili powder
1T ground coriander
2 T. ground cumin
1/2 T. paprika
1 T. kosher salt
1/2 t.black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 T. dark brown sugar
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
I didn't mix the 2 rubs but put them on separate slabs to see if we could taste a difference. It turned out that they both had pretty much the same ingredients...no difference in taste was noticed.
We also tried smoking the ribs using hickory chunks that had been soaked in apple juice. Unfortunately the only way to get the wood to smoke and continue smoking was at a high temp, which isn't the way we wanted to cook the ribs, so the ribs were not smoked.
First set of ribs were done on the grill. We put the rub on, scored the back of the ribs [so it looked like a bunch of x's] and let them sit for about an hour. Only the grill's back burner was turned on (low) and we rotated the slabs so each one got an equal amount of time on the different areas of the grill. The grill thermometer read 200 degress, right where we wanted it to be. While the ribs cooked we sprayed them with apple juice (once every 30-45 minutes). After 4.5 or 5 hours they looked done.
The ribs were very tender but not as flavorful as I would have liked. Maybe this was the rub, but my first guess is that this was b/c they were not smoked. We wound up brushing them with a little BBQ sauce (Bulls-Eye ??) and that really helped.
The next day the grill was being used for other meats so we had to start the ribs in the oven (the horror) - the ribs had sat overnight with the rub on. After about 4 hours in the oven I flipped the ribs and realized I forgot to score the back. The fat didn't seem to be rendering very well and I suspected it was b/c the back wasn't scored. I scored the back and threw the ribs on the grill for another 1.5 to 2 hours. They turned out pretty good.
Again, not as much flavor as I anticipated and the BBQ did the trick again. The ribs were still pretty tender.
I was apprehensive at first about BBQ ribs (especially on a gas grill) but any fear I had is now long gone. I can't wait to try different rubs and hopefully pick up a smoker (or at least a charcoal grill) and see if smoking the ribs will add the flavor I'm looking for.
Thanks for all the tips, I hope that this post helps anyone else who is apprehensive about BBQing ribs to give it a try, it's worth the effort.
Any hints, tips, recipes are welcomed.