A “go-to” cook for most serious Q addicts is the rib. It really doesn’t matter if your favorite is baby back, spares or St Louis cut – if you like ribs then they are something you prepare again and again and again……. So it is with me – I love my ribs, my family loves my ribs, as do our guests.
We had a rack of Patton’s Meats select baby back ribs in the freezer and since it was just the Pleasant Lady and me, that one rack was perfect for a Sunday evening dinner at the Angry Man BBQ Test Kitchen.
Normally I’d like to spice and let my ribs sit several hours to overnight before cooking – but these had to defrost and we were pushed a bit if we were going to be able to eat at an acceptable time. After a good rubdown with olive oil I gave them a liberal shaking of my rib rub on both sides. Usually I start with the meat side getting a good coating of spice then the bone side and finishing up with another light shake for the meat side (just in case some was disturbed while coating the bone side).
The large BGE was the cooker of choice – just the right size and totally convenient. We use the Traeger a lot for ribs – especially when cooking more than 2 racks. But my original BGE won this job. The BGE is set for indirect with the platesetter (aka conveggtor) and we’re using the cast-iron cooking grate we keep in that BGE. I always wrap my platesetter in foil to keep it clean and for easy clean-up. There are Traeger Hickory pellets sprinkled throughout the lump for great flavored smoke. The BGE was stabilized at about 290°.
The ribs went on the cooker once it was well stabilized – about 45 minutes after lighting. Once there were on the grate I shut the dome and didn’t open again for about 2 hours.
At the 2 hour mark I wrapped the ribs in uncoated butcher paper. My roll is white – it works just like the pink. The paper seems to be a great wrap with avoiding the “steamed” effect that foil gives to ribs. When I wrap I drizzle just a small amount of sauce on the meat for a dash more flavor. But really – it’s a small drizzle.
After another 2 hours in the heat I pulled the paper off, felt the rack for doneness (does it bend easily) and then put the rack back in to cook just a bit more as the bark finished off. I gave them about 45 minutes more before we pulled them and gave them a short rest on a covered platter.
A slice between the bones and we were ready to enjoy some rib goodness. And good they were!!! I do serve ribs with warm sauce available – but that’s a personal preference. When done properly ribs should be tender and juicy so sauce is an option.
Ribs are really easy to cook but too many folks work at making them a pain in the backside. Like many foods it’s quite possible to over-think, over-work & over-do ribs. You should have noticed that I opened the BGE only twice once they started cooking. There was no water pan to fill & refill, no sprays or mops, no Relax and enjoy a simple cook for an amazingly good meal. They are a perfect way to totally impress your friends who really don’t know any better. Go for it!