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Baby Back ribs on a gas grill

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posted on May, 26 2006 @ 09:58 AM
So it's Memorial Day weekend (in the US) which means a lot of people will be rolling out the grill. My favorite happens to be baby back ribs, and after a good many years of trial and error, I've developed a method that for me, produces the best baby back ribs I've ever had. And it doesn't take hours and hours and I can do them on a gas grill (which is heresy for some afficionados).

Prep time 30 minutes. Cooking time will vary, maybe 90 minutes total.

In addition to the grill, here's what you need-

Seasoning rub (I use Cajun or Creole)
Vertical Rib Rack (Very important).
Aluminum foil
Hickory and/or fruitwood CHIPS (not chunks)
Spray bottle
Apple juice

Soak a couple of hands full of wood chips in water for at least an hour. You can use all hickory. The ribs won't be cooking for hours and hours so the intensity of the hickory won't overpower the taste. I use a combination of hickory and apple.

Rub the ribs liberally with whatever rub you like. If you've never tried a Cajun or Creole spice, I recommend you give it a shot.

Some people remove the skin/membrane off the bone side of the ribs. I don't. I think it causes the ribs to lose moisture quicker, but if you want to go to the trouble, it won't hurt my feelings.

Some marinate the ribs for hours in all manner of exotic potions. I've experimented extensively with that and can honestly say, the ones I do sans marinade are just as good.

Take your soaked wood chips and spread them out evenly over a piece of aluminum foil big enough to cover the bottom of your grill. Lay another piece of foil over the top and crimp two opposite sides leaving the left and right sides open. You could also crimp all the way around and punch holes in the foil to allow smoke to escape, but I find that leaving the ends open instead reduces flare ups.

Lay the foil pouch directly on the lava rock, or metal plates, or whatever it is your grill uses as a heat diffuser. Turn the grill up to HIGH until your chips start producing fragrant smoke, then turn the grill down to its lowest setting.

One of the reasons gas grills are tough to use for great ribs is because they tend to cook too fast. The foil pouch, combined with standing the ribs on edge in a rack, allows the ribs to cook slower.

Set the rack on the cooking surface and spray it with some non-stick spray. Lay the ribs on edge in the rack and close the lid.

About every 20 minutes or so, raise the lid and spray the ribs with some apple juice to keep them moist. When the ribs start to shrink away from the ends of the bones and the bones wiggle easily, the ribs are done. Takes me approx 90 minutes. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

After they're done, remove from rack and lay flat on cooking surface to sauce. Sauce the meaty side liberally, flip and sauce the other side lightly. Let them sit for a couple of minutes allowing the sauce to glaze onto the ribs. Flip and sauce again. Throw 'em on a platter and chow down with your favorite sides.

If you've not tried Montgomery Inn Barbecue Sauce, I recommend it. I've tried making my own sauces and keep coming back to this.


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