Today I am gonna teach you how to make sweet and smokey ribs right in your own kitchen using your oven and a basic BBQ grill such as a charcoal weber or any old gas grill. First you are gonna need to hit up the grocery store. You are going to need a rack of ribs beef or pork which ever you prefer, you will want to buy a disposable foil cooking pan for cooking the ribs in the oven. This will prevent any grease from spilling and making a big mess. Next you are going to need charcoal if you have a charcoal grill, if you use gas then make sure you have some propane. Since we are cooking them in the oven first you do not need that much fuel. You will also want to buy a bag of hardwood chips which can be found at most grocery stores or hardware stores. I recommend using either Hickory, oak, or applewood. I’m not a big fan or mesquite but if you are then go right on ahead. Buy some spices if you need any and brown sugar, or honey. Now let’s get down to business.
Preparation & Cooking Instructions:
First you will want to rinse the ribs, just stick them under the faucet and give them a good rinse and pat dry.
Once they are dry you are going to want to remove the thin layer of membrane on the bottom of the ribs. This is kinda hard but if done correctly you will be able to remove it in one big piece. You will want to peel it up on the edge and then slip your finger underneath it and slowly and gently pull it up. Once all the membrane is removed you can start rubbing your spices in the meat. What I like to do is take some Worcestershire sauce and give the ribs a nice coating to help the rub stick.
I personally like sweet BBQ but you can make it however you like. You will need enough rub for a nice thick coating all over the bottom and tops of the ribs. I use a good amount of brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, paprika, and I usually buy a prepackaged mix of some sort. There are tons of great BBQ seasoning mixes on the market so i just buy one of them and use it as my base.
I always recommend reading the ingredients on the bottom or side of the packaging to find out what is in it. Make sure there is nothing that you are allergic to ( my sister is allergic to MSG so I always make sure that there is never any MSG in the mixes I buy). If you don’t like sweet BBQ then cut out the brown sugar, you will still come out with a great product. I switch it up often sometimes I use it and sometimes I don’t just depending on how I feel that day, they still come out finger licking good, the only difference will be that your fingers won’t be all sticky. Once you have all the seasons mixed together in a bowl start pouring it all over the ribs generously. Once you have spread it out evenly rub it in real well. Massage the meat, that’s why it’s called a rub.
Next pre-heat the oven to about 350 degree’s F, and let the meat sit out on the table while the oven heats up. You want the meat to be room temperature when you put it in the oven (it doesn’t have to be perfect but closer to room temp the better). Once the oven is preheated put the ribs in the oven on the middle rack. Set Timer for about 1hr 30min.
While you are waiting for the oven to heat up, open up the bag of wood chips and pour them into a bowl then fill the bowl up with water. You will want the chips to soak in the water for about 30-45 minutes.
Depending on how many ribs you are cooking you will want to cook them for about an hour and half for about one to two racks and I would say add another 30 minutes per rack. The best way to tell if they are done is to pick it up with a set of tongs and hold them up horizontally and let it hang in the air. If the ribs are bending slightly and the meat is starting to separate at the top then they are cooked to perfection.
About 20-30 minutes before the ribs are done you will want take them out and put a coating of sauce if you want your ribs wet. To add an deeper flavor profile you can add other ingredients to your ribs about half way thru the cooking process, I have added more brown sugar and spice rub, poured honey on it, and I have also given it a coating of mustard. I hate mustard to but once you mix it in with the spices and honey or brown sugar you will not taste it at all it will just give it another layer of flavor. If you are going to add a coating of brown sugar, or honey, and mustard what I recommend is to covering them with tin foil so they sauces will melt into the meat. Also by adding the sauce right before they are finished the sauce will thicken up and it will give it a beautiful shiny glaze look.
Depending on if you are using a charcoal grill or a propane you will want to preheat the grill while the ribs are still in the oven. If you are using a charcoal grill you will want to start heating up the coals about 30 minutes before the ribs are done, if you are using a gas grill you won’t need to heat it up as long cause gas grills heat up a lot faster. Before you put the ribs on the grill you will want to put the wood chips in first, and let them start smoking.
If you have charcoal BBQ then you can just drop the wet wood right on the charcoal and let them burn. If you are using a gas grill then you will want to put the soaked chips in a piece of tin foil and then poke a bunch of holes in it so the smoke can escape.Put the foil as close to the heat as possible because you will need it to get pretty hot to smoke properly. On a gas grill I recommend putting the ribs on the second rack so you are not using direct heat or have half the BBQ turned off and the other half turned on near full blast. Once the wood is on the heat source and its smoking put the ribs in and close the top. You can also add another coating of sauce if you want before you put them on the grill. You only need to have the ribs in for about 30 minutes.
Meat can only soak up a certain amount of smoke and ribs don’t have a lot of meat so you don’t need a lot of smoke to give it that great smoky flavor. So now all you have to do is sit back and let the smoke go to work creating an absolutely amazing rack of ribs.
After about 30 minutes you should have BBQ ribs that are smoky and sweet and falling off the bone.
I hope this post was gave you some pointers on making a great rack of ribs right in your kitchen without the need of a great big smoker. I have a big smoker and sometimes I prefer to do it this way just cause its a lot easier to control the temp of the oven then it is to control the temp of a big barrel smoker.
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Thanks and keep on smoking!!!