Memorial Day Ribs 2020

It’s Memorial Day weekend once again, and it’s time to make bbq ribs. This year is unique. It’s been 10 years since I started this tradition (yay), and we are in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic (boo). Last year, you may recall, I made some good ribs. This year, the rain forecast for Sunday and Monday is threatening to wash out the smoker portion of our rib day so I’m cooking them on Saturday.

Ingredients

(Meat)
2 slabs (~6 lbs) of baby back ribs
2 Shiner Smokehouse sausages

(Rub)
4 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder

(Sides)
Potato Salad
Corn on the cob

(Condiments)
Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Sauce
3 A.M. Bobby Que Original barbecue sauce [my local favorite]
Sliced pickles
Sliced white onion
Sliced cheddar cheese

Cook

After 10 years I’m getting better at this part. Start with thawed (refrigerator temperature) ribs. Take the membrane off the bone and cover in a rub 1-2 hours before cooking. Cook uncovered ribs (bone side down) on a cooking sheet in the oven at 250° F for 2 hours. Wrap them with heavy duty aluminum foil, and cook for another 2 hours. Finish them uncovered with bbq sauce (in the oven or in a 250° F smokey grill) for up to 30 minutes; check them every few minutes.

Corn on the cob is easy: shuck, boil for 6 minutes, plate with butter and salt.

It’s Barbie’s tradition to cook the potato salad, and she’s not divulging any secrets today. She said it has potatoes, boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, relish, and onion.

I didn’t cook the sausage – 4 lbs of ribs seemed like enough – and it was.

Results

The potato salad had perfectly sized pieces of potato, and it was delicious. The corn on the cob was sweet, crisp and good. The ribs were tender and yummy (a little over cooked). Since I got the ribs on different days in May I got two brands: Indiana Kitchen (2.36 lbs) and Kroger Natural Ribs (2.47 lbs); couldn’t tell the difference when cooked.

memorial day

Memorial Day Ribs 2019

Last year I didn’t make ribs for Memorial Day. I was sad. It was really hot; I think it rained a lot too. But, this year, I am going to make bbq ribs once more – continuing 9 years of tradition (video)

Ingredients

(Meat)
2 slabs (~6 lbs) of baby back ribs
4 Slovacek (pre-cooked) sausages

(Rub)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons paprika
4 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder

(Sides)
Potato Salad
Pinto Beans

Put It Together

Barbie made the potato salad and pinto beans. I made the ribs and sausage. The sausage was Slovacek (pre-cooked) sausage so it was easy; put it on the rib pan 30 minutes before they’re done.

Cooking ribs requires patience, but they were easy enough: thaw for 2 hours, cook rubbed ribs 2 hours, cook foil covered for 2 hours, finish naked w/ sauce for 30 minutes.

Results

As always, Barbie’s potato salad was delicious. The beans were very good. The ribs were tender, but I think they dried out (over cooked) a little bit.

beans and potato salad
ribs and sausage

Memorial Day Ribs 2016

So, I’ve been doing this for six years now. This May was one for the weather books – we nearly didn’t (couldn’t) bbq outside. In the last week we’ve had flooding, tornadoes, and damage all around us. But today, the Sunday before Memorial Day, it was partly sunny and 90 degrees. It’s time to bbq ribs.

We had the usual suspects – with a twist: this year it’s baby back ribs, my variation of Memphis Dust rub, Barbie’s potato salad, beans, and a dessert.

Ingredients

(Meat)
2 slabs (~8 lbs) of baby back ribs

(Rub)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons paprika
4 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder

(Sides)
Potato salad
Baked beans

Barbie’s potato salad was delicious! I didn’t try the dessert she made, but by the “yumm” and “this is good” comments I gathered it was delicious too.

Memorial Day ribs 2016

The ribs were good, but it took a while to repair them. First off, they were the largest baby back ribs I’ve ever seen (3.7 lbs and 3.8 lbs). Second, I had the oven at 250 the whole time. I started cooking them at 12:30 PM, wrapped up without the rub in an aluminum pan; I brined them but forgot to rub them. I uncovered them at 2:30 and added rub. I covered them again at 3:30. I uncovered them at 4:30 and covered them again at 5:00. I left them covered until 7:00, when they finally showed signs of tenderness. I left them open while I started the grill. I put them in the grill from 7:30 to 8:00. We finally ate around 8:30. That was a long day of tending to ribs.

I think where I went wrong was the double cover of aluminum: foil in a pan. I think last year I put them on a baking sheet. Also, I thought last year I started with uncovered for 2 hours, then sauce, then covered for 2 hours. Also, I think these ribs were closer to St. Louis cut then baby back size.

Memorial Day Ribs 2014

Ladies and gentlemen it’s that time once again when we strive for tender ribs, tasty sides, and family time – it’s Memorial Day weekend 2014. Last year – you’ll recall – I smoked the ribs on the grill for 1 hour then oven-baked them for 3-4 hours. This year I’m going to reverse that process: oven bake first then finish up on the grill.

Inspiration from DeepSouthDish.com: Fall Off the Bone Oven Baked Pork Spareribs with Sweet & Spicy Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Well, I delayed getting the ribs a little too long this year, and Kroger (our local grocery store) put spare ribs on sale on the Wednesday before Memorial Day (Monday). Needless to say they were sold out by Friday. All I had to pick from was plastic-wrapped, marinated St. Louis cut spare ribs (Chipotle or Kansas City flavored); I work with what I got. This will be different. I’m starting off with two slabs of marinated ribs. What is Kansas City flavor?

Bake Them

Remove the membrane. Put the rubbed (or marinated) ribs, uncovered, bones down, in an aluminum-lined baking pan. I use a disposable aluminum pan. Bake at 250 F for 2 hours.

MemorialDay2014-2hr-mark
Ribs for Memorial Day 2014 – 2 hour mark. Left one is coated with barbecue sauce. Right one awaits.

After 2 hours, pour off any fat/juice from the pan. Brush ribs liberally with your favorite barbecue sauce. Wrap (or cover them tightly) the ribs in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake at 250 F for another 2 hours.

This time after 2 hours, check if the meat pulls away from the bone. If not, wrap them up and continue baking – check every 15 minutes – until you can pull on the bones and they start to slide out. Don’t exceed 1 hour on this step. When they’re tender pull them out of the oven.

Finish Them

You can finish them under the broiler in the oven or in a covered grill (outside). If you want to finish them in the oven, paint them with sauce, lay them in a baking pan, bones down, uncovered, about 6 inches from the broiler for 10 minutes.

If you want to finish them with a smokey grill, prepare the grill for indirect heat. When the temperature stabilizes (no flames with charcoal) place wood chips on the coals/flames. Place the ribs on the opposite side the grill from the coals/flames. Smoke the ribs for at least 15 minutes (YMMV). Check internal temperature or pull on the bones every 5 minutes.

Eat Them

MemorialDay2014-done
Ribs for Memorial Day 2014 – plate with ribs, potato salad, macaroni salad, andouille and boudin.

Everything (except gramma’s beans) turned out great. Ribs were good and tender. The macaroni salad and potato salad were tasty. I cooked regular sausage, boudin, and andouille to go with the ribs; they were OK. We’ll try the beans again tomorrow.

Memorial Day Ribs With A Twist: Smoked and Oven Baked Spare Ribs

Inspiration:

I like the recipe Oven Baked Ribs Spare Ribs from TheMeatSource.com, but I’m going to  add a twist: smoke in grill first, then finish in oven.

What You’ll Need:

  • Spare ribs, preferably cut St. Louis style (I used two racks of ribs)
  • Your favorite rib rub (I make my own sometimes)
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce & a bottle of liquid smoke
  • Roll of heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Disposable, aluminum baking pan, at least 3 inches deep
  • Large paper bag (1 bag per 2 racks of ribs)
  • Outside grill set up for indirect heating
  • Wood chips for smoking in grills (hickory or mesquite)
  • About 6 hours of your spare time (get it)

Step 1: Wash the ribs and remove the membrane from the bone-side. If you didn’t buy St. Louis style ribs, cut off “the skirt” (a small piece of meat on one side that sticks out) so that the rack of ribs look more rectangular. Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with your rib rub. Place the ribs in the baking pan, bone-side down, and cover the pan with plastic wrap or foil to keep the bugs out. Let them sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Step 2: Now for the twist: smoke them outside in the grill. Add your favorite wood chips in the grill and stabilize the temperature between 225 and 250 Fahrenheit. Place the ribs in a rib-stand and place the stand on the side away from the heat – i.e. the indirect heat method. Keep an eye on the temperature and smoke them for 1 hour.

MemorialDayRibs2013

Step 3: Pre-heat your oven to 300 Fahrenheit. Place the ribs in to the baking pan and seal the pan tightly with aluminum foil. (I actually put some sauce on them before I sealed them in the pan.) Place the baking pan in the center of the oven. Bake ribs for 1 hour.

Step 4: Remove the foil from the pan, and drain any fat from the pan. Place ribs back in the baking pan, bone-side down. Leave the foil off. Bake ribs for 1 hour.

Step 5: Drain any fat from the pan. Slather both sides of the ribs with barbecue sauce. Bake ribs for 1 hour or until meat separates from bone. (This should not take more than 2 hours.)

Step 6: Turn off the oven. Remove the pan from the oven, and wrap the rack of ribs in foil. Place the ribs in a paper bag, and fold the top of the bag tightly closed. Let the bag of ribs sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

MemorialDayRibs2013end

You are now a BBQ God! …so on the seventh hour, he rested, and enjoyed the fall-off-the-bone spare ribs. Amen.

Personal Notes:

I have a 3-burner gas grill and even 1 burner on low is too hot, so I bought an aluminum charcoal lighting box and put about 20 briquettes in it. It produced a lower, stable temperature. I could have kept feeding it briquettes, but I didn’t want to watch the temperature all day on my inaccurate thermometer.

(Originally published Nov 28, 2011)

Oven Baked Spare Ribs v. 1.0

My wife wanted to try this recipe for oven baked spare ribs. Her recipe – or specifically her mom’s recipe – is very simple.

Start with ribs on a rack in a pan, and lay tin foil on top of the meat so it doesn’t burn (don’t wrap). Cook at 350° F for 4 hours.

Take the tin foil off, flip over (bones up), and bast with barbecue sauce. Cook for another 30 minutes.

Turn over (meat up) bast with barbecue sauce. Cook for another 30 minutes.

Repeat the turning process until ribs are tender.

This recipe was originally meant for baby back ribs and the result was semi-tough ribs – like all of our other tries. There has to be a secret recipe out there somewhere for fall-off-the-bone spare ribs.