The Ribs Guide

Here’s a step by step guide to succeed with ribs. It’s rather simple, once you know how, but don’t skip any steps or you’ll regret it.

Ribs are fun to grill, and turn out really good. It is the perfect food to share when you have friends over. There are a few steps required for optimal results, and I have collected them here in my “ribs manual”.

      1. Rinse the ribs in cold water. The reason for this is to get rid of any “saw dust” from when the ribs where cut at the butcher’s. Pat dry with a paper towel.
        Ribs, rinsed and patted dry.

        Ribs, rinsed and patted dry.

      2. On the rear side there is a silvery membrane. You want to remove it, so it doesn’t prevent spices from penetrating the meat. Also it is quite chewy, so you want to get rid of it.
        Poke the knife in at one of the ribs to start peeling of the silvery membrane.

        Poke the knife in at one of the ribs to start peeling of the silvery membrane.

        Use a paper towel for better grip when pulling off the membrane.

        Use a paper towel for better grip when pulling off the membrane.

        The rear, with the membrane completely removed.

        The rear, with the membrane completely removed.

      3. Use a dry brine. Put the ribs in a plastic bag or in saran wrap and store in the fridge. Dry brine them for at least 2 hours.
        Dry brined and wrapped in saran wrap.

        Dry brined and wrapped in saran wrap.

      4. Take the ribs out of the fridge and distribute the rub evenly all over the surface, both top and bottom. Wrap them in saran wrap again, and leave them in the fridge for another hour.
        The rub applied

        The rub applied.

      5. Right before putting them on the grill, apply 2 tbsp of brown sugar on each slab of ribs, on the upper (meat) side. See picture above. Distribute evenly.
      6. Grill them on indirect heat, around 225° F, with the meat side up. It is important to keep a low and consistent temperature. Ribs need time, they don’t get better by grilling hot and fast.
        Ribs after 1.5 hours.

        Ribs after 1.5 hours.

      7. The ribs are ready when they pass the bend test, see below.
      8. Bring the ribs inside, brush them up with your favorite bbq sauce, and wrap them in double layers of aluminum foil and a towel. Make sure the foil is wrapped tight and without holes/gaps. Let them rest for 30 minutes.
        Ribs with bbq sauce

        Ribs with bbq sauce applied. Ready to wrap and rest.

      9. Unwrap the ribs, and serve with some cole slaw!

The Bend Test

You grab them at one end with your grill tongs, and pick them up. When the ribs bend, and the meat between the ribs “break” or start to separate, you know they’re done. If they just break at the very surface, give them a little more time.

Posted by Henrik

Passionate food lover and a big fan of traditional barbecue.

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