Grilled Baby Back Pork Ribs
Ribs! Something about that simple, short word that just makes me all giddy inside. Maybe it’s the various ways in which you can say it. Short, quick, “ribs” or my favorite long drawn out, “rrrriiiiibbbsssss” Maybe it’s the nostalgic memories it evokes of my parents making xa xiu ribs in our old oven in Philly. Or maybe…just maybe…it’s the promise of awesomely charred meat that I can get all primitive like and eat with my hands? Yeah…I think it’s more that one…
While xa xiu ribs, or really anything, is still my all time favorite, I’ve found myself making a dry rubbed variety more and more often these last few years. My friend Vinny was kind enough to give me a smoker a few weeks ago which I still have to christen, but for this post, I made these the old fashioned way on the grill. Don’t you worry though…the smoker’s going to be coming it’s debutante ball REAL soon. I’m giddy about ribs, but I’m positively ecstatic about this smoker! Let the pro charring begin!
Back to our regularly scheduled program. For traditional racks of ribs, there are usually 2 schools of thought, dry rub vs wet (sauced). I’m sure my buddy Andy from Danger Pigs BBQ will have his most scientific and expert culinary opinion on the matter, but for my personal preference, I prefer dry rubbed. I think the flavors are more pronounced out of a dry rub and I like the control and creative license I have over the spices in the dry rub mixture.
This is a basic mish mash of a few recipes I’ve tried over the years and then tweaked to suit our tastes. The beauty of this is that it’s very forgiving and you can use a fair bit of creative licenses to make it work for you.
Grilled Baby Back Pork Ribs
As envisioned by TastyDesu
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon teaspoons cayenne pepper (this makes it pretty spicy, if you like it less burning, reduce to 1 tsp)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tbsp white pepper
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup paprika
6 pounds baby back pork ribs (about 3 whole racks)
Mix all of the ingredients together. This may be a little hot for some folks, so simply cut down on the cayenne pepper if such is the case.
Liberally apply spice rub to the ribs. Wrap tightly in saran wrap and refrigerate overnight. Flip ribs over every few hours during this time.
Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Cut rib racks into 4- to 6-rib sections. Arrange ribs on barbecue. Grill until meat is tender, occasionally turning ribs with tongs, about 40 minutes. Ribs are done when you start to see the meat pull away from the rib bones. Using tongs, transfer ribs to work surface.
Cut rib sections between bones into individual ribs and serve. If you’d prefer to sauce your ribs, arrange on clean baking sheet. Brush ribs with bbq sauce from a bowl.
Return ribs to barbecue. Place pan of reserved sauce at edge of barbecue to keep warm. Grill ribs until brown and crisp on edges, brushing with more sauce from bowl and turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Serve ribs with warm sauce.