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Seek's avatar

How to make the world's best BBQ ribs?

Asked by Seek (34769points) September 2nd, 2010

Local grocery had an awesome sale – buy two racks of pork ribs, get a ton of stuff free.

Ended up being about $40 worth of free stuff for a $25 thing of meat. Woo hoo!

But… I’ve never done ribs before. I know there are about eleventy-billion ways to do it (oven/grill, wood/charcoal, sauce/dry rub…) but I need to know the best way to get awesome, fall-off-the-bone ribs.

What’s your recipe for a kick-ass BBQ?

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15 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Can you just grill them and sprinkle them with big breasted hookers, sports cars, and marijuana?

Seriously though, just from watching my girlfriend: She used some bourbon seasoning with real bourbon, boiled them for some time, marinated them and then grilled them with wood chips under the ribs in the grill.

That probably didn’t help, but I know you’re supposed to boil before you grill. That made them very tender and soft. I don’t even like ribs but I liked hers.

Seek's avatar

Goddamnit, I’m fresh out of sports cars.

Guess I’ll have to look into that parboiling thing. That would require a really big pot.

faye's avatar

A friend of mine, who is a chef, is horrified by the boiling first. He says to bake them in seasonings and sauce of your choice, basting them frequently, poking them with your fork until they do loosen from the bone. I used to make dry ribs. I did the baking thing with garlic salt and pepper, on a rack with a little water under them, finished under the broiler to crisp them up a little, ( after the fork poking).

Austinlad's avatar

Lord, there are so many “best” bbq ribs—and that’s just in Austin. I’ve been told by bbq afficianados that parboiling was a sin.

Cruiser's avatar

I simply season them and cook them on the Weber charcoal grill using the indirect heat method and using ½ the amount of coals – 10 per basket (20 total) max. You should plan on adding about 4 new briquettes per side every 45 minutes to an hour. The key is low heat and cook for at least 3 hours. Low and slow will get you fall off the bone every time.

If you want to sauce them wait to put it on during the last hour of cooking to prevent burning with a final slathering 15 minutes before you yank them off the grill. Yum!

WestRiverrat's avatar

To add to what @Cruiser said, low and slow is good. If you can’t get indirect heat from your grill, put a piece of foil under the ribs on one side of the grill. Also in the first load of charcoal, add a few chunks of moistened hickory or apple wood.

If you have an injector kit, inject some marinade between every other rib. I prefer dry spice rubs to sauce, leave the sauce on the table if you need it.

ibstubro's avatar

These are simple and absolutely delicious ribs.

You’ll need day 1:
A roasting pan large enough to bake them in
Aluminum foil to cover the roaster
Cajun seasoning from the cheap (Dollar, Big Lots, etc.) store

Sprinkle the ribs liberally with Cajun seasoning on both sides
Stand them on the side in the roaster, and if they taper, alternate
Add 1–2 inches of water to the bottom of the roaster and cover tightly with foil
Bake at 325–350 F for hours until you can just twist the bone in the meat. 2–4 hours appx.
Remove from oven and let cool. Stuff the whole mess in the fridge.

Day 2, you will need:
A grill, gas or charcoal
Mauls or some other Sweet and Mild BBQ sauce (you already baked the season in)

Start the grill.
Remove the ribs from the fridge, then pan, scraping off excess fat and gel
Grill should be medium-ish depending on your grill.
Put the cold ribs on the grill, a couple at a time and immediately start saucing.
Turn and sauce as they brown, probably about twice a side. Heated thru, they’ll get floppy.
Repeat until all ribs are sauced.


I have seen 3 men put a serious hurtin on 10 pounds of these ribs.

SAVE THE JUICE FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE BAKING PAN! De-fatted it will make the best tasting gravy you have ever eaten. If you can’t use it right away, just put it in the freezer.

ibstubro's avatar

Remember, however you cook the ribs, you’re not bound to leave them WHOLE. Cut them into 3–4 rib sections, if you have to, to make them manageable.

Fred931's avatar

Just a spontaneous possibility: Why don’t you search around for a BBQ place that’ll cook the ribs for you?

WestRiverrat's avatar

If you don’t want to make your own sauce/rub see if you can get some from a local BBQ joint that you like. Many of them will sell you some of their sauces or rubs if you ask for it.

Trillian's avatar

@Fred931 Oh god. What a great idea. Andy’s ribs are to die for!

rooeytoo's avatar

I like them marinated in a good barbeque sauce and I add soy sauce, garlic, ginger, a drop of sesame oil. Makes them like the barbeque ribs you get at a chinese restaurant.

I do them in the oven or slowly in a frying pan on top. I have never parboiled first, that sounds like an abomination!

Fred931's avatar

@Trillian I can’t tell whether or not that was sarcasm… like a soap-op reference I won’t get…

Response moderated (Spam)
ibstubro's avatar

Regardless of the rest of the process, I recommend baking them in a covered pan in the oven with some seasoning and water first, as it will produce tender, flavorful ribs.

My family tradition was par-boil, and I don’t believe the end results are nearly as good.

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