The loin back ribs are a tender cut of pork found just under the back fat of the pig. These are also called baby back ribs and are a popular backyard barbecue item. However, you don't need to grill them in order to make barbecue baby back ribs. In some instances, the sauce makes the dish, and every chef has his own secret when it comes to the best. Master a 3-pound pack, just enough for a few diners, before you present your barbecue ribs to a large group.
Barbecue Grilling Method
Allow the rib rack to come to room temperature while covered on a plate in the kitchen. Brush a thin layer of deli mustard over the entire surface of the ribs and meat.
Apply a dry rub over the mustard, which helps the dry seasonings adhere to the meat. Dry rubs vary from chef to chef or are bought premade at the store. Develop your own with a base of one part of salt to one part of pepper with equal or less parts of onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.
Light the grill on low heat, somewhere between 200 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Close the lid and allow the temperature to rise. If you are using a charcoal grill, the coals are covered in white ash with no real flames popping up when the proper temperature is reached.
Set the ribs with the bone down on the grill. Close the lid and let them cook for at least 4 hours. After 4 hours, insert a meat thermometer into the thick meat between the center ribs to check doneness. According to the award-winning barbecue team at The BBQ Institute, the ribs are done when an inserted toothpick goes down to the bone like butter. The team also states that while pork ribs are often cooked to 145 degrees in 4 hours, if they cook 6 they are more tender.
Check ribs every 1/2 hour after the 4-hour mark, if the meat wasn't done yet. When the meat is 15 degrees below its intended doneness, brush the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce for added flavor. Pork is safely cooked once it reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Oven Roasting With Barbecue Sauce
Mix 1/2 cup of hoisin sauce, 1/2 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup of root beer, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of five spice powder, 2 teaspoons of red chili sauce, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of ginger powder and 2 teaspoon of red food coloring in a bowl.
Chop the ribs into individual cuts. Place the ribs in a resealable plastic bag, pouring the marinade over it. Place in refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place ribs on the upper rack in the oven. Set a pan of water under the ribs to increase moisture during cooking and to catch any drippings from the ribs.
Cook for 60 minutes. Open the oven, and brush the tops of the ribs with honey, cooking for another 10 minutes. Turn the ribs with tongs and glaze the other side with honey. Cook for another 10 minutes before removing the ribs from the oven and allowing them to set for 5 minutes. Check with a meat thermometer to ensure proper doneness by inserting it into the thickest piece of meat in the middle rib section.
Things You'll Need
Dry rub (salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper)
Red chili sauce
Red food coloring
Plastic resealable bag
Even properly cooked pork may still have pink coloring, appearing raw. Always check doneness with a meat thermometer.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends all pork products have a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for safety, killing any food-borne bacteria and parasites.