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Can you believe it is almost Memorial Day? Since the first relatively nice day we had this spring, I’ve been dreaming of warm weather and outdoor grilling; I cannot wait to kick off the unofficial start of summer with a true backyard barbecue! To break in my grill for the season, what better choice than to get some ribs on the grill?
I have a few recipes on my blog for Slow Cooker Ribs, dripping in yummy homemade barbecue sauce. But when it comes to ribs on the grill, I like mine smoky and seasoned with a flavorful dry rub. Grilling ribs takes some time, but is a pretty simple process. Cooking them low and slow results in a wonderfully tender meat that is nice and juicy on the inside, with a beautiful crust on the outside.
I picked up a rack of Smithfield Fresh Pork Back Ribs from Walmart, as well as some charcoal, and hickory wood chips. Smithfield Fresh Pork ribs are hand-trimmed and have no added hormones or steroids. They are extra tender and juicy, making them perfect for grilling.
(As a said above, smoky ribs are a favorite of mine!) I love love love the flavor that charcoal imparts on grilled food.
Adding some chips on top of the charcoal adds another level of smoky flavor to the ribs.
So let’s get grilling!
- ~3 lbs Smithfield Fresh Pork Back Ribs
- 1 cup hickory wood chips
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- the juice of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons of the dry rub
Note: The secret to awesome grilled ribs is time. You want to cook these low and slow, checking on them every half hour or so to mop with the sauce and assess how brown they are turning. Past that, grilling ribs is a cinch!
Before beginning, you’ll need to remove the membrane on the back of the ribs. Flip the ribs over and cut into the membrane. Pull at it until it separates from the bones and remove completely from the ribs and discard. Stir together the ingredients for the dry rub. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the rub for the mop sauce. Generously sprinkle the rub on the ribs, reserving about 1 tablespoon for later use.
Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and add to the refrigerator. Let marinate for 2 hours up to overnight.
To prepare to grill, soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes, then drain.
Add the charcoal to one side of your grill and light. When the charcoal has turned white, sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the wood chips.
When the temperature of the grill is 325 degrees, add your ribs. If you’d like, you can quick add the meaty side of your ribs to the charcoal side of the grill to get some grill marks, but this isn’t necessary.
Add the ribs, bone side down, to the opposite side of your grill and close the grill (trust me, they’ll cook on indirect heat. You don’t want them to get tough!) Keep an eye on the temperature; you want it to stay right near 325 degrees.
Make your mop sauce. Stir together the vinegar, water, orange juice and dry rub.
Every thirty minutes, open the grill and brush the ribs with the mop sauce. If the smoke from the chips has subsided, add in another 1/2 cup of the soaked chips.
Repeat every thirty minutes until the ribs have been on the grill for approximately 1.5 hours.
If you find that the ribs are browning too much for your liking, you can carefully cover them with aluminum foil.
The ribs are done when the meat is tender enough to pull back from the bone.
Remove from the grill and let cool slightly. Mop with the mop sauce one last time, and sprinkle with the remaining dry rub.
These. Ribs. Are. Fantastic. I’m almost certain I’ll be making these all summer long!
The mop sauce helps to keep the ribs nice and juicy, while the outside of the ribs have a tasty, flavorful crust.
If you’re looking for more grilling recipes, check out Smithfield®’s Get Grilling America site. You can also enter to win $5,000 cash, plus multiple prizes throughout the summer!
If you’re craving saucy ribs this summer, check out the recipe in the video below!