Learn the secret steps used by BBQ pitmasters

  What are the secrets that serious barbecue chef’s use to barbecue mouth-watering ribs?  Is the secret in the recipes for BBQ, or is it in the way that the ribs are prepared? Learning how to barbecue ribs properly takes time and patience in order to master this age-old craft.

Barbecuing red meat is different than other kinds of meat such as barbecuing chicken. These are the secret steps that will show you how to barbecue ribs like a pit master. They are simple but powerful and will teach you how to BBQ like the professionals.

Barbecue pork ribsCredit: BBQ grill maestro

1. It starts with selecting the right ribs

  The first thing that you need is obviously the ribs. The most popular kind of ribs are pork ribs. It is a common practice for people to boil the ribs before barbecuing them; however this is a big mistake because it removes flavor and nutrients from the ribs. Even though boiling them first will tenderize the ribs making them fall of bone, taste tests prove that ribs that have not been boiled taste better.

2. Preparing the ribs

  Start by rinsing off the meat to remove any particles from the meat then dry with a towel. Next you need to remove the membrane from the backside of the ribs if the butcher has not done this. If you don’t do remove it your ribs will be rubbery after barbecuing. After that you should cut off the excess fat.

  Once you have finished trimming the meat you should coat the ribs with oil or a mustard base and apply some meat rub. The reason for applying oil is because meat rubs are generally oil soluble. This allows the meat to absorb more flavors from the rub. Put the meat in the refrigerator for a minimum of an hour, or even overnight in order to let the meat absorb the most flavor from the rub that it can. 

Coleman Road Trip Grill

Coleman Charcoal Grill

3. Getting the BBQ grill ready

  Preheat the grill to around 225° it does not have to be exact; however it should be at least 200° minimum to 250° maximum. When you have preheated the grill try to keep the temperature consistant throughout the cooking process.

  Now that the grill is preheated it is time to add the wood for smoking. Avoid the temptation of adding to much wood to the grill, nothing will ruin the ribs faster than over smoking them. Start by adding several ounces to the grill, if you are using a gas grill add the wood chips as close to the flames as you can. During the cooking process you can add more wood as you need to as the smoke dwindles.

4. Cooking the ribs

  Do not place the ribs directly above the flames to prevent them from drying out. Rather place them in the indirect heat of the grill with the meaty side facing up. Cook the ribs slowly at least three hours. The reason for this is because the longer you spend barbecuing the ribs the better they will taste.

BBQing ribs on a grillCredit: BBQ grill maestro

5. The Texas crunch

  This is one of the secret techniques that almost all the top BBQ chefs use. With this step you wrap the ribs in some foil and add around half a cup of your favorite juice, wine or beer to the ribs. Do not pour the liquid directly on the ribs but pour between the meat and foil to avoid washing the rub off.

  Continue to barbecue the ribs for roughly half an hour. Don’t go over this time limit otherwise you will ruin the meat and it will begin to fall apart. This step braises the meat tenderizing the ribs and speeds up the cooking process.

  When you unwrap the ribs evaporation will cool the meat and the internal temperature of the meat will stall. Do not panic with this stall it is part of the natural cooking process; just continue barbecuing the ribs until the crust on the ribs hardens.

6. Adding the sauce

  Now that the meat is cooked there is just one step left, adding the sauce. This step caramelizes the sauce and can be a bit tricky to do right. During this step you should keep a close eye on the ribs to prevent the sauce from burning.

  Apply the sauce to both sides of the ribs and place the meat over direct heat. Keep the grill open and let the sauce start to sizzle on one side then turn over and let it sizzle on the other side.

America's Best Barbecue

Recipe book with Americas best BBQ

  If you have done everything right you should notice a pink layer just beneath the surface of the meat. This is called the smoke ring and is the sign of ribs cooked by a pro. Now all that is left is to eat and enjoy.