Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rib Wrap Up: Mopping and Saucing

Now for the fun part for this rib class series. We've chosen our rib cut, removed the membrane, and given the ribs a generous coating of dry rub. Now it's time to get our smoke on and slow cook those babies to a  tender goodness.

The ribs shown in the picture had different rubs, but the sauce was the same. I "doctored" our Smokin' Pete's BBQ sauce by adding half a can of finely chopped chipotles, a jar of blackberry "All Fruit", and a half a can of orange soda to thin it down and give it a little secret something. It's easy to take a simple barbecue sauce and use it as a base for a more unusual sauce like this Chipotle-Blackberry sauce.

As for smoking the ribs, here are a few tips.

1) Make your fire low and indirect, and Get Your Smoke On.

For charcoal, get coals hot to ash grey, then pile them up tight on one side. On the side with no fire, add a drip pan with some liquid. Add wood chunks or chips on top of the fire and close the lid. Once smoky, add ribs to the indirect side of the grill, and close the lid.

For gas, preheat all burners on high with the lid down for 15 minutes. Add wood during this time, either in a smoke box, or in a foil pouch with holes that sits directly on the flame.  Once preheated and smoking, turn down one or two burners, and leave one burner on low. Place ribs on indirect side and close the lid.

2) Aim for an internal grill temperature of 200-225 degrees.

3) Mop with a simple apple juice in a spray bottle, or thin mop sauce. You may skip this step.

4). Most racks will take 6-8 hours. To tell if ribs are done, the rack should bend easily but not "break" or fall apart.

5) If you want "wet" ribs, in other words sauce on 'em vs sauce on the side, brush on sauce in the last 30 minutes of your cooking time.

6) Let meat rest 15 minutes before serving. Serve with sauce on the side.

Dig in and eat those bones with your fingers. Ribs are meant to be messy.

For those of you considering taking the Rib Class at Pacific Culinary Studio, we are almost sold out. I'll repeat the class in September.


  1. You know how this brings on a poem for me...mopping up saucy- Okay I have to work on that, but oh how I am making ribs this coming week. I have been hitting my smoker and grill to hopefully ward off the snowicane we have been having!

  2. Work on it and post it next Friday for Food Poetry Friday! I've missed the last few Fridays but plan on it next week.