Grill GRATE Ribs!
For years we par-baked ribs in the oven wrapped in foil and just finished them off on the grill. Since meeting Mike Mills of 17th Street Barbecue we have learned from the best! One of Mike’s first impressions of GrillGrates was that they would be ideal for ribs for the backyard griller (as opposed to the Smoker crowd) People always ask Mike how to do ribs on a grill, and his answer had been- it’s hard to do, and he suggests smoking. The added protection of GrillGrates makes all the difference. Since meeting Mike, grilled ribs have become a staple in our home.
Baby Back Ribs from COSTCO or your favorite butcher
Magic Dust or your favorite dry rub
Ideally, you buy the only BBQ Book you ever need- Peace Love and Barbecue by Mike and Amy Mills. They give detailed instructions for preparing and cooking great ribs. I’ll summarize:
1. Remove the membrane on the backside of the ribs. Use a dull knife or screwdriver to get under the membrane and peel up enough to grab with a dry paper towel (for grip). Peel as much away as possible and move down the rack. I find this a challenging process and often compromise by running the knife under each bone and the meat in between making sure I split the membrane and peel it back. This gives you access to the meat for the dry rub and I believe allows the membrane to ‘grill off’ and shrink away from the meat on the backside.
2. Sprinkle dry rub liberally on both sides of the rack
3. Let the ribs and rub sit for 1 hour at room temperature to allow the rub to season and penetrate the meat.
Grilling Great Ribs with GrillGrates on a Gas Grill
It is important to know how low your grill will run consistently. The ideal temperature is 225F at the GrillGrates which will read 175F or even less at the hood dial. Remember the GrillGrates will be significantly hotter than the hood temp. WARM UP your gas grill slowly (do not turn to high heat). By bringing temps up slowly you avoid having too hot a grill and having to wait while the temperature drops. Once the grill is lit, TURN OFF the Center Burners leaving only the two outside burners on as LOW as possible. If you have a 4 burner gas grill you are in luck as the center area of your grill will nicely accommodate 3 FULL racks without having to use a rib rack.
If you are working with a smaller grill ( 3 burners) do use a rib rack and split full racks into half racks.
Put ribs onto GrillGrates bone side DOWN after you are confident that your grill temperature is constant. Set your timer for 30 minutes before you lift the lid. It is important to leave the lid down as each time you open the grill you lose that constant temperature. After 30 minutes decide if you need to ROTATE the Ribs based on hotter areas of the grill and the large meatier side of the ribs. Leave BONE Down and set your timer for 30 minutes again. At the 1 hour mark turn the ribs over on the GrillGrates to meat side down. Allow 30 minutes again and reposition / rotate ribs and return to bone side down for the remainder of the time.
Grilled Ribs should take 3-4 hours at temps below 250F. Patience! When the dry rub SWEATS and gets wet as the fat renders out of the ribs, sprinkle a bit more rub only on the wet spots. The dry rub will get hard and crispy toward the end. At the 3 hour mark use a quick read thermometer in the thicker part of the ribs- making sure not to touch the bone with the thermometer. INTERNAL TEMP of 140F is best. When you are at or close to final temperature, MOP the meat side of the ribs with BBQ sauce and grill 10-15 more minutes to let the sauce infuse the ‘bark’ of the ribs. Remove racks and let stand 5 minutes loosely tented under foil. Heat up a bit more BBQ sauce for the table and grab your napkins for GRATE GRILLED RIBS!