Buz and Ned’s Ribs
Locate the meatiest ribs…ones with visible fat, both surface and internal. Spareribs (2.5-3.5 lbs each rack) are the ones used during my episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay on Food Network. If you prefer, a 1.75-2.5 lb rack of “baby back”/loin back ribs will do well, but tend to be leaner and not as full flavored.
Remove the skin or ‘fell’ from the back or bone side of the rack. Do this carefully with a butter knife or clam knife by inserting your tool under the skin and against the bone and by prying up while using your fingers to pull the skin away from the back of the rack. In the case of the sparerib, also remove the bone and cartilage know as the brisket or chine bone that will normally appear in the meatiest corner of the rack. (Some packing houses mercifully remove this before it comes to the retail store.) This will expose the fattiest part of the rib and allow it to render the fat more easily as well as even out the cooking time from one end of the rib to the other. Besides, it’s a difficult piece to eat for many people.
Next is the marinade. Our recipe for the marinade that we use in our restaurant is simple and basic. It provides for a basic flavor profile from its basic ingredients but even more importantly sugar and salt act as a “carrier” (that’s food science talk) that allows the smoke to better penetrate the meat.
- 1 Cup Table Salt or Fine Kosher Salt
- 1 Cup Paprika (Spanish or Hungarian)
- 1/3 Cup Table Grind Black Pepper
- 1/3 Cup Granulated Garlic
- Mix well.
With one cup of the above spice mix add ½ cup of sugar, ¼ cup vegetable oil and 2 cups of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. (This is enough for 10 racks.)
Paint the ribs with the mixture and leave overnight in the refrigerator. Be free to tweak this marinade to your taste adding any other spice or herb that you fancy.
Cooking the Ribs, part 1.
In a covered grill or pit use an indirect method of cooking whereby the heat source is not directly under the coals. For real barbecue use natural chunk charcoal for the heat source. Add wet wood or chips like hickory, apple or white oak for more smoke flavor. (hint: place the wood inside a container like aluminum foil poked with holes or a beer or soda can to retard the burning of the wood, you don’t want flame, you want smoke) Using a thermometer to gauge the temperature, cook the ribs meaty side up and away from the fire to prevent flare-ups. Cook at about 225 F for about 2.5 – 3.5 hours or until the thickest part of the rib feels spongy to the touch like touching a medium rare steak with your finger. The baby back will cook sooner at about 2-2.5 hours. Remove the ribs from the heat.
Build up the heat in your grill…(gas, wood, electric or charcoal, anything will work) until you can’t hold your hand 4 inches over the grill surface for more than 3 seconds, or an actual temperature of from 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the ribs on the grill surface directly over the fire. Allow the ribs to bubble and pop over most of its surface then turn the rack to the other side to do the same. Some charring of the meat and bones is a good thing. Using a thick glazing sauce like Buz and Ned’s Rib and Chicken Glaze (for sale at our restaurant and online), Sweet Baby Rays or K.C. Masterpiece (both readily available at the grocery store) (sorry but we can’t give out our recipe) start to paint the surface of one well heated side with the sauce and then turn the rack and place that painted side toward the fire. When the first side begins to bubble and streaks of black carbon form and the sauce reduces to a thick candy coat, turn the rib and repeat with the other side…then back and forth until three coats are caramelized one on top of the other on each side. That should do the trick.
Remove from the heat, cut into individual bones and enjoy.