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Spring has sprung, and I’m so glad, because with the coming of spring, both Smithfield Fresh Pork and I agree: it’s time to “Get Grilling America”! Ribs are just about my favorite thing to grill, and I’ve come up with an easy rib recipe I’ve named Slap Yo’ Mama Ribs! The story behind the name – in brief – refers to that theoretical someone/something who is so good-looking to you, that you might, were it insisted upon, be willing to turn around and slap yo’ mama, just to have them. ) And while I hope none of you will never, EVER smack yo’ mama, I do hope you’ll try these easy-to-make ribs. I’d go so far as to say that no matter your level of expertise, you can grill great ribs.
The best way to cook ribs is a topic that generates a lot of controversy, wherever you go. Some advocate for the grill, or the smoker, and some for the slow cooker, or the oven. And then, there’s what you put on your ribs: will it be barbecue sauce or a dry spice rub, or a combination thereof? Now that grilling season is here, it’s good to know that grilling spareribs really is easy, with a little know-how. Not only do I have the “know-how”, I’m happy to share it with you! Smithfield Extra Tender Ribs can be your secret weapon to perfect ribs every time. So you’ve come to the right place!
My favorite place in the South to eat ribs prepares their ribs with spice rub, only. In the past, I’ve usually served mine with a barbecue sauce, but for this post, I wanted to try cooking my ribs simply: with a spice rub only. I have a spice rub mixture that I mostly use on Boston Butt roasts (and that cut of meat comes, in reality, NOT from a butt…but a pork shoulder! Oh, that confusing English language of ours!). I call my Boston Butt spice rub, Slap Yo’ Mama Butt Rub, and it happens to be the most popular recipe on my blog. (So…pretty much everything’s in a name.)
Anyway, when I heard that Smithfield Fresh Pork wanted me to share my tips on how I do ribs, I thought I’d take my existing recipe for Butt Rub, and use it as a Rib Rub. Because I was pretty sure that if you like Butt Rub, you’re going to love Rib Rub.
I went shopping for my ribs at Walmart. They were easy to find, in the meat case on the outer perimeter of the store where I shop.
I chose the St. Louis style spareribs. All cuts of spareribs are going to be delicious, whether regular, baby back, country style or St. Louis style, but the cut known as St. Louis style spareribs has already been trimmed of skirt meat and excess cartilage. Thus, their overall shape is more even – rectangular, and in terms of even cooking, that makes for less worry for the cook!
Smithfield Fresh Pork Ribs are hand-trimmed, extra-tender and juicy, and have no added hormones or steroids. They’re sure to impress your guests.
I start my ribs by applying the spice rub. If you have 8 – 24 hours to spare, you can wrap them in plastic wrap at that point, and store them in the fridge, till you grill them later. The spice rub will have even more time to penetrate that way. I didn’t have that kind of time: I needed to grill them soon, so we applied the rub and cooked them right away, and they were great, even without giving the rub time to be drawn in deeper.
The spice-rubbed ribs get wrapped in foil, with the edges of their foil packet crimped, to seal the packet. I cook them low and slow, at 300º on a rack that is placed on a cookie sheet, for two hours. The lower-than-usual heat, coupled with the sealed-in steam from the cooking ribs, causes the meat’s proteins to relax, and this method makes them tender and juicy. And since I can’t resist a bit of smoky flavor, when we took our ribs out of the oven and unwrapped them, we finished them for the last 45 minutes on the grill, over indirect heat, with a stick of hickory wood placed on top of our Kingsford charcoal coals, to get some smoky flavor. (My husband turned the rack of ribs over every 10 minutes or so, keeping an eye on them as they cooked.)
The brown sugar in my rub – or the presence of any sugar in any spice rub or barbecue sauce – will brown and caramelize on the grill. Yum!!!! But by the same token, sugar will be the first thing to burn, too, so that’s why we used an indirect heat while the ribs were on the grill.
Here are the recipes you’ll need to make Slap Yo’ Mama Ribs: first, for the spice rub. Second, for the ribs, themselves.
Slap Yo’ Mama Rib Rub:
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. kosher salt
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/2 c. garlic salt
- 1 t. coriander
- 1/2 c. smoked paprika
- 1 T. cayenne pepper (go easy on this if you're a spice weenie)
- 1 T. chili powder
- 1 T. freshly ground black pepper
- Mix spices, use what you need, and store remainder of rub in a Mason jar.
- You're going to love having leftovers of this rub, to use on whatever meat you're grilling this summer!
- I used about 2 heaping tablespoons of rib rub on each side of one rack of ribs.
In layman’s terms, what we’re really talking about here is:
How to Cook Pork Ribs in a low Oven in a foil packet with a Dry Rub/Tasty Spice Blend, and Finish them with Smoke on the Grill
But since that’s not very catchy, and we all know catchy is what gets blogs clicks, and what will make the people that you’re grilling for smile, let’s call them:
Slap yo’ Mama Ribs:
- 4 Tablespoons of Slap Yo' Mama Rib Rub, per rack of ribs
- 1 rack of Smithfield Fresh Pork St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs for every 4 people
- Spread each side of each rack of ribs with 2 tablespoons of Slap yo' Mama Rib Rub. Don't just sprinkle with the spices: rub them in. Wrap each rack you're cooking in plastic and refrigerate for up to 24 hours (if you have the time). When you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300º. Remove spice-rubbed ribs from plastic wrap, and wrap securely in a foil packet, crimping the ends for a tight seal. Place the rib packet(s) on a rack, set on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 2 hours.
- Remove foil from around the rack(s) of ribs, and place on a grill, using indirect heat. (That means the coals have been built up on one side, and the ribs will be on a rack on the other side.) Grill the ribs over indirect heat for about 45 minutes, turning them every 10 minutes or so, and keeping an eye on their color, so that they don't burn. Enjoy!
- To get a smoky flavor, we added a piece of hickory wood onto the top of the bank of coals in our grill. This is definitely optional, but we like smoky ribs.
If you’d like to learn about cooking ribs, in general, Smithfield Fresh Pork has a wealth of information on their Prep School site, specifically the location entitled Rib Master. And who better to learn from than the folks who specialize in pork?
This recipe, by Smithfield Fresh Pork’s Grill Master Tuffy Stone looks delicious to me! I adore the smokiness in chipotle chiles!
I’d appreciate it so much if you’d pin my recipe on Pinterest, or share it on Facebook, Twitter or Yummly.