If you are a food lover, then you must be aware of the charm of a perfectly cooked slab of back ribs. These tender, juicy and flavorful ribs are an absolute crowd-pleaser, especially when you cook them to perfection. However, back ribs cooking that are flavorful, tender, and falling off the bone requires skill, patience, and attention to detail. And, if you are not sure about the cooking technique, you may end up with fall-apart meat or, even worse, dry and tough meat. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you step-by-step on how to master the art of cooking back ribs that will leave your guests wanting more.
Preparing the Meat
Before you start cooking, the first step is to prepare the meat. The best part about back ribs is that they are already trimmed, so you do not have to do much prep work. However, you need to remove the silver skin that runs along the bone side of the ribs. Removing the silver skin will ensure that the ribs cook evenly. To remove the silver skin, take a dull knife and gently use it to lift the skin at the edge of the ribs. Once you have an edge, pull the skin off using a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel.
Seasoning the Meat
Seasoning plays a significant role in making delicious and flavorful back ribs. You can either use a dry rub or a marinade to season the meat. A dry rub is a mixture of dry seasonings, such as salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Massage the dry rub onto the meat, making sure to coat both sides thoroughly. You can also make a marinade by combining oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and other herbs and spices of your choice. Combine it with your back ribs in a large ziplock bag and let it marinate for at least two hours or overnight.
Smoking or Grilling
Smoking or grilling is the ultimate step in preparing the best back ribs. One of the critical things to remember is that back ribs should be cooked at a low temperature and slow-smoked to allow the smoke flavors to permeate the meat. Preheat your smoker or grill to a temperature of 225°F- 250°F and place the ribs with the meat side up on the smoker or grill. Close the lid and smoke for 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 195°F.
Wrapping the Meat
After 3-4 hours of smoking at a low temperature, the back ribs develop a smoky and flavorful bark on the outside. However, they still need to cook for some more time to become tender and fall off the bone. At this junction, it’s time to wrap the ribs. The wrapping process involves tightly wrapping the ribs in heavy-duty foil with some moisture, such as apple juice, beer, or fruit juice. The added moisture will steam the ribs and make them more tender. Return the wrapped ribs to the smoker or grill and cook for one or two hours.
Glazing the Meat
Once the back ribs are almost done, it is time to glaze them to add an extra layer of flavor. You can use your favorite barbecue sauce or make a mustard glaze. Apply the glaze to the meat side of the back ribs and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 200°F. Your back ribs are now ready to be served.
Conclusion: There you have it- a complete guide to mastering the art of back ribs cooking. Cooking a perfect slab of back ribs does take some effort, but it is worth it. Follow the steps above, be patient, and don’t rush the cooking process. Remember, low and slow is the key to tender and flavorful back ribs. Whether you are grilling, smoking, or roasting your back ribs, keep in mind, that you are cooking a delicious meal that will leave a long-lasting impression on the taste buds of your guests. So pick a recipe, get your ingredients ready and go cook some outstanding back ribs that will leave you and your guests wanting more.