Summers on its way and it’s time to dust off and fire up the BBQ for some lazy afternoons with family and friends. Making a resurgence on the BBQ Menu is the good old rib (did it ever leave the menu you ask – probably not!) If you're new to barbecuing ribs – or perhaps you’ve experienced a few disasters along the way then maybe you need to review your technique!
Perfect, tender ribs with meat falling off the bones take preparation – and preparing your ribs in advance of placing them on the barbie might just be the solution to cooking perfect ribs. If you just throw the ribs on a grill, without preparing them first, then your ribs will be very tough and not very good no matter what type of sauce is used.
Most master grillers prepare their ribs well in advance of cooking them on the grill (either charcoal or gas). Usually, at a BBQ event, guests see the ‘chef’ placing the ribs on the grill, never knowing that work was done beforehand to get the ribs ready. Those new to grilling assume that the cook is just brushing sauce on the ribs, and then cooking them until done directly on the grill and this isn’t always so.
To prepare your ribs, first bring a large pot of water to a boil. You should do this the day before your BBQ event or dinner. Add a bit of salt to the water, and then bring it down to a low simmer. Add your ribs, cover and simmer them for an hour and then carefully remove them from the pot. Your ribs should be tender and juicy now, but you shouldn’t place them on the grill just yet!
Place them in a large bowl, add your BBQ sauce (check out our tasty Honey & Dijon recipe on the right), cover and refrigerate overnight. This provides ample time for the ribs to marinate in the sauce and to produce that delicious BBQ flavour that everyone loves.
The next day, light your BBQ and let the coals die down to warm glowing embers (for charcoal bbq’s) or turn down low on a gas BBQ. You should never BBQ your ribs over an open flame; this can burn the sauce and ruin the flavour of your ribs.
Once the flames have died down, brush some more sauce on your ribs and place them directly on the grill. Cook for 10 minutes, brush some more sauce on the top of the ribs, turn and cook the other side for 10 minutes. Continue cooking the ribs in this fashion until they are fully done, turning your BBQ ribs every 10 minutes while adding fresh sauce at every turn.
Once your ribs are done, place them on a serving platter and serve while they are still hot. Your guests will go crazy over your delicious, juicy and tender ribs.
The BBQ sauce is used to add flavour, not to cover up inferior cooking. Don’t you owe it to yourself and to your dinner guests to go that extra mile, ensuring that your ribs are not only tasty but also mouth watering tender? You’ll be known as the best BBQ rib griller in your area (well at least your street!) - especially if you combine your juicy and tender ribs with your very own homemade BBQ rubs, sauce or marinades instead of using pre-bottled sauces.
Go on – start experimenting!
HONEY & DIJON RIB SAUCE
Sweet and tangy, this Honey Dijon Barbecue Sauce recipe is perfect when you feel like a tasty break from the usual tomato-based barbecue sauce recipes. Makes about 2 1/2 cups Honey Dijon Barbecue Sauce.
• 1 cup Dijon mustard
• 1/3 cup honey
• 1/2 cup cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup light brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk together thoroughly. Use as a basting sauce, but be careful with a direct flame so not to burn the honey. Also excellent brushed on after barbecuing, with additional sauce served on the side.