Helpful tips for preparing BBQ ribs

BBQ ribs are simply a must if you are looking to prepare a delicious dish that will be sure to delight your guests. To make BBQ ribs look their best, follow this useful series of recommendations and tips on how to prepare them, and you'll be sure to succeed!

How best to prepare good BBQ ribs?

Preparing BBQ ribs is something of an art and requires following a series of guidelines to ensure that the recipe is just right. The ribs should be juicy and meaty, the meat should fall off the bone easily and, if you want to ensure a fantastic presentation, the meat should be smoked. In addition, homemade BBQ sauce allows the dish to be both sticky in texture and very sweet. 

Choosing the ribs

The choice of ribs is key to preparing a delicious BBQ recipe. Be aware that there are four different types of ribs taken from the pig: baby ribs (upper back ribs), the ribs themselves, rustic-style ribs and rib tips. Baby ribs have very tender meat and are easy to cook. 

If you have the opportunity, select ribs that come from Iberian pork, as the flavour is much more intense and memorable.

Create a layer of complementary flavours

To make BBQ ribs taste fantastic, it is neccessary to cook them by creating layers of flavours, i.e. layering the ingredients in portions. The first step is to coat the ribs in Dijon mustard sauce, then gently massage it into the ribs. The preparation continues with a mixture of brown sugar, salt, pepper, chilli powder (if you want a spicy touch) and celery seeds. 

The third layer is obtained through the application of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is poured in halfway through cooking and allows the meat to stay juicy. Finally, a layer of barbecue sauce is applied while the meat is still on the fire - a complete process working in harmony!

Indirect heat is essential

The best way to prepare BBQ ribs is to use the grill, but always use indirect heat. Having a good grill can be an advantage, but if you haven’t, no problem. The ribs should be cooked low and slow and should be placed in such a way that they are not directly over the fire, with the lid closed and preferably using wood and not charcoal. 

Arrange your grill so that you ensure indirect heat. To do this, light the grill and place a tray in the centre so that you can catch the cooking juices. The ribs should be placed on the grate over the tray so that they do not receive direct heat.

How do you smoke the ribs?

Good BBQ ribs are characterised by a distinct smoking process. Applying the smoke is very simple, but it is important to use wood rather than charcoal for cooking. In countries such as France, the ribs are not smoked. However, if you want a traditional American style, then this step is mandatory. It also depends a great deal on the type of wood you use. In the United States, for example, they predominantly use apple or walnut wood, but it is also possible to use cherry wood. 

For smoking, it is sufficient to add wood chips or wood shavings that have been drained and dampened to the fathoms. Wetting the wood slows down the combustion process and the wood gives off smoke rather than fire. If you don't have a grill and you are cooking the ribs in the oven, it is also possible to smoke them. This is accomplished by adding liquid fire with melted butter. The mixture should be spread abundantly over the ribs in the last 60 minutes of cooking.

Adding the BBQ sauce

BBQ sauce is simply essential for this recipe. Look to achieve a fully rounded and delicious sauce. If you mix, for example, brown sugar, tomato sauce, bourbon and chipotle chili, you will create a distinctive sauce with an unbeatable texture. The sauce should also be applied in layers. The first of these layers is added in the last 20 minutes of cooking. Then it should be poured back in and the meat brought to a high heat. Following this, in the final presentation, the sauce is poured or served in a dipping bowl.

Putting the meat over a high heat to caramelise the sauce will provide a unique result. Remember to only grill the ribs over direct heat for the last four minutes of cooking.

When are the BBQ ribs ready?

Removing the ribs too early or, alternatively, too late can make a significant difference to the final result. Luckily, knowing when the ribs are ready is not very difficult, as pork shrinks during cooking. If you see a clean part of the bone, it means that the ribs are ready. Also, if you place the ribs in whole, the ribs can be easily separated with your fingers to form individual ribs.

Finally, you will know that your meat is ready for eating if it falls off the bone easily.

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