How to Make Grilled Pork Ribs

Grilled pork ribs are a popular meal, especially if they happen to have BBQ sauce poured on top. Grilling BBQ ribs correctly is a guaranteed way to get compliments at any picnic, potluck or party.

Choosing the Meat
Before you decide how you want to grill your ribs, you need to decide what ribs to grill. Spare ribs, baby-back ribs and country-style ribs are three main types. Spare ribs are leaner and cut from the outer edge. Baby-back ribs are short and cut from the back. Country-style ribs are very meaty and cut from the shoulder area. When you buy the ribs, ask your butcher to remove the silver skin, or plan on doing that when you get home.

Preparing the Ribs
You can grill your ribs as a rack or cut into individual ribs. A rack of ribs is much easier to work with, but individual ribs tend to cook faster. Keep the meat refrigerated until it's time to cook. Rinse the ribs with cool water, and pat dry with a paper towel.

If you want to rub some herbs and spices into the pork ribs, now is the time. You can let the ribs soak in flavor for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. However, if you plan on using a sugary marinade, such as BBQ sauce, wait until the ribs are about 3/4 cooked before applying. Otherwise the sugar burns and makes the ribs taste terrible.

Parboiling the Ribs
You can grill your ribs straight from the refrigerator, or you can parboil them first. Parboiling helps cut down on cooking time, but it can rob your ribs of flavor and is considered a terrible sin in the grilling world. To parboil, you simply place the ribs in a large pot of boiling water for 5 to 15 minutes, or until partially cooked. Remove the ribs from the water, pat dry and throw on the grill.

Always grill ribs over indirect, low heat. You want to place your ribs on the rack and cover the grill with a lid. Keep the lid on the grill and only check on the ribs every 30 to 45 minutes. Flip the ribs over each time you check on them. When the ribs have 30 to 45 minutes left to cook, start applying the marinade. Remove the rib from the grill, brush on the marinade, place rib on rack and close grill again.

Ribs need to slow cook and can take anywhere from 2 hours for spareribs to 5 hours for country-style ribs. The ribs are done when a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees. Remove the ribs from the grill, and add a heavy coating of sauce. Let the ribs cool off for a few minutes and serve.

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