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Indoor BBQ Ribs

Well, it's grilling season again, and that means it is time to dust off our old Barbeque grills and smokers and get ready to share our grilled creations with family and friends. With so many sales on ribs, they are hard to pass up, but how can you make them without having to go outside?

BLOG POSTINGS > Everyday Meals

Indoor BBQ Ribs

by zirbirt

Well, it's grilling season again, and that means it is time to dust off our old barbeque grills and smokers and get ready to share our grilled creations with family and friends. When thinking of grilling the first food to come to my mind is ribs. I think ribs are the pinnacle of BBQ food, but are also one of the most frightening foods to work with. It is so easy to end up with a tough barely edible slab of meat and bones.

The other problem is, ribs seem to only be good when cooked in a smoker or BBQ.. On the other hand, most grocery stores use ribs as their super sale item. So, very often you can find a full slab of ribs for as little as $8. This is truly too tempting to pass up... but what do you do if you don't have a smoker, or if you simply don't want to use it.

The answer is actually quite simple. Good ribs can be made in the oven. They can be tender and delicious, and if done right, can even fool people into thinking you made them in a smoker, or grill. Here is how I do it.

I begin by prepping the meat.

First and foremost, we have to get rid of the "skin" on the back of the ribs. This thin layer of membrane will actually cook to become a plastic like inedible substance that messes up many otherwise fine rib dinners. So, we have to get rid of it.

To do this, I take a steak knife and just kinda saw under the skin on one end of the rib. Just enough so I can actually get a grip on it. Once I can get a good grip, I simply peel it off.

It actually peels right off once you get it started.

Now, you will want to give this some smoke flavor, and to do that we are going to use a product called Liquid Smoke. This is basically like hickory smoke extract, so you just want to put a few drops on the back of the ribs and rub it in.

Next up, I sprinkle some kosher salt onto the back of the ribs, then sprinkle on some rub. You can make your own or purchase premade rubs from pretty much any grocery store. For this batch Im using an store bought applewood rub. Then I just pat it down so all the rub sticks to the ribs.

Now I flip the ribs over and do the same to the top of the ribs.. Liquid smoke, rub it in, salt, then rub.. pat it down.

I then lift the ribs and tap the ends down on the loose rub laying about my prep area. To not waste all that rub and to get some on the ends and edges of the ribs.

Now I let that sit for about 15 mins, and warm my oven to 230 degrees.

The thing about tough meats, like ribs, is that to cook them you have to go low and slow. The problem with that is you can easily end up with tender, but very dry meat. I like my ribs tender but succulent, with lots of flavor and moisture. So, I do a some odd stuff.

In your heated oven you will need a drip pan of some sort. I am going to use a rectangular baking pan. I put the bottom rack in the oven all the way to the bottom.. and the top rack at about the middle of the oven. I then put my drip pan on the bottom rack and put 1 cup of apple cider in it.

Now because my pan is shorter than a full rack of ribs. I cut the rack in half. I want to make sure, when this drips (and it will a lot) that the drips all go into the cake pan. Otherwise I might be dealing with an oven fire.

Now I put this in my 230 degree oven, over the drip pan, and let is live in there for 3 hours. I don't need to do anything to it for those 3 hours. I just go find something else to do, like play Warcraft, until 3 hours has passed.

After the 3 hours are up, I pull them out and lay them on some aluminum foil (enough so I can wrap them up).

Now, I can add anything I want here, depending on the flavor I want to come out of the ribs. I could actually chop an onion and some garlic and throw it on these ribs. For this batch, I will keep it simple. I am going to sprinkle on some hot sauce, just a bit, then add some BBQ sauce.

Now, I wrap them back up and put them back in the oven for 2 more hours

What is the point of this? Well, the first 3 hours begins the cooking process of the ribs. It gets them to a point where the fat is rendering down and mingling with the meat fibers and starting to get everything cooked. This next 2 hours is where the tendering is going to happen, those fibers will start to break down and become loose. The problem is, at this time all that moisture from the fat is going to start leaving the meat. So, though it ends up tender it will also end up dry. The foil is going to trap the moisture in and steam it right back into the rib.

I added flavor and BBQ sauce because when the moisture escapes the rib it is going to mingle with whatever I put in there.. and deliver that flavor to the inside of the rib.

After 2 hours, I pull out my foil pack, and open it up.

These are pretty good, but the outside is soft and not what I expect from a rib. I want the inside wet and juicy, but the outside should be kinda dry and a bit caramelized.

So, I put these back directly onto the rack (without the foil) for one more hour. Then I pull them out and brush them with a final coating of BBQ sauce (you can do the coating before the final oven hour as well, if you prefer more caramelization on you BBQ sauce.)

To test them, I am going to cut a rib off using a butter knife:

The outside crust has that crisp, straight from the BBQ feel I'm looking for, the inside is tender and juicy and I have no trouble at all sliding my butter knife through it.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this posting.

zirbirt
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