Here is our step-by-step guide for making the best, most tender, juicy, fall-off-bone, foolproof ribs every time. Wether you are smoking, grilling, or baking, follow these steps to make the perfect pork ribs that will impress anyone at your table. You don't need a big fancy smoker for succulent juicy pork ribs, just follow along while we show you how!
Ever wondered why your pork ribs come out dry, overdone, or flavourless? It's not your fault! You've probably just been given the wrong directions. But don't worry, we are here to help. We've been cooking up ribs for nearly a decade (in a professional sense). Along the way we've picked up some life-changing tricks and tips on how to cook the perfect, most juicy, tasty ribs out there. Follow along for our step-by-step on cooking the most perfect tender ribs every time, in any vessel.
Step 1: Season and do not be afraid!
The first and maybe the most important step in getting the most flavourful and tender meat is to thoroughly season those ribs with your favourite spice blend. We like to cultivate our own secret blend (soon to be available for purchase!) but until it's available to shop, we like this one by Cool Runnings. It's very important to lather your ribs with seasoning, with spice rub, whatever you want to call it, nice and thick. You want a solid layer of saltiness on there to tenderize the meat as it cooks. All those spices and seasonings will infuse your meat as it's cooking to perfection.
Step 2: Wrap, wrap, wrap!
Wrapping is the next step, and also equally important (who are we kidding, all steps are important). You need to wrap that meat up TIGHT! Wrapping your meat seals in all the moisture and yummy juices, and allows the meat to steam to perfection in it's own little blanket. When we say wrap, we don't mean pile the meat on a tray and loosely cover the tray; we mean give each piece the blanket it deserves! If it's just one rack, then give that baby a blanket! If it's multiple racks, then give all those babies their own blankets! There are two wrapping options that we recommend: foil or butcher's paper. We prefer butcher's paper, and you can find some really good stuff right here.
You can give that sucker a double layer of wrap if you'd like, just make sure she's sealed up nice and tight. You can choose to fold it and place it in your cooking device fold side down, or you can use tape to give it a seal.
Step 3: Low and slow(ish).
Rib meat likes to cook slowly for a long time. A low and consistent temperature like 275 degrees is crucial to making those ribs tender, juicy and fall-off-the-bone. It doesn't matter what device you're cooking in: oven, smoker, BBQ, pellet stove, underground, literally wherever! You need to be able to keep that consistent temperature, so make sure you have a thermometer either built in or on-hand to check in frequently. If you need one, try this by Rubbermaid.
We cook our ribs at this temperature for about 4 hours, but you can keep them there for up to 6. If you are smoking them, you can lower the heat to about 175, a good holding temperature, after that to keep them warm and continue to infuse the smoke.
Step 4: Sauce those babies!
In the final 45 minutes to 1hr of cooking, we like to give those ribs at least one or two passes with a sauce mop and one of our signature secret sauces. If you want a recipe for a good all purpose mop sauce, check out this post here! If you want to skip the additional kitchen time, we love an old faithful like Sweet Baby Ray's watered down a little bit. You can get a two pack of Sweet Baby Ray's right here. Not all sauces mops are created equal, and in this case we do not recommend cheating out, trust us it is not worth it. We like this one here by Grill Hogs. Don't worry, you'll be able to buy our BBQ sauce soon, we promise!
Step 5: Serve them up sliced, it's better.
After you've put in all the hard work and hours for your perfect ribs, don't let your guests fumble over a half or a full rack. Don't allow them to miss seeing the fruits of your labours, the INSIDE of the rack! Slice those beauties up so they can witness the beauty inside! Wether you've got a nice smoke ring happening or just some tender love, it's worth showing off! You can choose to add more mop sauce or not, either way get ready for a standing ovation.