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Yes summer is coming to an end and the kids will be going back to school soon but there is still plenty of time to get outside and enjoy! There is no shortage of things to do and if you’re like us, you love tailgating with family and friends and sharing some delicious food! Nothing is more delicious then ribs grilled to perfection for this occasion and not too many things can beat the fresh tender flavor of perfect ribs. So if you are heading to tailgate for the big game or just planning to watch a big race coming up with your people then check out these 5 tips for grilling the perfect ribs! We promise it’s easy, read on!
Purchase Perfect Ribs
You need to know your ribs so you can purchase the perfect ribs for your taste and needs. There are several different kinds like Pork Spareribs, St. Louis Style ribs, Flanked short ribs, Baby Back pork ribs and Country-style pork ribs. We prefer Pork Spareribs because they are super tender and easy to work with. Make sure you look for ribs that are pink in color and don’t buy them more than two days in advance. Be ready to cook and serve them fresh and tasty!
We always look for Smithfield Extra Tender Pork Back Ribs because they are hand-trimmed, extra-tender and juicy plus an added bonus is they don’t have added hormones or steroids so I feel better about giving them to my family! I like to call them my secret weapon for grilling the perfect tender ribs every time and pick them up at Walmart when I am on my weekly run.
Prepare Your Meat
Don’t skip this step (even though you might want to) because you need to set up your ribs for total success. Take your meat out of the package and wash thoroughly with warm water. After washing it inspect it and cut off any extra meat or fat from the rack. Some fat is good, just get rid of the thick parts, as you want your rack of ribs to have an even thickness and square shape. Next remove the silverskin, a membrane over the underside of the ribs. It’s easy to do with a knife and should come right off with a good tug. Pat dry with paper towel. I also like to cut my ribs in half, it is easier to work with in my opinion.
Pro Tip- If you are out at a tailgate party or away from a sink, then you will have to do this step at home and take your meat to your venue. Just make sure you wrap it in foil and put it in a cooler full of ice until you are ready to season and grill. Don’t leave it in the cooler too long as ribs need to be prepared right away.
Season Your Meat
This is one of my favorite steps for grilling the perfect ribs so don’t skip this or you might be left with some bland tasting ribs at the end. I like to mix dry rubs with different liquid marinades and have tried several different combinations over the years! Get creative and find what you like as everyone has an opinion about this step! Some people like to use dry rubs only while others have secret marinades like using Bud or Bud Light from Anheuser Busch or even sugar! Doesn’t matter, just use something. We like to applying a generous amount of our rub first to the ribs and let them sit and marinate for a good 30 minutes to 1 hour. Some people like to do it overnight and this is totally up to you just make sure to rub the bone side first.
Since everyone does do it different you can check out more tips and recipes for grilling the perfect ribs at the Hero of the Grill Contest and Sweepstakes at SmithfieldGetGrilling.com. You can even share and nominate who inspired you to get grilling for a chance for your hero to win $5,000! You can also read great grilling info and enter for a chance to win prizes EVERY DAY! Who better to gain some valuable tips from than championship pitmasters? They also like to use Smithfield Fresh Pork in their competitions and on their backyard grill because they know their pork will be sure to impress!
Wrap Your Meat
If you are tailgating and waiting to watch the Smithfield #10 Racecar at the upcoming races or just having dinner on a weeknight you don’t have all day or several hours to cook your ribs so the perfect solution is wrap them with foil. The foil will speed up the process and allow you to cook the ribs in about 2 hours plus you don’t want all your flavor to escape and you especially don’t want liquid and rub dripping all over your grill. You will be cooking over indirect heat and slow cooking (to a degree) so this allows the meat to really soak in the juices and makes it even more tender. Make sure you double or even triple wrap and tighten around the meat.
Take Your Time
Now you will see how easy grilling ribs really is! Place the ribs over indirect, medium heat on your grill no more than 350 degrees. Cover the grill, and cook the ribs for approximately two hours. Hang out with your friends and watch some races like the upcoming race in South Carolina on 9/2/18 or talk about the weather but do not check on the ribs for the first 30 minutes! You could dry out the ribs quickly if you keep opening up the grill. Beware, the smell will make you want to but don’t do it!
After 1 hour, flip the ribs over and cook for another hour. At this point you can do a fork test to see if the ribs are done. You simply stick the fork into the ribs to see if they pull off from the bone easily. If so they are done and you can apply your favorite barbecue sauce if you like or not. We like to take the ribs off the grill, unwrap the foil and let them sit for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, throw the ribs back on the grill and lightly char-grill them and make them sizzle! 10 to 12 minutes of turning and basting once or twice with a BBQ sauce will usually achieve the look you are going for.
That’s it! All done! Take them off the grill and give them 5 minutes or so to cool and then cut and serve! No matter your level of expertise you can grill great tender ribs if you follow a few easy tips!
Enjoy the rest of the summer and make some memories tailgating and hanging out with your people! If you want more grilling content check out Facebook/CookingWithSmithfield and watch this video featuring grill master Tully Stone! He truly rocks and can provide you with more pro tips so you can soon become a grill master too!