Sunday, March 29, 2009

Grilled Pork Spareribs or Baby Back Ribs

Grilled spareribs or baby back ribs, get a boost first in the oven and then take a final sear on the grill.

Grilled Pork Spareribs or Baby Back Ribs

Now that the rain has moved outta here and the sun has resurfaced, I was in the mood to hit the grill for dinner today. I know that some of you are hunkered down inside due to unexpected spring ice storms and snowfall, but maybe this'll give ya a glimmer of hope that summer is really just around the corner! And, maybe when y'all are relaxing and enjoying your summer, you'll think of us in the Deep South while we are meltin' right about that same time.

So I figured it'd be a good time to show y'all that other rib recipe I mentioned in my other rib post. Back when I was doin' yet another diet, Lisa, one of the gals on the board I was frequenting gave me this recipe.

Now first - here's what I know about the differences between baby back ribs and spareribs.
Spareribs are from the belly area of the hog. They are generally large and fairly meaty, but they do contain more fat, and consequently, more flavor than baby back ribs do. These are often referred to as St. Louis style ribs.

Baby back ribs or pork loin back ribs are from the loin area of the hog. They are much leaner and the most tender of the ribs. They are also the most expensive.
And that's, well... pretty much all I know.

Now, on to the recipe. These you start in the oven and finish off on the grill, but nobody really has to know that! Like the other ribs I recently posted, yes, these are very tender, but because they are seared on the grill, they hold up better to hand-holdin' bone-gnawin', which if you think about it is about half the fun of eating ribs really. Just remember, when you go to transfer the ribs from the pan to the grill, use a pair of long handled grill tongs to slide up underneath the ribs and sort of gently slide them off of the pan onto the grill. Otherwise, these are tender enough that they may fall apart on you, especially the baby backs.

As I mentioned on the previous rib post, I always remove the membrane on spareribs. I don't find it necessary to do this on baby back ribs, but it can be tough on spareribs, so first you'll want to remove the membrane on the backside of the ribs.

Then, flip them over to the top side and you'll see an extra flap of meat. That is generally pretty tough and inedible meat to me, so I always remove it.

Lift it and gradually work the knife underneath and slice it off.

Until you have a clean rack of ribs that is ready to season! Now, if you buy your ribs "St. Louis Style" they are already trimmed up for you.

We are going to use steak seasoning. No, you did not read that wrong!

Lisa used Tone's Canadian Steak Seasoning, but I have used other kinds, such as this King Ranch steak seasoning, Weber Chicago Steak Seasoning, and McCormick Grillmates Montreal Steak Seasoning, all which season very nicely. Just use whatever kind of steak seasoning that's in your pantry, or whatever you like really, but Lisa used steak seasoning, so I use steak seasoning for this recipe too.

And of course, gotta have a little bit of my standby favorite Certified Cajun Slap Ya Mama seasoning. Love this stuff on, well... everything!

Sprinkle both seasonings very generously all over the ribs on both sides and rub in.

Lay the ribs on a foil lined baking sheet, bring the sides up and around to tightly wrap the ribs with several layers of foil so no steam escapes. Place into a preheated 250 degree F oven.

Bake at 250 degrees F for about 3 hours for a single rack of ribs, 3-1/2 to 4 hours for two racks, shifting the pans around about halfway through when doing two. When the ribs pull away from the bone like this, they are pretty much done, but we're gonna do the big finish on the grill.

As you see, these cooked ribs without the dry rub are much more pale than the ones that are open roasted and have the dry rub on them, but we're gonna resolve that here in a sec. Right now, you'll want to generously slather the ribs on both sides with some homemade sauce, or just use your favorite bottled sauce...

...and carry them out to the grill to sear them on both sides in a preheated and very hot grill. Again, remember, when you go to transfer the ribs from the pan to the grill, use a pair of long handled grill tongs to slide up underneath the ribs, gently grasp them and just kind of pull them off of the pan onto the grill. Otherwise, these are going to be tender enough that they may fall apart on you, especially if you are grilling the baby backs.

For those of  you who like a rib with a chew, versus the super tender fall off the bone ribs many of us love, but you've had a pill of a time getting them tender with the grill, this is the rib recipe you have been looking for.

Now lookie here - that's what I'm talkin' about!!

Recipe: Grilled Pork Spareribs or Baby Back Ribs

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 3 hours 15 min >| Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 (4 to 6 pound) rack of pork spareribs or baby back ribs
  • Steak Seasoning, your favorite brand
  • Slap Ya Mama, or your favorite Cajun/Creole Seasoning
  • Barbecue sauce, homemade or your favorite commercial sauce

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Prepare the ribs by removing the membrane from the back of the ribs and cutting away that extra little flap of tough meat across the top - just discard that or save it for seasoning.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Sprinkle a generous amount of the steak seasoning and Cajun seasoning on both sides of the ribs. Cover tightly with several layers of aluminum foil and bake at 250 degrees F for about 3 hours for a single rack of ribs, 3-1/2 to 4 hours for two racks, shifting the pans around about halfway through. When the ribs pull away from the bone slightly, they are just about done.

To finish on the grill, preheat the grill to high. Uncover and brush barbecue sauce on both sides of the ribs. Using long tongs to go under the ribs, carefully transfer them to the grill and sear on both sides. Reduce heat to medium heat and continue cooking if needed, until ribs are thoroughly cooked through, using tongs to carefully remove and transfer to a tray or pan. Let rest before slicing into individual serving pieces.

Serve with a side of extra barbecue sauce and any of the usual BBQ food fare - maybe one or more of these sides - southern style potato salad, or how about a different and delicious baked potato salad instead? Or, try a pasta salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, or coleslaw.

To Smoke Cook: Preheat smoker to 250 degrees F. Prepare ribs as above, place onto rack and smoker for about 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches about 185 degrees F. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Leftovers? Build a BBQ Sundae!


Print Sauce Recipe
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©Deep South Dish
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  1. wow. that looks unbelievably good.

  2. Gotta admit they are pretty darned good! Hubs loves 'em. I'll bet they're even better with Tones Canadian steak seasoning but I couldn't find any nearby. Sams Club has it but I'm not a member anymore and its on the other side of the Coast anyway. Best part is you get the grilled flavor and feeling but the oven does all the work while you do other things!

  3. I just found you through SITS...Mississippi caught my eye! I was born and raised in Clinton, and miss home. I'm now on the East Coast. Did I mention I miss home??

    Sooooo happy to have found you, and I can't wait to try some of your recipes. My mouth is already watering! :)

  4. Stopping by to say "hey" since you were first SITS commenter today!

    My hubby likes to cook the ribs in the crockpot and then finish them off on the grill.

    Yours look yummy! Although it's not grilling season quite yet for us...considering it was snowing today...

  5. Wow! Great minds DO think alike. I prepared ribs yesterday too. Yours look amazing. Got any leftovers?

  6. Hi Natalie! Welcome 'home!'

    Hi Yaya, yeah that was a fluke cuz they were having technical difficulties this morning! But it was fun being 1st for a change. Wishing you warm days soon!!

    Hey Rebel - yeah, I had a rack in the freezer and it kept falling out every time I opened it so I figured they wanted to be cooked! So then I figured why not go ahead and do the other recipe I had talked about! Actually there were a couple left from last night and since I was the only one home tonight, I ate them!

  7. Wow, this looks wonderful! Thanks for stopping by my blog :) We have been real busy lately! I love Disney too, we are so fortunate to live in the Orlando area with so many things to do. I'm going to browse around your blog, great to hear from you :)

  8. I LOVE Orlando!!! :) :) :)

    Thanks for swingin' by my little blog too!

  9. want to know something funny, as in coincidence? i live near Kennedy Space Center! I didn't know about NASA's center there in Mississippi. You learn something every day, it just goes to show!

  10. :) We have a lot of little jewels like that down here! In fact, the Mississippi Gulf Coast was often referred to back in the day by wealthy New Orleanians - who often had beautiful vacation homes right on the beach here for their getaways - as "the south's best kept secret!"

  11. Thanks for showing me this. Darn it, I was thinking about slow roasting them too! I didn't. Next time. I prefer pork ribs, we had beef.

    I've love to learn how they do ribs in the South! =)

  12. Exactly the way I fix my ribs except I make 6-7 slabs at a time. It gets a little crowded in that pan. I start with a dry rub, slow bake and on the grill with sauce. DEELISH. We like to work for our meat, so ours have a bit of a chew. Years and years ago[40] I used to boil and then on the grill. I think at that time the pork could have had trichonosis, and pork had to be cooked beyond well cooked according to my mom. :} I think you loose too much flavor that way. I enjoy your blog.


    1. Thanks so much Vicky! Wow, that's a bunch of slabs but I know they are delicious!! A lot of folks, including me, used to boil them first too - I'm sure there are many who do still as I've seen recipes here and there still calling for it.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

  13. Best, most tender, and easiest, ribs I ever made. Thank you so much.


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