Mouth watering pig-sickles at their best! Try them once, you will be making them for a lifetime.
You need to start your rib preparation 24-36 hours before you are ready to eat, which means starting a day or two ahead of time, so plan appropriately. I prefer a meaty rack of pork Spare ribs, but this recipe can easily be adapted for Baby Back, Loin Back, or Saint Louis Cut ribs by reducing the cooking time by 30-60 minutes. Against common convention, these ribs will be cooked in an oven. Before you ‘tune-out’ and dismiss this process as fake barbecue, consider this. The way professionals make their ribs are is to cook them for long periods at low, controlled temperatures. Unless you have professional equipment, using the oven is the closest you will ever get to emulating that environment. Besides, once you taste how good these ribs are, and realize they can be easily made year round in your own kitchen, you will be hooked!
Implements: > Boning knife > Cutting Board or Mat > Heavy Duty Gallon-size Ziploc bag > Casserole dish or other leak-proof container, approximately 12”x12”x 3” or bigger > Paper towels or clean kitchen cloth > Spray bottle or barbecue/basting brush > Small mixing bowl > Measuring cup and measuring spoons > Plastic wrap (e.g. cling wrap, saran wrap, etc.) > Heavy duty, wide, aluminum foil > Roasting pan with raised, flat, wire rack; or a broiling pan > No-stick cooking spray (e.g. Pam, Crisco spray, etc) > Oven, with a broiler setting > Barbecue/basting brush
Ingredients: > 2 liters, Cola-Cola soda > 1 cup, Rib Rub (recipe to follow) > 1 rack, Spare Ribs > 1½ oz (one shot), Bourbon Whiskey > 7-8 oz, Liquid Smoke > 8 oz, Apple Juice > 1 small Yellow Onion, thickly sliced > 1 small Garlic Ear, thickly sliced > Oklahoma Joe's Original Barbecue Sauce, optional (or your favorite sauce)
Rib Rub: > 8 Tbsp, Light Brown Sugar > 3 Tbsp, Salt > 1 Tbsp, Accent (MSG), or substitute Salt if anti-MSG > 1 Tbsp, Chili Powder > 1 Tbsp, Smoked Paprika > 2 tsp, Onion Powder > 2 tsp, Garlic Powder > 1 tsp, Ground Ginger > 1 tsp, Ground Black Pepper > 1 tsp, Ground White Pepper > ½ tsp, Ground Red Pepper (cayenne) > ½ tsp, Ground Cumin > ½ tsp, Ground Mustard > ¼ tsp, Cinnamon > ¼ tsp, Cocoa Powder
Preparation: (1) On the underside of the Ribs, there is a thin membrane called the ‘silver-skin’ that should be removed. Using a boning knife and starting at the small end of the rack, pick away an edge of the silver-skin until you can get a good grip, and attempt to slowly peel off in one big strip, using the knife to assist around the edges. Do the best you can; it doesn’t need to be perfect, but the more you can remove, the better. The silver-skin can be tough when left on the ribs.
(2) Cut the Rib slab into even halves, and stack atop each other, bottom-side against bottom-side. Carefully put rib stack into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag so as not to puncture. Pour most or all Coca-Cola soda into bag, watchful for any leaks. Seal Ziploc with minimal or no air remaining in the bag. Lay bag in a large casserole dish or other container to prevent a mess if a leak should occur. Refrigerate for a total of 12-24 hours, but be sure to check the bag after the first hour. The carbonation with bloat the bag, and it will need to be ‘burped’ to remove the air (failure to do this could result in burst bag!). If you want to be safe, check again after the second hour, as well. Turn bag over half way through refrigeration, if possible. The carbonation in the soda will tenderize the meat, the sugars in the soda will slightly sweeten the meat, and the water/sodium in the soda will brine the meat for juiciness.
(3) Discard soda from bag and remove Ribs. Pat meat dry with paper towels. Put Bourbon into spray bottle and ‘spritz’ bottom-side of both rib halves with the whiskey. Generously coat ribs with up to half of the prepared Rib Rub. Turn ribs over and repeat Bourbon/Rub procedure on top side. Place each rib half on its own large sheet of plastic wrap, and seal tightly. Stack the wrapped rib halves atop one another, and return them to the casserole/container. Refrigerate for 4-12 hours. Set aside any spillover or remaining rub for later; even if it touched the raw meat at one point (trust me!).
(4) Along the side edges, crimp together two long (about 4 feet) pieces of aluminum foil to create one extra-large piece. I find the easiest way to do this is to make a 1-inch 90-degree bend in one sheet, using a counter or table edge. With the bent sheet lying flat, bent-edge standing up, snug the second sheet into the bend crease. Fold the bend down, and then over twice to lock the sheets together. Lastly, pull and crease the top sheet back against the ‘lock-fold’, 180-degrees, to make one giant double-wide sheet of aluminum foil. Now, line the shallow roasting pan with the aluminum foil, centering it so there is extra foil evenly around all sides to enable a ‘tent’ enclosure around ribs.
Instructions: (1) In a bowl, whisk together remaining Rib Rub, Liquid Smoke, Apple Juice, and any leftover Bourbon Whiskey. When spices have dissolved, pour spiced liquid into the foil-lined pan. Thickly slice Onions and Garlic (no need to peel them), break onions into ‘rings’, and add to liquid in the roasting pan. Coat top and bottom of wire rack with non-stick cooking spray (preferably outside to keep kitchen slip-free), and set rack inside roasting pan. The liquid, spices and vegetables are aromatics used only for smoking the ribs.
(2) Remove Rib halves from plastic wrap and place them side-by-side on the wire rack, top-side up. Raise foil sides and seal loosely around ribs. You do not want the foil to touch the meat, but rather you are creating a sealed compartment where the ribs can freely cook without losing their moisture.
(3) You do not need to preheat the oven. Put the pan into the center of the oven and bake at 225 degrees for 4 hours. The smell after a couple hours is going to start driving you crazy, but remember that ‘low & slow’ is the secret; so be patient.
(4) Remove the pan from oven and let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. Cut away foil tent so that only the foil pan lining remains, and the ribs are exposed from above.
(5) In this step, there are a few options depending on how you like your ribs. I recommend brushing on a thin coat of Barbecue Sauce, and return the ribs to the oven one level above where they originally cooked. Set the oven to broil, and keep the door open a notch to watch the cooking process. You want the sugars in the barbecue sauce to caramelize and begin to ‘char’ a little bit. This should take 5-10 minutes at most. If you don’t like sauce, I still recommend ‘charring’ the ribs in the broiler to crisp them up a little, just without the sauce addition. If you like a lot of sauce, slop it on and broil for 10-15 minutes.
(6) Turn the oven off and remove the pan. Allow the ribs to sit undisturbed for a final 10 minutes. Slice halves into one or two rib portions as desired, and serve with a little barbecue sauce on the side, for dipping. And get ready for some great pork-sickles!
If you are put off by the amount of preparation time I recommend, go ahead and shorten it to whatever is convenient. Worse case, eliminate the Coke brine entirely, and just keep the Rib Rub on for as long as you can before cooking. They will still be (almost as) delicious, I’m sure!
Hope you enjoy my recipe for Barbecue Ribs. They are a long way from where I started, cooking them on the grill and slathered them with barbecue sauce, but I think you will agree they are worth the extra time and effort. And don’t be afraid to experiment and tweak the recipe to your own tastes! There is no such thing as a perfect recipe, just a recipe that is perfect for you! Enjoy, and pass along the recipe to your family and friends.
GarrettGreat detailed instructions!
kyleethebugOh my god, that looks amazing!!!!😵
popsta20I have to strangle my mouth just to keep it from watering OMG 😋😋😋😋😋😋😋😋😋😋😋😋😋😋