Texas Style Baby Back Pork Ribs

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Southern-Style Pork Ribs

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How to: pork ribs

  • porkchops
  • Cut:Ribs
  • When it's Done:Meat pulls back and exposes ¼ inch of bone.

Unlike a steak or hamburger, you can’t just throw a rack of ribs over some hot coals and grill it (unless you enjoy tough, dry ribs). Authentic BBQ ribs are slow-smoked over charcoal and wood. Once you learn this proven technique for succulent smoked ribs, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make perfect ribs, every time.

  1. 1

    Skin and rub the ribs.

    After rinsing the ribs in water and patting dry with a paper towel, remove the skin-like membrane located on the bottom or “bone side” of the ribs. Slide a dinner knife underneath the membrane between the bones at about the second or third bone from the end, then grab the membrane with a cloth and peel it off of the ribs. Using a heaping tablespoon of rub per side, sprinkle it evenly on both sides. Do not apply sugar-based sauces at this time.
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    2

    Prepping your cooker for smoking

    If you’re using a kettle-type grill, use an indirect technique like the snake method to set up your grill. For backyard smokers, set it up for a long smoke. With either method, soak a few handfuls of Kingsford® Wood Chips (hickory or mesquite) for about 30 minutes before placing atop the coals. Place a drip pan filled with water or apple juice directly under the meat. This water will help moderate the grill temperature and add moisture to the air when the liquid evaporates.
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    3

    Smoking the ribs

    Smoke the ribs at 225°F to 250°F for four to five hours. You can baste or mop the ribs occasionally if you like, but don’t open the grill too often. Maintaining a steady temperature is the most important thing. Opening the grill causes wide temperature changes. If smoke starts to die down, add more wood chips.
  4. 4

    Glaze or sauce the ribs.

    If you want to apply a sugar/tomato-based glaze or sauce to the ribs, do it in the last 1/2 hour to prevent the sauce/glaze from burning onto the ribs.
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    5

    Testing for doneness

    There are three standard methods of testing the ribs for doneness: 1) As the meat cooks, it shrinks and exposes the bone at the thinner end of the rib. When about 1/4-inch of bone is exposed, the ribs should be done. 2) When you pick up the middle of the slab and flex it, the meat will separate from the bone and not flex back (if it feels rubbery, it’s not done). 3) Cut one off and eat it. When you take a bite, the meat should pull off the bone with a slight tug but not fall off the bone.
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    6

    Rest and cut.

    When it’s time for the ribs to come off the grill, first let them rest and cool down for about 15 minutes so that they’re easier to handle and slice. When it’s time to slice the ribs, cut between the bones using a sharp knife. Notice the telltale smoke rings around the outer edges of the ribs. BBQ newbies mistake this pink meat for being underdone; rather, this is the signature of perfectly smoked BBQ ribs.
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Ribs Around the World

No matter where you go, there they are. Ribs. In America, it’s all about spare ribs, St. Louis ribs and baby backs, seasoned and smoked low and slow. Outside of the states, the formula varies. In Korea, thin-cut beef ribs are marinated and quickly grilled over high heat. Chinese-style pork ribs are best known for their signature bright red color. In Morocco, it’s deliciously fatty lamb ribs, and in Jamaica, they spice things up with jerk rubbed pork ribs.

  1. Southwestern Bison Ribs

    Southwest Bison Ribs

    These ribs are lean and mean, thanks to a kick of Southwestern spice.
    See Recipe

  2. Cajun Alligator Ribs

    Cajun Alligator Ribs

    Hey now, these peppery Cajun ‘gator ribs just might bite you in the bayou. See Recipe

  3. Deep Fried Ribs

    Deep Fried Ribs

    Juicy ribs, slow smoked and deep fried. This may be how rainbows are made. See Recipe

  4. Southern-Style Pork Ribs

    Southern-Style Pork Ribs

    Who doesn’t love a rack of perfectly sauced baby-back ribs?
    See Recipe

  5. Moroccan Lamb Ribs

    Moroccan Lamb Ribs

    You don’t have to haggle with spice traders for a taste of Morocco.
    See Recipe

  6. Korean Short Ribs

    Korean Short Ribs

    These Korean-style ribs may be short in size, but they’re big on flavor.
    See Recipe

  7. Chinese Char Siu Ribs

    Chinese Char Siu Ribs

    No need to adjust your screen, these bright red char siu ribs are just right. See Recipe

  8. Jamaican Jerk Ribs

    Jamaican Jerk Ribs

    Jerk spiced ribs are packed with that sticky, spicy, island-style flavor you love. See Recipe

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How to: pork chops

  • porkchops
  • Cut:Ribs
  • When it's Done:145°F for medium

You’ll never grill another chewy, dry pork chop if you follow this simple seven-step method using Kingsford® Charcoal.

  1. kfd-howtosteak-2Stage_0394
    1

    Fire up the grill.

    For grilling pork chops, you want to set up a two-zone, medium-hot fire. Fire up a full chimney of Kingsford® Charcoal, or light a pile of about 100 briquets. When the coals are ready, arrange them in a two-zone fire. Replace the top grate, allow it to heat up — all vents should be fully open — then just before placing the pork chops on the grate, dip a folded paper towel in cooking oil and oil the entire grate using long-handled tongs.
  2. 2

    Prep the pork chops.

    The best pork chops for grilling are center-cut, bone-in rib chops that are at least an inch thick. To avoid drying the chops while grilling, either marinate or brine them (use a basic brine solution of 1/4 cup salt to four cups of water; lay the pork chops in a single layer in a shallow dish and pour the brine over the top) for two hours in the refrigerator. Rinse in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel, then liberally apply coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to both sides. Discard used marinade or brine.
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    3

    Sear the chops using high heat.

    Place the pork chops on the hottest part of the grate, directly above the coals. Sear all the chops for about three minutes per side, turning only once, until they develop a brown crust. If the grill flares up, temporarily move the chops away from the coals until the flames die down.
  4. 4

    Move and cover.

    When the chops are properly browned, move them to the cooler (indirect heat) side of the grate, with the bone side of the pork chop facing the coals to act as a heat shield. If you’re using a probe-style digital meat thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the pork chop now and replace the lid.
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    5

    Add a bit of smoke flavor.

    A great option for pork chops is adding a bit of smoke taste. If you like, add some soaked Kingsford® Wood Chips with Hickory or Mesquite at this stage.
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    6

    Apply marinade or glaze (optional).

    For sugar-based glazes, apply it about 10 minutes prior to removing the pork chops from the grill to prevent the glaze from burning onto the chops. Apply the glaze to one side of the chops, close the lid for five minutes to let it bake on, then open the lid, turn the chops, and repeat the process.
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    7

    Check for doneness.

    Using a digital meat thermometer, insert the tip into the thickest part of the pork chop, but not touching the bone. When the internal temperature reaches 145°F, remove it from the grill. Place the pork chops on a cutting board or a platter, loosely cover with foil, and allow them to “rest” for five minutes to allow the juices to settle back into the meat.
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How to: pork shoulder

  • porkshoulder
  • Cut:Shoulder
  • When it's Done:190°F

Pork shoulder might seem intimidating, but it’s the easiest of the BBQ Big Three (brisket, ribs and pulled pork) to master and is a great way to hone your smoking skills. All you need to do is follow our five simple steps using Kingsford® Charcoal and Kingsford® Wood Chips.

  1. kfd-howtoporkribs-Smoking1_0062-AND-Snake_0435
    1

    Prepping your cooker for smoking

    If you’re using a kettle-type grill, use an indirect technique such as the snake method to set up your grill. For backyard smokers, set it up for an eight-hour smoke. Learn more about smoking here. With either method, soak a few handfuls of Kingsford® Wood Chips (Hickory is especially good) for about 30 minutes in warm water before placing on top of the coals.
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    2

    Prepping the pork shoulder

    Start with a pork shoulder in the seven-to-eight-pound range. Trim off the excess “fat cap,” but leave a 1/8-inch-thick layer of fat to keep the meat moist during the long cooking process. Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of rub, spreading it evenly around the pork shoulder.
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    3

    Smoking the pork shoulder

    Place the pork shoulder fat side up on the top rack, cover with the lid, and bring the temperature up to a constant 225°F to 250°F, using the vents to regulate the temperature. If your grill doesn’t have a temperature gauge, you’ll need to purchase a digital barbecue thermometer. Check the internal temperature of the grill every hour. Add more charcoal and soaked wood chips as needed to maintain temperature and smoke.
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    4

    Check for doneness.

    The ideal temperature for sliced pork shoulder is 190°F. For pulled pork, the ideal temperature is 205°F. The high internal temperature allows collagen to break down, making the meat very tender. Keep in mind that the pork shoulder will continue to cook internally by 10 degrees even after it’s been removed from the grill. When you’re sure it’s done, remove the shoulder from the grill using clean barbecue gloves, cradling the meat to prevent it from falling apart in your hands. Tongs won’t work well because the meat will fall apart.
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    5

    Rest, then pull or chop.

    After the pork shoulder comes off the grill, let it rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the juices to settle back into the meat. Remove any large chunks of cooked fat. There are several ways of serving pork shoulder. The most common way is to “pull” it apart, using two forks to pull and separate the strands of meat. Another way is to slice, then chop it. Either way, be sure to mix the crusted outer meat with the inner meat so that the varying textures and flavors are distributed evenly.
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The Kingsford Invitational NYC, May 1-2, 2015

On May 1st, six of the country’s top barbecue teams will descended on New York City for the 3rd Annual Kingsford Invitational. These six crews earned their way to this epic showdown by winning some of America’s most prestigious regional outdoor cooking contests. Which team will smoked the competition to take the $50,000 grand prize and the ultimate in BBQ bragging rights?
The Motley Que Crew

Six Top Regional BBQ Teams

Bar-B-Que Commanders:

Representing Texas, this crew won the 2014 Houston Livestock + Rodeo World’s Championship Bar-B-Que cooking contest.

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Que:

Hailing from Alabama, the reigning kings of the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

Warren County Pork Choppers:

Masters of North Carolina style ‘cue, this Kentucky team dominated the field at the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival.

Cool Smoke:

Representing Kansas City BBQ by way of Virginia, the 2014 American Royal World Series of Barbecue champions.

Rescue Smokers:

Their Georgia-style barbecue skills won the grand prize in the 6th season of Destination America’s “BBQ Pitmasters”.

And Representing New York…

An all-star power trio of Will Horowitz from Ducks Eatery, Hometown Bar-B-Que’s Billy Durney, and Micha Magid of Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue.

Which Region Will Reign Supreme?

Will New York earn its place among the country’s most celebrated barbecue regions? Can beefy Texas brawn outmuscle the pork prowess of Tennessee? Or will North Carolina’s tangy vinegar-based sauce outshine Kansas City’s tomato-based sweetness as the ultimate taste of victory? Our winner will be crowned by an esteemed panel of judges that includes the most decorated woman in competition barbecue and winner of the first annual Kingsford Invitational, Melissa Cookston; “BBQ Pitmasters” judge Moe Cason; BBQ heiress Amy Mills; restaurateur and TV personality Brad Orrison; and the editorial director of Thrillist.com, Ben Robinson. Hosting the event will be former New York Giants linebacker Dhani Jones. Follow Kingsford on Facebook and @Kingsford on Twitter to stay updated on the latest Kingsford Invitational happenings. And tune in to Destination America during Memorial Day weekend for the Kingsford Invitational 2015 special.
Invitational 2015 Regions

A Traveler’s Guide to BBQ

While the love of slow-cooked meat is universal, not all barbecue is the same. Beef or pork? Vinegar, tomato, or no sauce at all? It all depends on where you’re eating. Here’s a quick guide to the most revered barbecue regions in America, and their signature styles.

MEMPHIS

In Tennessee, pork-based barbecue reigns supreme as evidenced by the annual Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, aka the Super Bowl of Swine. What really sets the city’s BBQ apart is its only-in-Memphis dry rubbed ribs.

KANSAS CITY

Here, it’s all about slow smoked meats and sweet tomato-and-molasses-based sauces. Travel to any of the city’s numerous barbecue restaurants and you’re sure to find tasty bark-covered bites of beef on the menu – signature Kansas City burnt ends.

NORTH CAROLINA

The Lexington (or Piedmont) style dominates the West with a Piedmont sauce made with ketchup, vinegar, and pepper, while the state’s Eastern style favors sauces with no ketchup at all. The West prefers pork shoulder, while the East likes to go whole hog.

GEORGIA

A melting pot of barbecue flavors, much like the state’s signature dish, Brunswick Stew. It’s a thick soup made with vegetables and BBQ pork or beef, sometimes spiked with BBQ sauce. Visit Brunswick and you might even see the original pot first used to cook it.

TEXAS

When it comes to Texas barbecue, beef brisket is king. Seasoned simply with a Kosher salt and black pepper dry rub, then smoked low-and-slow to perfection, this is the stuff dreams are made of. Just don’t ask for sauce. Seriously.

NEW YORK CITY

NYC has recently become a true barbecue destination, thanks in large part to Danny Meyer, who opened the acclaimed Blue Smoke restaurant in 2001, and launched the city’s annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party.
Grill & BBQ Everywhere

Make Regional BBQ Classics at Home

This collection of signature recipes makes it easy to experience iconic flavors from the most famous BBQ regions in the country.
Ribs

Memphis Dry Rubbed Ribs

Memphis Barbecue Co., Melissa Cookston.

Ingredients

  • Quick and Easy BBQ Rub:
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar, ground
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons Spanish paprika
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • Ribs:
  • One 2.25-pound slab of baby back pork ribs (also known as loin-back ribs)
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce, for glazing, optional

Instructions

For the rub: The day before cooking, mix the turbinado sugar, salt, paprika, chili powder, granulated garlic, onion powder, ground cumin, ground mustard, cayenne pepper and black pepper together. For the ribs: Take a slab of ribs and turn over so the curved side is up. Using your fingernail or a knife, pry under the membrane until you can put your finger under it and then pull it off. Sprinkle this side of the ribs with about 1 tablespoon rub, and then about 1 tablespoon yellow mustard. Use the mustard to help evenly distribute the seasoning. Turn the ribs over and repeat the process. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. To cook, start a smoker and bring the temp to 200°F. Use apple or cherry wood chunks to provide smoke and flavor. Place the ribs in the smoker, curved side down. Smoke for 2 hours at 200 °F, and then raise the temperature to 250°F for about 2 1/2 hours. Check for tenderness by testing if the bones will pull apart with a slight bit of pressure. If they are still tough, allow to cook for another 30 minutes. Remove from the smoker. For dry-style ribs, sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon rub. For wet-style ribs, glaze with the BBQ sauce.
Burnt Ends

Kansas City Burnt Ends

Plowboys BBQ

Ingredients

  • 1 brisket point*, approximately 4-5lbs.
  • Plowboys BBQ Bovine Bold dry rub seasoning (or similar bold and savory rub)

Instructions

Preheat smoker to 225-250°F, adding your favorite smoking wood (we prefer a milder white oak over hickory) to the ashed over briquets. Trim all fat from the brisket point and season generously with dry rub. Place seasoned point in the smoker, cover, and allow it to cook for five hours. Remove the point from the smoker and wrap it in a layer of foil then return to the smoker. Allow the point to continue to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 210°F. Pressing with your finger, the point should have some resistance, but should be soft to the touch (it should almost feel like you could push your finger through the meat if you pressed hard enough). Leave wrapped and let cool on the counter for 10-15 minutes before cutting. Slice into cubes approximately one inch by one inch. Reserve the natural juices retained in the wrap and toss your burnt end cubes in the au jus. * The brisket point is the fatty part of a whole brisket. While not readily available on its own, your local butcher can probably put one aside with enough notice.
Kingsford Invitational

Big Game Bites

game-day-trio

You’ll definitely want to fire up these epic eats for Sunday’s big bash. This stadium—built by Kingsford’s Mad Scientist of Grilling, Clint Cantwell—is completely optional.

  1. Classic Kansas City Style Ribs

    Classic Kansas City Style Ribs

    Bad to the bone. See Recipe

  2. Grilled Buffalo Wings

    Grilled Buffalo Wings

    The king of wings. See Recipe

  3. Andouille Sausage Stuffed Wings

    Andouille Sausage Stuffed Wings

    Bites with a kick. See Recipe

  4. Beef Brisket Nachos

    Beef Brisket Nachos

    A crunch time classic. See Recipe

  5. Pulled Pork Potato Bites

    Pulled Pork Potato Bites

    Meat. Potatoes. Cheese. A tailgate trifecta. See Recipe

  6. Grilled Jalapeño Poppers with Bacon

    Grilled Jalapeño Poppers with Bacon

    Time to bring the heat. See Recipe

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Grill the Good Stuff
for Your Late Summer Bash

Burgers and dogs may be staples of griling season, but when summer starts winding down, it’s time to elevate your cookout menu. These recipes showcase high-quality meats that are a cut above your average grilling fare.

  1. BBQ Beef Brisket

    BBQ Beef Brisket

    Heat management is key for creating this iconic Texas Classic.
    See Recipe

  2. Grilled Tomahawk Ribeyes

    Grilled Tomahawk Ribeyes

    Steak dry rub and shallot butter take these chops over the top.
    See Recipe

  3. Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak with Jalapeño Pineapple Salsa

    Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak with Jalapeño Pineapple Salsa

    A sweet, savory, tangy, peppery, seafood-lover’s dream.
    See Recipe

  4. Pork Chops with Coffee Dry Rub

    Pork Chops with Coffee Dry Rub

    Coffee adds an unexpectedly sweet & smoky note to these chops.
    See Recipe

  5. Smoked Moroccan Lamb Ribs

    Smoked Moroccan Lamb Ribs

    You’ll have to raid the spice rack to tackle this exotic rib recipe.
    See Recipe

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How to: real wood flavor

When we think smoke flavor, we immediately think of the BBQ classics ribs, brisket and pork shoulder cooked over low temperatures.

  1. But you can easily add smoke flavor to just about anything you grill, even if you only are planning for a quick cook. Burgers, fish, vegetables, even chicken breasts benefit from a good dose of smoke. Best of all, that smoky flavor is not difficult to achieve.

  2. Wood flavor profiles

    Whereas all kinds of hardwood, fruit, and even citrus woods can be used for smoking, three flavors are most common in the barbecue world: hickory, mesquite and fruitwood.

  3. Hickory

    Hickory

    Historically speaking, this is the wood of choice for much of Southern barbecue. Hickory imparts a rich, slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the staple of the South: pork. It’s paired with traditional favorites like ribs, pork shoulder, hams, and pork chops. But it also goes great with chicken and beef.

  4. Mesquite

    Mesquite

    The pecan may be the official tree of Texas, but mesquite is the official smoke of its pitmasters. Mesquite wood provides a strong flavor that pairs wonderfully with the richness of Texas beef and spicy rubs and sauces.

  5. Apple Wood

    Fruitwood

    Fruitwood imparts a lighter, slightly fruitier but still smoky taste. It’s much more subtle than the bold flavors of hickory and mesquite. Apple is very popular, followed by the wood of stone fruits like cherry and peach. People even smoke with citrus woods. The lighter smoke flavor makes fruitwood ideal for more delicate meats like poultry and seafood.

  6. Ways to Add Smoke

    From packages of Kingsford® wood chips to plain old hunks of dried wood, there are a number of great ways to add wood flavor to your food.

    How to use chips

    Briquets with wood

    The easiest way to add a hint of smoke to any food is by using Kingsford® Briquets with wood. These briquets include real, un-charred wood pieces pressed into each briquet, so there’s no need to add extra chips or chunks. Choose from three flavors—hickory, mesquite, or apple. These light the same way as Kingsford® Original Charcoal. Just fire up, smell the smoke, and start cooking.

  7. Wood Chips smoking

    Wood chips

    One common way to add smoke is by adding wood chips to a bed of already-lit Kingsford® Original Charcoal or Kingsford® Match Light® Charcoal. Just and add the desired flavor of wood chips to the top of your already-lit coals. With wood chips, such as Kingsford® Wood Chips with Mesquite, it’s important to soak the chips in water for 30 minutes to prevent the chips from burning up too quickly, so they produce more smoke for a longer period of time.

  8. Wood Chunks

    Chunks

    Larger wood chunks that burn slowly are a favorite of many pitmasters. Chunks work perfectly when combined with Kingsford® Charcoal to provide plenty of smoke for long cooks. Just add the wood chunks to hot coals. Wood chunks typically are not soaked before using. However, unsoaked chunks can burn, so watch the grill temperature after adding.

real wood flavor