Texas Style Baby Back Pork Ribs
Southern-Style Pork Ribs
How to: pork 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.
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.1
Skin and rub the ribs.
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. Kingsford Long Burning, with its longer burning time and low ash formula, is an ideal fuel for either type of grill. 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.2
Prepping your cooker for smoking
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.3
Smoking 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.4
Glaze or sauce the ribs.
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.5
Testing for doneness
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.6
Rest and cut.
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.
Southwestern Bison Ribs
Cajun Alligator Ribs
Deep Fried Ribs
Southern-Style Pork Ribs
Moroccan Lamb Ribs
Korean Short Ribs
Chinese Char Siu Ribs
Jamaican Jerk Ribs
How to: pulled pork
- When it's Done:190°F
Smoking a whole pork shoulder to make pulled pork 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.
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. Kingsford Long Burning, with its longer burning time and low ash formula, is an ideal fuel for either type of grill. 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.1
Prepping your cooker for smoking
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.2
Prepping 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.3
Smoking the pork shoulder
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.4
Check for doneness.
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.5
Rest, then pull or chop.
The Kingsford Invitational NYC, May 1-2, 2015On 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?
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.
A Traveler’s Guide to BBQWhile 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.
MEMPHISIn 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 CITYHere, 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 CAROLINAThe 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.
GEORGIAA 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.
TEXASWhen 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 CITYNYC 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.
Make Regional BBQ Classics at HomeThis collection of signature recipes makes it easy to experience iconic flavors from the most famous BBQ regions in the country.
Memphis Dry Rubbed RibsMemphis Barbecue Co., Melissa Cookston.
- 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
- 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
InstructionsFor 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.
Kansas City Burnt EndsPlowboys BBQ
- 1 brisket point*, approximately 4-5lbs.
- Plowboys BBQ Bovine Bold dry rub seasoning (or similar bold and savory rub)
InstructionsPreheat 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.
8 Ways to Sauce With Kingsford
These dishes deliver rich, smoky flavor in every bite, courtesy of Kingsford BBQ Sauces and Rubs.
Brown Sugar Applewood Ribs
3 Pepper Smoked Hickory Wings
Smoked Hickory Meatball Skewers
Spicy Bacon BBQ Ranch Burgers
Cider Brined Pork Chops
Honey Jalepeño Mesquite Chicken Breasts with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
Coffee Rubbed Pork Medallions with BBQ Butter
Cheesy Sausage BBQ Bites
Kingsford® Brown Sugar Applewood BBQ SauceWe created this sauce for folks who like a little sweetness. Our mellow Applewood smoke and real brown sugar enhance the grilled flavors of pork, poultry and even fish. With layers of rich and smoky flavors, this sauce is big on taste.
Big Game Bites
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.
Classic Kansas City Style Ribs
Grilled Buffalo Wings
Andouille Sausage Stuffed Wings
Beef Brisket Nachos
Pulled Pork Potato Bites
Grilled Jalapeño Poppers with Bacon
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.
BBQ Beef Brisket
Grilled Tomahawk Ribeyes
Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak with Jalapeño Pineapple Salsa
Pork Chops with Coffee Dry Rub
Smoked Moroccan Lamb Ribs