How to Grill Pork Ribs With Dry Rub

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Dry rub can be a great way to grill pork ribs so long as you follow the proper procedure. Grill pork ribs with dry rub with help from an author and a chef in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Summer BBQ Recipes
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Kent "The Deck Chef" Whitaker, and today we're going to be talking about how to grill pork ribs using a dry rub. Now there's two ways you can do this. You can start off with a dry rub that you can buy at any store or a seasoning or a marinade, a marinade mix and use that as your dry rub for your pork ribs or you can make one of your own. You can find all different kind of recipes online for dry rubs or in cookbooks. It's really a matter of taste. I personally enjoy a traditional dry rub which is paprika, garlic, lots of other secret seasonings but that's what barbecue is all about. They like to keep secrets. So whether you use your own dry rub, or whether you buy one from a store, it doesn't really matter. Now what we're doing with the pork rib here is basically starting out with any store bought pork rib. Now some people will cut off the end right here and some people will cut it right here along the rib line to make a prettier rib but I'm all about getting it on the grill, ready to go with as little effort as possible and that way more people are likely to try it at home. So you can cut this off here, cut it off here if you want to and you can also remove some of the fat as you go. It all depends on the rib that you have. But once you have your rib cleaned up, we're going to rub it down with our rub and get it ready to put it on the grill. It all depends on the rib you buy whether you want to remove some of the fat. What you want to do is look for some of the fat that might build up, just get rid of some of this, use a knife that you are comfortable with, nice and sharp, put that to the side, trim off what you want, flip the rib over and do the same thing to the back, get rid of this right here, get rid of all these pieces and also look for the membrane. Now all of this is going to render off pretty good as you cook it on the grill so you don't have to be too picky, just get the big pieces off. You might, some people also cut off this little flap right here or this little flap and they use it as a snack as they are grilling but you don't have to do that. The next thing we're going to do is get rid of the membrane. Now the great thing about pork ribs is you can cook them a lot of different ways but there's two things you need to know about a membrane. The membrane is basically a vapor barrier, a barrier between the ribs and the inside of the cavity of the pork. What you want to do is either remove this membrane or score it so that flavor can get all the way through. Now once you get it started up here in the corner you can see the membrane right here. You can grab it with a paper towel or something dry, even pliers if you need to and start pulling it back. Now if it proves real difficult, a lot of rib restaurants don't even do this, the secret in the industry if it proves difficult is to take your knife and score it several times just making an X pattern and that will allow all of the flavor to get through. Okay so the next step after you take the membrane off we're going to apply the rub. Now what I like to do so you don't waste any of the rub is get just a simple lasagna pan, a foil pan like this, take your rib, put it inside, take the rub and start sprinkling her down. Now I'm doing the underside first, make sure it gets nice and coated and then just flip, do the same thing with the outside of the rib, saves you a lot of mess if you put it in a pan like this or a cookie sheet whatever you have, make sure that you get the outside edges so everything is nice and coated. So once you get it all in there, as much as you'd like. Now I like to use a rub with a little bit less sodium in it because I don't want all that extra salt in the flavor of the ribs so I've got it rubbed down there, nice and even and then, I'm going to let it rest for about an hour or so in the refrigerator and let that sink in until we're ready to put it on the grill. Okay we've got the ribs out of the refrigerator, they've been hit with our dry rub. Now today I'm using a gas grill. Every grill is different so I'm not going to assume that you have a different kind of grill or any kind of grill you have, whether you use charcoal or gas it's alright and I prefer using wood chips on a lot of my grills. If you have a wood chip burner or wood chunks in a charcoal grill, it just depends on what you have to add a little bit of extra smoke flavor to it. So we've got the ribs ready to go, all we're going to do, we've let that sink in pretty good, we're going to hit th grill with a little bit of nonstick spray, got her going, it's nice and warm, bring the ribs over and what we're going to do in this is simply sear the side of the ribs for a few minutes on both sides. We're going to start off with the top and what we want to do is sear this a little bit on both sides. It depends on your grill. It depends on the heat you have going but anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes per side just to get a nice glazed golden color. Alright, what we got is the ribs are nice and charred on both sides, not burnt, just nice and golden and sealed up with flavor but what we're going to do is take a little apple juice and apple vinegar. This is called a wet mop. Now not everybody has a mop, not everybody has those kind of cool barbecue things so you can use a spoon, it's okay. So what you want to do is just take some of this moisture, a little apple juice, a little apple vinegar, put it on there. And the next step is to wrap these babies up in some foil. What you want to do is we've got them on the foil, you just want to wrap them up. Now these are nowhere near done but they're going to have a lot of flavor and they're going to be very moist and there's really no way that you can mess them up if you've been scared to do ribs on the grill. Got them in nice and tight. If you'd like more foil, add more foil. What we're going to do is turn our grill all the way down to low, put the ribs on top, let some of that heat get out of there. I'm probably going to turn this one off and what we're going to do is get the temperature down to about 200, 225, not more than 300 degrees and we're going to flip these ribs every twenty minutes for about two hours. Alright I think we're done. What you're going to look for with your ribs is what's going to happen is they're going to be a little bit looser in the middle as the fat is rendered off. It's going to be a little bit more flimsier than when you started and also you'll start to see a lot of the juices start to render out. That means you're darned close to going. I think these are done just by the way you can feel them and they're real flimsy. So what we're going to do is keep them wrapped up, turn off our grill and all we got to do is let these babies rest for about five, ten minutes, let the juices settle in and then it's time to eat some dinner. Okay, the ribs have sat for about five or ten minutes, all the juices are evenly distributed. What we're going to do is get them out of this foil because I am hungry. So here we have our finished rib before you serve them, give them another little sprinkle with your dry rub. These are still pretty hot, so be careful and all you need to do is find a bone right there and you can cut along he bone, nice and tender, ready to go. Great ribs, good eating. Alright this has always been a favorite recipe for readers of my cookbooks and it's one of mine too. You can find out more information about me, Kent "The Deck Chef" Whitaker at and more information on how to cook these ribs.


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