Last month, I got a bright idea to make my own rub for beef ribs and a sweet, tomato-ey sauce and then have the hubby come home from work and throw them on the grill.  Well, at about 9:30pm (after the kids were fast asleep) he and I sat down to some tasty ribs.   Hmmm…what was I thinking exactly?  All bbq experts agree that “slow and low” is the appropriate technique and needless to say I’ve never counted myself amongst those experts.  What a great lesson learned on how to grill those delicious beef ribs.  I’ll share a few tips with you here.

Firstly, this is not a come home with the kids after soccer practice and throw your meat on the grill type of meal.  It’s a bit more involved as any rib expert worth their rub will tell you.  I learned the hard way (hence, the fashionably late dinner hour).  In my defense, I did spend the better part of two days reserching various rub recipes, bbq sauces and mopping sauces.  I was also curious about the differences between Memphis-style bbq versus Kansas City-style bbq.  Of course, there is also a distinct difference between how they do it in Texas and of course, North Carolina.  Confused?  Me too.

I found out the traditional Memphis-style bbq uses a rub only.  You won’t find a heavy duty bbq sauce laden with brown sugar and molasses on a plate of grilled ribs.  However, my own personal tastes lean toward the afore mentioned type of sauce.  In fact, I like the combination of rub (left on the ribs overnight) and then a great tomato-based sauce with garlic, brown sugar and molasses.  Sounds so good…wish we were grilling some right now.

Lastly, here are the primary differences between beef short ribs and beef back ribs.  Beef short ribs are cut from the flank and are known to bee tough and fatty, but more meaty than the beef back ribs.  The latter are cut from the prime rib and are more tender, but less meaty.



BBQ Rub Recipe

3/4 C light brown sugar

1/2 C sweet paprika

2 1/2 tbsp coarse salt

1 1/2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp ground mustard (not prepared)

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground red pepper

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together.  Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

The ribs with the rub on them after 12 hours of marinating in the refrigerator.

The ribs with the rub on them after 12 hours of marinating in the refrigerator.

Sticky BBQ Sauce Recipe

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 C finely chopped onion

5 garlic cloves, minced

4 C ketchup

1/4 C cider vinegar

1/2 C dark molasses

3 tbsp crystallized ginger, finely chopped

1/2 C beer

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce

fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions: Heat oil in heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat.  When hot add chopped garlic and saute one minute (being careful not to burn).  Add chopped onion and saute 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent.  Add remaining 8 ingredients, including fresh ground black pepper to taste and bring to a boil, then reducing the heat to a low simmer for 45 minutes.  Stir sauce often.  If sauce is too thick after 45 minutes add water to thin to desired consistency.  Cool to warm temperature by transferring cooked sauce to a mixing bowl and placing bowl into an ice water bath.  Stir contanstly to reduce temperature and then then refrigerate covered, for up to 1 week.

Note:  I used the bbq sauce for dipping our cooked ribs into at the table.  I didn’t baste them while they were on the grill because of the sugar content of the sauce.