Barbecue Ribs: 4th of July Recipes

What is a 4th of July cookout without barbecue? Last week we shared an amped up burger recipe that is simple enough to prepare for a crowd. Today, we've got a barbecue recipe no one will be able to resist. Using a basic barbecue sauce I tweak for every occasion, anyone who eats these will be licking their fingers. That's a promise. 

Grilling ribs is not as simple as it sounds. Unlike any other kind of meat you just throw on the grill and flip once, these babies need a little extra TLC. After a lot of googling and crossing my fingers, I managed to create the perfect timetable and process to juicy, falling off the bone ribs. It takes a little patience, a little water and a timer but they're worth it in the end. A important trick is to use indirect heat. This is easier on a charcoal grill but if you have a gas grill, it's doable. I used the elevated grate towards the back. Most gas grills should have them, I haven't seen one without. Another trick is to not immediately apply the barbecue sauce. Since these essentially slow cook for awhile, the sauce would just burn because of the sugar. Save the sauce till the very end.

You could wrap the entire slab of ribs in tin foil and cook them all together but cutting them into sections makes managing them easier. I also think that it helps retain more moisture which is important for the tenderness of the meat. Be careful when flipping them that you don't release any of the liquid. You don't want them to dry out unexpectedly. Keep reading for the full recipe and get grilling!

Barbecue Ribs
1 Slab of Baby Back Ribs
3-4 tablespoons Water
1 cup Ketchup
1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
3 tablespoons Honey
2 teaspoons Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the grill to medium heat. Cut the slab of ribs into 3-4 separate sections. Wrap each section individually in tin foil leaving one end open. Add a tablespoon of water to each foil packet. Place on the grill in indirect heat and cook for 2 hours flipping every 30 minutes being careful not to let any of the liquid out.

2. In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix together the Ketchup, Cider Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Black Pepper, Honey, Onion Powder and Garlic Powder until smooth. 

3. Remove the ribs from the foil packets. Season with salt and pepper and use a pastry or grill brush to coat the ribs well with the sauce. The ribs should be cooked through at this point so you don't need to worry about cross contamination. If the ribs are not yet cooked through, place back on the grill for another 30 minutes at the time. Once coated in barbecue sauce, add back to the grill for 10 minutes per side. Apply more barbecue sauce if you wish and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

Yields 3 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hrs. 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hrs. 30 minutes