Lots of photos above in the slideshow – we’ll show you how to fold the tin foil to encase the ribs so that the apple juice/honey doesn’t spill out.
You think that a food enthusiast like me and a beef aficionado like my husband would have already dived deep into the black, charred world of charcoal.
But no, I must confess that, until this weekend, we’ve been tethered to an ugly white liquid propane gas tank I’m always scared will explode on the car ride home. So I make my husband drive 20 mph and avoid speed bumps and curbs. Which makes our drive to the market to refill the tank just about as boring and uneventful as the third time ’round It’s a Small World at the Magic Kingdom.
I had never been interested in charcoal because anything that contributes to or directly causes my pile of laundry to increase is a no-no in my home. Just looking at an open bag causes my skin to break out in housewifery hives.
Recently, my good friend, Ray Lampe, aka Dr. BBQ, came over with a nice little present for me: a Big Green Egg. He also lugged in a bag of charcoal and some hickory, but I didn’t whine about the black glitter on the carpets. Nor did I obsessively dab at my husband’s shirt with the bleach pen. When you’ve got Dr. BBQ in your home, you just let him do his thing.
Ray taught us the basics of barbecuing and how to use the Big Green Egg, which looks more like a bomb shelter than a grill. The smoked salmon came out silky with the perfect hint of hickory (though Ray says for salmon, cherry or alder wood chips are best). When it came time to grill our steaks, the flames shot straight up. Oops, that was my fault. I’m used to lubing the steaks with cooking oil to coax some flame action from our regular lame-o grill.
Ray left the Egg for us, and we’ve put it to use every night since. I’m considering spray-painting the darn thing hot pink in case he comes back to get it. I really can’t see that man rolling a Big Pink Egg to championship barbecue competitions.
<– THIS IS DR. BBQ. He knows his shit. Ray has authored these books:
and Ray is the reason I’m 1 degree away from Justin Timberlake (Ray is the executive chef of Southern Hospitality, Timberlake’s restaurant)
<– THIS IS THE BIG GREEN EGG. It’s ugly. I love it.
Featuring the Big Green Egg
3 slabs baby back ribs, membrane on back of ribs removed
2 cups honey
1 1/2 cups apple juice
2 cups of Dr. BBQ’s Sweet and Sticky Glaze (see below)
Dr. BBQ’s rub (see below)
Prepare your cooker for indirect grilling at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, using cherry and hickory wood for flavor. Season the ribs with the rub. Put the ribs into the smoker, meaty site up for two hours. Flip the ribs and cook another hour. Remove the ribs to a platter.
Take a double-thick piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil (big enough to wrap a slab of ribs), and slather about 1/3 cup of honey on each sheet, spreading it where the ribs will lie. Place the ribs meaty side down and add more honey on top of the slab. Now crimp the edges of the foil and pour 1/2 cup of apple juice in the bottom. Do this for all three slabs. Loosely close the packets around the ribs and lay them back in the cooker.
Cook another 90 minutes. Carefully unwrap the packets and take out the ribs. Place the ribs back on the cooker, raising the temperature to 350 degrees. Brush with the glaze or barbecue sauce and flip several times for another 20 minutes.
Dr. BBQ’s rub (combine)
1/4 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
Dr. BBQ’s Sweet and Sticky Glaze
This is what Dr. BBQ always uses to finish his ribs and chicken at BBQ cookoffs around the country.
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon Liquid Smoke (Optional)
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon hot sauce of choice
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, stir well, and simmer for 15 minutes to reduce and thicken
I’m giving away a signed copy of one of Dr. BBQ’s Big Time Barbeque Cookbook. Just comment below and tell Dr. BBQ: GAS OR CHARCOAL? (and why!?) until June 21st to enter. This book can be yours and lovingly signed by the man himself.
My email subscribers get a bonus entry (just enter twice – just type in “I’m an email subscriber” in your bonus entry). Want to be an email subscriber? There’s a signup form on the right in the sidebar.