Grilled Spare Ribs with Barbecue Sauce

Wrapped in foil, the spiced ribs oven-cook in intense heat; the foil locks in their moisture for supremely tender results. On with the sauce and over to the grill, and they're ready.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
Grilled Spare Ribs with Barbecue Sauce

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2007

Ingredients

  • 2 slabs pork spare ribs (2 1/2 pounds each)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 small onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Desired variations (Kansas City style: 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and 1 tablespoon yellow mustard; Memphis style: 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco) and 1/4 cup sugar; Dallas style: 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in ado
  • Oil, for grates

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season ribs with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stack slabs on a double layer of aluminum foil; wrap tightly. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Cook until meat is fork-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, make barbecue sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, cayenne, and desired variation (see ingredients above). Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Heat grill to medium-high; lightly oil grates. Carefully remove ribs from foil, pouring off any accumulated liquid. Brush ribs generously with sauce; grill until charred, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve with extra sauce, if desired.

Cook's Note

The base of our three sauces is made with ketchup, vinegar, onion, garlic, and cayenne. Add one of the variations for a sweet, spicy, or smoky sauce.

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