Ribs-for-football-game recipe needed.
February 1, 2007 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Nothing better accompanies the StuporBowl than a huge pile of ribs. My problem: I need a great ribs recipe.

There is, unfort, a higher degree of difficulty than usual: I lack a smoker and, shameful truth be told, even a charcoal BBQ in my new apt. I've found some boil-bake recipes -- might those deliver the tangy, fall off the bone, carnivorous glory I require?

Thanks for any/all help and recipes.
posted by docgonzo to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Note: if ribs fall off the bone, they aren't good. They are overcooked.
posted by rxrfrx at 10:54 AM on February 1, 2007


I used the Alton Brown recipe referred to in that thread just this past Sunday. I heartily endorse it. (get an oven thermometer--keeping at a low 225 degrees is the key).
posted by sourwookie at 10:57 AM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

That Alton Brown recipe is all oven and aluminum foil. No only do you get to stay indoors, but the smell will drive your guests insane.
posted by sourwookie at 10:58 AM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

I have a feeling you're going to have a lot of people who disagree with you, rxrfrx. Just because they are TECHNICALLY overcooked, does not mean they are not good.
posted by Thrillhouse at 10:59 AM on February 1, 2007

Alton explains the chemistry of slow-cooking, collagen (and other complex proteins), and how it creates that "ribby" flavor no other part of the pig imparts.
posted by sourwookie at 11:03 AM on February 1, 2007

Like you, docgonzo, I love me some overcooked ribs; and I'm making some on Sunday as well.

Before you cook them, put a good spicy rub on them. Mine starts by dowsing the ribs in apple cider vinegar, then rub on a mixture of 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. garlic pepper, 1 Tbsp. paprika, 1.5 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. celery seed. Let sit in the fridge for about an hour. Wrap them in foil, then bake at 325 for about 3.5 hours. Unwrap, baste with your favorite BBQ sauce (I happen to like Sweet Baby Ray's), then continue to bake for another half hour (keep an eye on them to make sure the sauce doesn't burn).

posted by jknecht at 11:05 AM on February 1, 2007

As others have said, Alton Brown's technique is perfect for your situation.

Ribs that fall off the bone are no more overcooked than a pork shoulder that pulls apart easily. They've reached a temperature where the connecting tissue has melted, which may not always be the right way to cook ribs, but it's what you want in this case. They will be yummy, they will not be ruined.
posted by bondcliff at 11:14 AM on February 1, 2007

I've made this espresso-BBQ sauce recipe countless times, always to rave reviews. (My nephews, who tend toward microwave mac-and-cheese, request it ahead of time when they visit.)

The ribs spend most of their time in the oven, and for the final braising on the grill, you could use your oven's broiler or even just turn the heat up as high as it can go. Oh, and I usually just subsitute double-strong brewed or French-pressed coffee in place of the espresso.
posted by gompa at 11:20 AM on February 1, 2007

I've seen Bourbon and brown sugar suggested as a marinade for ribs; my variation involves Jack Daniel's and maple syrup.
posted by No Mutant Enemy at 11:55 AM on February 1, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for all these great suggestions! I will look over everything and eagerly start planning the ribapalooza. I will report back on Monday...
posted by docgonzo at 12:39 PM on February 1, 2007

I'm of the view that you should not put a lot of sugary crap on ribs before cooking. I do use a little brown sugar in my dry rub, but just a bit.

I think chili powder makes for a nice dry rub because I think the cumin is a good flavor. You can, of course, start with powdered chilli, and add your own cumin, and garlic powder, etc, to taste.

I like my roast pork to be a bit dried and crispy in spots, so I wouldn't wrap them in tinfoil for the whole time.

Once cooked you can serve with a sweet sauce, though I usually just use something vinegar based.
posted by Good Brain at 12:42 PM on February 1, 2007

I should add: slow roast pork is inherently soo good, no need to over do the preparation and adulteration.
posted by Good Brain at 12:43 PM on February 1, 2007

I'm of the view that you should not put a lot of sugary crap on ribs before cooking.

Note that this isn't just a matter of taste but of technique. If you put sugar on any time before the last few minutes of cooking, it will burn. Your dry rub and mop sauce should be unsweetened, and sweet sauces should go on only at the very end.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:20 PM on February 1, 2007

If you put sugar on any time before the last few minutes of cooking, it will burn.

Not if your ribs are wrapped in foil and sitting in a 225 °F oven.
posted by rxrfrx at 8:27 AM on February 4, 2007

Response by poster: Hey all -- I did the Alton Brown recipe, because they seemed to best fit the degree of difficulty I was looking for. All went well, but the final product lacked the tangy punch that I'd hoped for -- I think I might not have had enough dry rub on the ribs.


Thanks for all the great responses! I will be trying this again...
posted by docgonzo at 8:46 PM on February 4, 2007

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