My ribs started at 8:15 am. Since I only have one closed cover grill, and I was cooking several slabs of baby back ribs, I decided to mix things up and try different cooking methods. For the indoor ribs, I borrowed from the Neeley's and Alton Brown and used the oven, for the first part of cooking.
Every slab received a lovely rub from me (my own blend of seasonings) and rested in the frig over night. At 8:30 am, my oven was ready, at a low and slow, 225 F. I popped one slab of ribs into the oven and proceeded with my moppin' sauce and barbeque sauce. I used to use Stub's Moppin' Sauce, but I've been unable to find it. My mom always said, "Necessity is the Mother of invention." So be it. I tried to remember the taste and deconstructed the sauce. The results? Everyone said I should bottle it! Since I'm still perfecting a few things, the recipe will follow in a subsequent blog. Just know I kept it simple and used butter instead of fat back to saute the vegetables.
On to the barbeque sauce. For this, I did a ...what do you call it??? Free Style. Starting with about 2 cups of catchup, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of local orange blossom honey, water, a dash of Tabasco, 2 tablespoons of steak sauce & Worcestershire sauce, pepper, chili powder, onion powder, fresh ground dry ginger, dry mustard, and I think that's it. The results? "BOTTLE THIS!" Even the hard core Southern folks loved it, and the folks who were originally from Texas said the same thing. I'm in the process of tweaking the recipe, but it will get bottle, along with my tomato sauce and moppin' sauce. Who knew?!
Back to the ribs. at 11:30 am, I pulled the ribs out of the oven and put them in the refrigerator. At 1:30 pm, I placed an aluminum pan (about 2 inches deep) on top of the coals and place my foil pouch of wood chips on the fire (next to the pan). When the grill hit a temperature of 225 F (use an oven thermometer...the thermometer on the grill will run hot), I place my two remaining, uncooked baby back ribs on the grill, poured myself a lemonade, watched over my babies and waited.
Three hours later, I took one of the racks of ribs and wrapped them in foil. I made a little pouch and poured some of my homemade hard apple cider in the foil. You don't need to use hard cider...any liquid will do (like water, apple juice etc). I cooked both racks for another hour. For the last half hour of cooking, I basted the ribs with my moppin sauce and served. The refrigerated ribs (the ones from the oven) went on to the grill and they were also mopped and grilled for approximately 40 minutes (until they had nice grill marks on them and were heated all the way through).
The verdict? Well, I only had left overs, because I did put a few ribs from each rack aside, so I could taste them. My guests liked all of the ribs, the the ribs done in the foil, with the apple cider, were the winners.
It was fun using my science to recreate wonderful ribs, and I wish my mother in law had been here to enjoy them. She would have said something like, "Oh, Sue...these are good!...but, are they healthy?"