Who doesn’t love ribs? A half rack, full rack, or some individual spare ribs can hit the spot and impress your friends and family. Preparing and cooking ribs might seem challenging, but it’s not. What is tough is choosing how you plan to approach the task. There are many ways to prepare ribs, whether you have all day, a few hours, a grill, an oven, or a slower cooker. Here are a few options for cooking your ribs.
How to Prepare Your Ribs
Before you can prepare your ribs though, you have to actually go out and buy them. When shopping for ribs, whether pork or beef, look for ribs that have an even layer of meat across the bone so they will cook evenly. Look for meat with some marbling or a light pink pale color. If you need any assistance, make sure you speak with one of our experienced butchers who can help you get the right ribs.
When you get your ribs home, get out a large cutting board and a sharp knife. Lay out your ribs and pat them dry with a paper towel. Trim off any excess fat, silver skin, and dangling meat. If there is still a membrane covering the rib bones, remove this as well so your sauce or rub can get to the meat.
With your ribs prepped, it’s time to apply your favorite rub. There are tons of options for dry rubs. Here is a simple one that will give you remarkable results:
• 3 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 ½ tablespoons salt
• 1 ½ tablespoons ground black pepper
• 1 ½ tablespoons paprika
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine these items in a bowl, and then rub a generous amount on each side of your ribs. You’ve now successfully prepared your ribs for cooking.
Cooking Your Ribs
How you cook your ribs will be a combination of personal preference and the availability of your equipment. Even though you’ve prepared your ribs with a dry rub, you may also wish to braise them with your favorite sauce before, during, and after cooking. Here are some of the different ways you can cook your ribs to get different flavors and results, in our opinion, all of them are equally delicious.
Cooking your ribs slowly on the grill is one of the best ways to unlock the meat’s smoky flavor and if you can add wood chips or good old-fashioned charcoal, even better.
When you cook ribs this way, make sure they have plenty of dry rub on them to create a protective crust. Once the crust forms, consider spritzing them with a mixture of cider vinegar and cider, and then finish them off with your favorite barbeque sauce. You’ll want to cook your ribs for up to four hours, repeating your coating about every 45 minutes.
Roast and Grilled Ribs
If you don’t have half a day to devote your quest for delicious ribs, you can put your oven to work to get them cooked, at least initially. After lathering them with your favorite sauce, wrap your ribs in foil and place them on a cookie sheet.
Preheat your oven to 375°F and then bake from 90-120 minutes, until they are tender. Remove from the oven and discard the foil, re-sauce your ribs and cook on the grill over medium heat for about 15 minutes, re-saucing about every 5 minutes and turning once.
Baked and Broiled Ribs
If you want to use your oven exclusively to cook your ribs, you can get some delicious results by baking them, followed by time under the broiler. Using the same method described above to sauce and wrap up your ribs in foil, bake them at 275°F for about two to three hours until tender. Next, put your ribs in your oven’s broiler for just a few minutes until the sauce is caramelized.
Braised and Fried Ribs
If you like your ribs super crispy but not necessarily healthy, you can deep fry them. Again, you’ll want to pre-cook them in the oven using the methods we’ve just described. Then, let your ribs cook to room temperature while you heat about ¼ cup of vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Fry your ribs over high heat for about three minutes.
Slow Cooker Ribs
If you have a crockpot, there’s nothing like a set-it-and-forget-it rib recipe. Toss all your ingredients in the pot in the morning and come home to a delicious meal at the end of the day. After prepping your ribs, add them to the slow cooker with plenty of your favorite sauce. At the end of the day, they’ll be fall-off-the-bone tender.
Get Help With Your Next Delicious Meal
As you can see, you have tons of options when it comes to preparing and cooking ribs at home. If you’re unsure which one to choose, we can help. Nick’s of Calvert offers a full-service meat counter, and we take pride in delivering top-notch customer service. We also offer some of the freshest meats in the areas at the best prices. Visit our Prince Frederick location today or give us a call at (410) 414-7105.