Has it really been a full year since I posted on this blog? Yes it has. A new house, new job, kids and things get away from you fast. I was recently prodded by an Internet friend to restart this little site. David over at BBQ Dry Rubs sent me a note and asked if I would consider a guest post. We traded a few notes and he got to writing. I want to thank David for giving me a nudge. His first post is below. I will try to get my act together and get back to posting. - David
I want to thank David for allowing me to write a guest post for the Swine Spectator. This site caught my attention a few years ago while I was figuring out the bacon and sausage routine. David and I reconnected on Twitter recently and we decided to give guest posting a try.
One of the areas where I have been focusing my attention recently is learning to cook country style ribs. I have been throwing them in slow cookers, baking them in the oven and smoking them on my Weber kettle. Without question my favorite way of preparing these guys is smoked on a kettle. The process I have been using with great success is very simple.
Although the cut I am working with is sold as a country style rib in reality it actually consists of pork butt that has been cut into one inch strips. I have found this is an easier cut to work with than the traditional country style rib which is a loin cut that can easily dry out if you aren’t paying attention. I have a post showing the difference between these two styles of country style ribs here.
I give the pork a solid coating of dry rub that is similar to what you would use for baby back or spare ribs. The rub ingredients are flexible but generally look like:
· 8 Tbls turbinado sugar
· 3 Tbls kosher salt
· 1 Tbls chili powder
· 1 Tbls paprika
· 1 Tbls lemon pepper seasoning
I let the pork sit on the counter until the rub dissolves into the meat. This takes about 20 minutes and you end up with something that looks like this.
While the rub is working its way into the pork I set up my kettle with indirect heat and get the dampers closed by about 80%. On my kettle this lets the grill run at a dome temperature that bounces between 275F and 325F. I add a split of hickory or maple, throw the ribs on the side of the kettle opposite of the coals and walk away for about two hours. During the two hours the ribs cook they take on a beautiful color and become really tender. Here is what they look like:
Although they are delicious when they reach this point I take things one step further by glazing the ribs with fruit preserves. I gently heat a cup of peach preserves in a sauce pan until they liquefy. Sometimes I will add a little peach juice or apple juice to the pan to thin things out a little but you can skip that step if you like. I then take the preserves and paint the country style ribs on both sides. I let the glaze set on the ribs for about 15 minutes on the grill and hit them with the preserves one more time. At this point I open my vents completely and let the kettle get as hot as it wants for about ten minutes. This helps the second layer of preserves get just a touch of char. I am still cooking indirect so I don’t worry about the sugars actually burning.
I have tried this with pineapple, apricot and peach preserves. They all work great but peach is far and away my favorite. These ribs have just a touch of heat from the chili powder that works great with the sticky sweetness of the preserves. The icing on the cake is that these guys looks just as good as they taste!
I want to thank David again for the opportunity to write a post on the Swine Spectator. If you liked this post then click the link to see more of what I have been up to with country style ribs!