How serious of a love affair you ask? Well I barely know how to use the self-cleaning function on my oven, but when it comes to cleaning my BBQ that’s another story. She sparkles. As lovely husband has commented more than once “I’ve never seen you clean anything as well as you do that BBQ”. That may not be something I should be proud of, but I am. As I said she sparkles.
It is nothing particularly fancy. Just a standard propane BBQ we picked up one weekend on clearance at Home Depot, but I love it.
As some of my long term readers may recall, when I started my little blog I was solely cooking on my BBQ and a little countertop oven. My oven was old, and seriously unreliable, so I abandoned it in favor of cooking on my BBQ. You see as a student living alone, replacing an oven was not top on the list of priorities. However, along came the lovely husband, a wedding, and having a reliable oven to cook in became more of a priority. Ah growing up. One weekend we did the most grown up thing I can think of – appliance shop. We settled on a lovely little oven, again much like the BBQ nothing fancy and on sale.
So now Christmas turkeys are cooked in the oven, but let me tell you we had a good run on the BBQ! And when it is really cold out I am less inclined to grill outside, although it still happens from time to time. The moment the weather begins to turn nice, even before the buds appear on the trees, it is BBQ season in our house. Then until the first snow fall, very rarely will our lovely little oven be turned on.
And experiment as I do with cooking on my grill, there is really nothing better than a few classics… a rib eye steak, corn on the cob, hamburgers and pork ribs. To me BBQ ribs are a summertime classic, like picnics, baseball, lemonade, lazy days at the beach, and long evenings around a fire. All winter long ribs are not overly appealing to me, but come summer I can’t help but eye up the long racks of ribs in the butcher case. You know what I’m talking about, the gorgeous looking ribs just begging for a spice rub, and to be glazed with a sticky, rich sauce. Yum!
I have a few variations on how I prepare ribs, but this spice rub and homemade BBQ sauce is hands down my favorite. But what is not to love about the smokey, rich flavor from the chiles in the spice rub and the sweetness from the bourbon in the sauce. BBQ heaven I tell you! BBQ heaven!
The smokey, rich flavor comes from the urfa biber I use as the chiles in the spice rub (they are black flecks in the spice rub shown below). Urfa chiles come from Turkey (biber is pepper is Turkish) where they are used in kebabs and in many eggplant dishes. A moist chile, the flavor and scent of urfa is unique, deep and intoxicating. It is perfect for when you want a dark, rich chile without the overpowering, overused punch of chipotle. If urfa biber isn’t in your spice cupboard (well actually they are meant to be kept in the fridge) I highly recommend picking some up. Have a mentioned urfa biber’s love of chocolate?!? Your ribs and brownies will never be the same! I promise.
The only other point I must make for this recipe is my method for cooking the ribs. For the slow roasting of the ribs many, or probably most people will wrap all of the racks together in foil and cook. I like to individually wrap each rack of rib in foil to slow roast. I find it provides a more even cook, and allows the ribs to simmer in their own juices. It may seem like an extra step or two, might even seem a little unnecessary, but I promise you it is well worth the effort! The BBQ ribs will be falling off the bone tender and juicy, which to me is the only way ribs should be.
- 3 racks of pork baby back ribs (membrane removed)
- SPICE RUB
- 2 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 tsp urfa biber
- 1 tsp roasted garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- BOURBON SAUCE
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp water
- 1½ tbsp dark brown sugar
- ½ tsp red chile flakes
- 1 tsp roasted garlic powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- pepper to taste
- Mix the spice rub ingredients together and rub onto ribs. Wrap each rack of ribs individually in cling film and return to the fridge to marinate for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
- Preheat the BBQ to 300F. The ribs will be cooked using indirect heat, so only turn on the burners on one side of the BBQ.
- Remove the ribs from the fridge to come to room temperate. Wrap each rack in foil and place on the BBQ on the indirect side. Cook for 2 hours.
- In the meantime, combine all ingredients for the sauce in a sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes until thickened.
- Once the ribs are cooked. Remove from foil and brush with sauce. Increase the heat of the BBQ and sear ribs for 5 - 7 minutes.
- Remove from the BBQ and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.