Chef Dez talking outdoor cookers at a recent event.

Chef Dez: Creating mouth-watering ribs

Cooking columnist and culinary instructor Chef Dez was asked to share some barbecue tips this summer.

Everyone loves pork ribs (other than vegetarians, I guess) and this recipe for ribs over all-natural lump charcoal will surely impress any dinner guest you have.

There are so many techniques or “tricks of the trade” for cooking different types of meats on the Big Green Egg.

Today I want to focus on the 3-2-1 method, or more specifically the 3-2-1 for pork spare ribs and 2-2-1 for pork back ribs.

The numbers in these methods are referring to the number of hours smoking, steaming, and finishing all at an approximate temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

For example, if I was cooking spare ribs, I would smoke for three hours first; then wrap them in foil with liquid and steam in the BGE for two hours; and then removed from the foil, back on the grill for an hour, basted with barbecue sauce.

The same steps are used for back ribs, but with only two hours of smoking at the beginning instead of three (this is because spare ribs have more cartilage and connective tissue).

Some additional tips:

1. Remove the thin membrane on the back side (bone side) of the ribs.

2. Apply a thin coat of yellow mustard on both sides of the raw ribs before applying your favourite dry rub. This will help the rub to adhere better and also provide great flavour!

3. For the two-hour steaming, I transfer my ribs into a foil pan with a 1/2 cup of apple juice (but almost any liquid can be used) and seal tightly with foil. The ribs do not need to be submersed fully in liquid – it’s all about the steam.

5. For the last step, remove the racks carefully from the liquid/foil and place them directly on the grill; baste them with your desired barbecue sauce and then cook for the final hour. This will caramelize the sauce onto the ribs.


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