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Tender Ribs and Pork Chops

Learn how to grill tender ribs and pork chops with these helpful tips and recipes.

Ever since the home barbecue revolution of the 1950s, spareribs have had special

status. The crispy finish and wake-up flavor they get are hard to beat. In this article,

you'll find how to choose a rib cut, rib grilling tips, and a recipe for a spicy pork rub.

Pick a Rib

Spareribs are the outer ends of pork ribs, which are sparely covered with meat. A rack of ribs weighs about

3 pounds. If spareribs are to be the main part of a meal, figure on about 3/4 to 1 pound per person.

Back ribs are short sections of ribs, cut somewhat closer to the backbone than spareribs. They're sometimes

sold as "baby back ribs."

Country-style ribs are thick and meaty and are cut from the shoulder end of the rib. They are more like pork

chops than spareribs. Expect about 3 country-style ribs per pound.

Prep for Grilling

Ribs can be separated and grilled individually, but basting and turning a rack of ribs is easier than working

with portion cuts.

Wipe the ribs with paper toweling and trim off any surface fat. For extra tenderness, pull off the

parchmentlike filament on the inside of the rack. The ribs can then be rubbed with dry spices or marinated.

Rib Ticklers

To add extra flavor when basting pork or any other

grilled meat or poultry, tie a few sprigs of herbs

together and use them as the basting brush.

Spicy Pork Rub

Mix up a big batch of a dry spice rub, then spoon out just the amount you need when you need it.

Blend together 1/4 cup each of Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, sweet paprika, and sugar. Store

the mixture in a covered jar. Just before using, mix in 1 tablespoon of grated lemon zest for every 2

tablespoons of the spice mixture.

Or adapt the Basic Steak Rub in the Ultimate Grilling Guide: Steak for pork by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of

dried grated orange peel and 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger.

Rib Basics

To cut down on grilling time, we poached (parboiled) our ribs ahead of time. Parboiling is frequently called

for in recipes for ribs, but if you don't wish to include this step, leave plenty of time for slow cooking over a

medium to low fire.

Slow cooking is the secret to tender ribs. Without parboiling, figure on about 1 hour 10 minutes total grilling

time for spareribs, ad up to 1 1/2 hours for country ribs.

You don't have to baste but if you want to, brush the ribs with a mixture of 1/2 cup of chicken stock, the juice

of 1 lemon lime, and 1 teaspoon of hot red pepper sauce.

If you want to coat the ribs with a tomato-based barbecue sauce while they cook, wait until at least halfway

through the cooking; otherwise, the sauce will blacken and burn.






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