Ribs! I want my baby back, baby back, baby back…

ribs
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As the grilling season winds down, I wanted to go out with one last BANG and that means… RIBS! Due to weather, our grilling season is rather short (so am I 🙂 ) up here in Hobbitland so I try to make the most of it when I can. As soon as I can tolerate standing outside and watching the grill, the season starts! The Lady likes it too, not only for that special flavor you can only get when all that fat and meat gets hit with the flame, this also means that if I grill during the week, she doesn’t have to do as much meal planning. She likes that. We don’t have a fancy grill setup, just a cheap, small camping grill that I picked up off Amazon for under $50. It works for us, there’s just the two of us so a larger grill isn’t that efficient, no need to use a 16# bottle of propane to heat up two times as much grill space as we need. I’d share a better pic of our setup, but someone (ok, ME) backed over it with the Hobbitmobile one day going on a dump run…

Autumn in Hobbitland

It still works but is kinda ugly now :(. It’s getting cold and raw out, one last hurrah on the grill before packing it up for the season :(. The leaves are starting to turn and there is a definite ‘bite’ in the air :(.

Autumn in Hobbitland

Fall

We love ribs. LOVE THEM. Unfortunately, they aren’t always the most cost-efficient meat to buy for meat vs price, but when they are on sale, we grab a rack and enjoy them. I’ve never been a fan of ribs coated and dripping with sweet-spicy BBQ sauce, why do that on a good piece of meat? We are firm believers in ‘less is more’ here in Hobbitville, my ribs recipe takes that to heart. Plus, if you’re keto or LCHF, BBQ sauce (at least from a bottle), is off the table. Literally. Have you seen how much sugar is in those??? OUCH. We do shit differently here, and I happen to think it is much better so I thought I’d share it. My method comes from one of those mystical ‘old timers.’ I struggled for years getting ribs on the grill right, either they burnt to a crisp or they were still RAW in the middle. Not a big deal with beef ribs but pork? EWWWWW. He gave me the secret. You prep them in the oven, then finish on the grill. Not only do you prep them, you do it in a very specific way to make sure  you get the BEST DAMN RIBS EVER! Once I started following his plan…OMG. RIB HEAVEN!

Ribs Hobbit style

Doing ribs right takes some planning, it’s not like burgers where you can smash a few patties together and toss them on the grill and have meat nirvana. Nope. You must let them season, then hit them hard with heat for a short time, then slow cook in the oven before finishing off on the grill. Seasoning should be 18-24 hours, this allows the spices to penetrate the meat (just like when making beef jerky – which I’ll cover soon). Rule of thumb is 24 hours will penetrate 1/4″ of meat – perfect for ribs. So, let’s get to it, shall we?

The Hobbit’s Rib Rub:

  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.0 tsp white (or black) pepper
  • 1.5 tsp paprika
  • 1.0 tsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg

Dump all this in a bowl and whisk it up to mix well. You want to make sure all the clumps are broken up and the salt is distributed evenly. Get out your ribs. Dump the mixture evenly along the length of the glorious meat, then take your hand and rub it in really good. The fats on the meat will warm from your hand and make this almost a paste. This is good. Once you have it all evenly covered, wrap the ribs up in plastic and toss in the fridge overnight.

ribs

Next day, get your ribs out. Can you smell it? Doesn’t it already smell AWESOME? Preheat your oven to 425F. Yes. That high. Trust me on this one. Get out a baking pan (one with a raised lip is recommended unless you really like cleaning the oven. I DON’T!). Line it with parchment or silicon baking mat. Put your ribs on it.

ribs

Put them in your oven for 15 minutes. You should be able to hear them start to sizzle and crackle, then turn down to 325F for about an hour or more. I know, not really precise but it depends on the size and cut of your ribs. When you check them at about an hour, look at the ends of the bones. Are the starting to discolor? Has the meat pulled about a half-inch up them? If so, they are ready to grill! If not, leave them in until this happens.

Ribs Hobbit style

Remove them from the oven when ready, then toss them on the grill – right side up for 5 minutes to get the fats under the bones moving and dripping. You want that fat ooooozing out and hitting the grill to add a little smokey taste to the ribs when you flip them.

Ribs Hobbit style

Now flip. Cook upside down for about 5 minutes, checking to make sure they don’t burn (Note: Mine caught on fire briefly, this is why The Lady doesn’t let me play with matches).

ribs

Repeat this one more time – 2 minutes per side. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

ribs
Enjoy them with cauli-tots, mashed cauliflower, savory Kabocha soup, or grilled veggies. Trust me on this one, you will never miss ribs plastered with BBQ sauce. Ever.

Hey, if you read this and like it, feel free to give me some feedback in the comments. I’d love to hear from everyone on what they think of my ‘creations.’ If you have questions, ask! If you hate them, tell me 🙂. If you do your own tweaks, let me know, I love to learn new things!!

~The Hobbit

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