For a showstopping main course, there's nothing like a smoky, juicy rack of ribs.
"Ribs are awesome for a backyard barbecue because they smell and taste like summer," says Tim Love, co-host of CNBC's new show Restaurant Startup and the chef/owner of Lonesome Dove, Queenie's Steakhouse, Woodshed Smokehouse, Love Shack, and White Elephant Saloon in Texas.
Love is a true barbecue expert and thinks that anyone can learn to make ribs that have the ultimate combination of a crispy crust and succulent meat.
Here, the BBQ guru shares his rules for smoking perfect baby back ribs, and his favorite foolproof recipe.
1. Don't forget to remove the underbelly membrane
"You need to do this before anything else," says Love. "If you don't remove it, the smoke won't penetrate the meat properly on the bottom side of the ribs. Also, the membrane will get caught in your teeth."
2. Use rub, not sauce.
"My ribs don't see any sauce! All you need is a good, savory rub with plenty of flavor. If you want your rub to be sweet, use granulated white sugar. It caramelizes better than brown sugar and produces a great crust."
3. Shut the smoker and do NOT open it until time is up.
"Calculate how long the ribs should take before you place your ribs on the rack. The average baby back ribs should take about three hours and 15 minutes. Your ribs will be exponentially better if you maintain the internal temperature at an even 225 degrees and you keep the door closed at all times."
4. Never boil ribs. Ever
"We are making ribs, not corned beef. Boiling the ribs would make them tender but dry. Simmering the ribs would make them juicy and tender, but wouldn't give them that delicious smoky flavor."
5. If you're short on time, use an oven bag.
"There is no 'quick' way to make ribs properly. If you have to, season the heck out of them, put them in an oven bag, and then bake them. They will be ready in less than an hour and super flavorful."
Check out more barbecue tips and Love's favorite baby back rib recipe.
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