On An Ordinary Day

Last year for my birthday, I made high heel cupcakes that we’re still talking about.  This year, I suspect Lane is handling dessert preparations for the occasion.  This morning M subjected him to a line of questioning about cake, concerned that because I’m the one who usually makes the cakes and I wasn’t planning on making a cake, there would be no cake.  She has declared cake the best part of a birthday.  I can’t say I completely disagree with her logic but I’m pretty happy with my new iced tea maker just the same.  When I was pet-sitting a few weeks ago, I briefly contemplated whether or not my dads would notice their iced tea maker was missing.  I’m guessing they would, so I’m glad the kids gifted me one of my own.  There are more surprises up their sleeves, but soccer practice and baseball practice call later, so we’ll save the celebrating for after that.  Until later, it’s just an ordinary day and that’s fine. 

Most of the best days are just ordinary days.  Okay, so today’s “ordinary” involves maybe sneaking out for a manicure (yeah, I know how to live it up!).  Other than that, I put the kiddos on the bus this morning just like I do every morning that we send them off for school.  I sipped my coffee, checked the news, and now there’s laundry spinning away in the washer.  It’s an ordinary day, and that’s perfectly fine by me.  Sunday was also pretty ordinary day.  Lane mowed the lawn, I did some housework, and we ran some errands together.  What made it extraordinary was these ribs.  Lane had been itching to make some ribs on his charcoal grill, and when the grocery store had these country-style ribs on sale for a steal a few weeks ago, all we needed was the perfect ordinary day to make them.  Sunday the weather cooperated and we were without social or other major obligations so it was the perfect time to put some ribs on the grill and let them hang out on there for a few hours while we read on the porch.  Simplicity turned out to be key here.  A little pork rub, a little barbecue sauce, and a lot of time were all these ribs needed.  We are by no means rib experts, but we know a good pork rib when we taste one and these are good pork ribs.  Lane grilled these to perfection and was nice enough to document the process for me, so the directions for grilling you see below are all Lane’s.   I see some guest posts in the future ;)

grilled barbecue pork country ribs

Grilled Barbecue Country-Style Pork Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 4 country-style pork ribs (about 3 lbs.)
  • dry rub of your choice (I use my own mixture, you can use your favorite or seasoned salt)
  • 1/2 C. your favorite barbecue sauce

Directions:

To prepare the ribs for grilling, trim off some of the excess fat.  You’ll want to leave some visible fat on them, but most of it can be removed if your ribs are particularly fatty.  Leaving too much fat on the ribs can cause the flames to flare up.

Sprinkle dry rub evenly over the ribs, flipping to coat all sides.

Lightly rub the dry rub onto the surface of the ribs to make sure it sticks well.

Cover and refrigerate the ribs for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.

Remove the ribs from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before the grill is ready.

Here’s how to set your grill up for success {or, grilling ribs, according to Lane}:

*These are directions for a charcoal grill.  Keep reading for gas grill instructions.

First of all, you need to keep in mind that good ribs take some time, 3 hours for baby backs and individual thicker ribs, 4 hours for a rack of the St. Louis style. Getting the ribs right involves a little bit of proper preparation and patience.

First, set up your grill.  You will need two zones of heat: an indirect and a direct.  Most of the work is going to be in the indirect zone.  Start your charcoals using a chimney starter.  If you’re contemplating using match light briquettes or lighter fluid, stop right now, your ribs are going to taste like a chemical fire.  For the small investment of  about $15, you can have a chemical-free way of getting your briquettes going.

Once you have your briquettes lit and all of them starting to turn gray in the starter, dump them on one side of the grill. Place a 9″ x 9″ pan of water on the other side of the grill, opposite from the briquets. This water pan will provide humidity to keep the ribs from drying out, and will also moderate the temperature inside the grill.

Place the grilling grate onto the grill, then place the ribs on the side of the grill that has the water pan.  Put the lid onto the grill.  Try to put a probe thermometer in the grill and adjust the vents such that you achieve a target temperature over the water side of 250 degrees, give or take about 20 degrees.  You’re going to cook these low and slow.  Trust me, its worth it.

As an option, about 45 minutes into the cooking time, you can toss a small handful of hickory or applewood chips.  45 minutes later, do this again.  The wood chips will make for a very nice flavor and add a smoke ring.  Make sure you don’t open the grill more than necessary, you’re going to lose temperature every time you do this.  Don’t overdo the chips.  You can’t un-smoke too much smoke, and it won’t taste as good.

Maintain grill temperature and grill the ribs for about 3 hours , until they register 150 degrees on a meat thermometer.

When the ribs are done, you’re going to want to caramelize a little barbecue sauce on them.  This is where the direct fire of the coals comes in.  Brush on some barbecue sauce using a silicone brush, and place the ribs directly over the coals.  Grill, flipping occasionally until the barbecue sauce thickens and slightly caramelizes.  You want to caramelize the barbecue sauce, but be careful, there’s a very fine line between caramelized and charred. Charred is not tasty.

To make these on a gas grill, set up your gas grill to maintain a temperature of about 300 degrees.  Place aluminum foil on the upper grilling rack.  Place the ribs onto the upper cooking rack and close the lid.  Monitor the grill temperature, and start checking the ribs at about 45 minutes for doneness.

Makes 3 lbs. country-style pork ribs (about 4 servings depending on your crowd).
Source: Diana Dishes original, with grilling instructions provided by Lane
pork ribs on the grill
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6 Comments

Filed under Recipes

6 responses to “On An Ordinary Day

  1. These make my mouth water just looking at them. I bet you are popular in the neighborhood.

  2. Pingback: 25 4th of July Recipes - Woman of Many Roles

  3. Carole

    Lovely work, Diana! Would you be happy to link it in to the current Food on Friday which is about all things BBQ? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. Cheers

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