Summer time is the right time to grill some baby back ribs.
Summer time is the right time to grill some baby back ribs.

Perfecting grilled ribs

Over the years, I've had many bad, bad barbecued baby back ribs on the grill, some of which came out of our own kitchen when we were following recipes passed down from friends.


There is little I like less than tough barbecued ribs, where you are struggling to get the meat off the bone. Friends have recommended boiling them, baking them and slowcooking them before grilling, but nothing has come out right, until now.

We just went ahead and asked the butcher how we should prepare them, and he said bake them with a can of beer and some onions for an hour and a half at 350, covered in foil.

Wait a second, it's that simple?

Well, since I can't follow a recipe to save my life, we didn't do exactly that, but the basic advice was the premise for getting us started. I'll tell you both what we did this time, and what I plan to do next weekend, which I expect to be even better.

I took two 3-lb. racks of baby back ribs and rubbed them liberally with Galena Street Rib Rub from The Spice House, 1031 N. Old World 3rd St. In a large roasting pan, I put one bottle of beer and two large rough chopped yellow onions and placed the ribs over the top and let them sit out, covered in foil, for about 20 minutes to come to room temperature.

Then I put them into the cold oven and turned it to 350 degrees. I left them in for 90 minutes, then I turned the heat down to 200 and let them sit in the oven for about another 20 minutes until they were tender to the touch.

We used hardwood charcoal briquettes and when the grill was hot, I just brushed a very small amount of bottled barbecue sauce over the ribs and we threw them on the grill and covered them with the onions from the pan, keeping them on just long enough to get grill marks on both sides. When we went to take them off the grill, they were already so tender, they started falling apart. We got them in the house and they nearly vanished by the time they hit Scott's and the boys' plates…