Barbecue: most Americans go crazy for it, and one of the most beloved menu items are ribs. Whether they’re dry-rubbed in North Carolina or fall-off-the-bone in Texas, they ignite food lovers’ passions around the country.
So, how do you tell if you’ve been served a great rack? The Washington Post’s Tim Carman had these criteria to share: “Your teeth should be engaged in the eating process with spareribs, forced to lock onto the smoky flesh and gently pull it from the bone. The spareribs should also not arrive at your table smothered in tangy/sweet/spicy sauce. I want to taste the meat and smoke and whatever layer of seasonings the pitmaster has applied to the ribs. Sauces can hide defects in seasoning and smoking." For Esquire’s John Mariani, “a great rib is never oversmoked, pink under the skin, with good charring on the outside... The sauce is down my list of virtues, preferring a dry rub to do most of the work. The meat may come off the bone easily but not ‘fall off,’ and there should be some definite chewiness to the meat."
We tackled the task of ranking the country’s best last year, and we’re once again looking to identify the top 35 rib joints in the nation. So, we turn to you, our Daily Meal readers, to tell us: Where do you go to satisfy your rib fix? What about them made you fall in love? The only criterion is that they must be bone-in — you’ll find no Italian-style braised short ribs on this list.
Consider yourself a rib aficionado, or know someone who is? Send us credentials for a chance to be a part of the panel of Rib Experts who will vote to decide this year's list.
You can comment on the story below, or send me an email to weigh in with your suggestion(s). Thanks in advance for your advice, and happy chewing!