If there’s one thing that we definitely don’t mind licking our fingers for, it’s ribs. Juicy, succulent, and downright messy, ribs are one of the few dishes in life that we’re happy to pull apart with our bare hands and bite into right off the bone.
So what makes a rack of ribs so good? Sure, there are marinades you can use and special rubs to try, but no matter what flavor combination you’d like your ribs to have, there’s a set of standard rules to apply when making ribs that can take them from being just a good rack of ribs, to a great one — and we’ll show you how.
Erin Coopey, chef and author of The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook, never starts cooking her ribs without tending to the silver skin, and she has some pretty firm beliefs about how to avoid a charred, bitter crust, too. If you were to ask barbecue master Melissa Cookston, co-owner of Memphis BBQ Company and a judge on Destination America’s BBQ Pitmasters, she’d tell you to never make ribs without smoking them, and our friend Clint Cantwell of Grilling.com has some pretty sound advice about how to sauce ribs, too. There are a bunch of guidelines for making ribs that are simple in nature but when applied, make a world of difference, so don’t miss out on reading them before you get your ribs out.
And once you have the method complete, we’ve got some recipes for you to try. There’s Coopey’s "never fail" baby back rib recipe, which uses a handful of spices and the low-and-slow method to cook a rack, and there are Canal House’s ribs, that are doused in a hoisin sauce that is so good, it’s hoi-sinful. There’s even one that brings us back to our college years, created by the liquor connoisseurs at Jägermeister, who enlist their rich, syrupy liquor to create a rib sauce that has true depth of flavor.
These helpful tips and recipes will take your rack of ribs from being just a good one to a finger-licking great one. Oh, and, don’t forget the wet naps.
Anne Dolce is the Cook editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce