With another weekend fast approaching, grilling is on my mind. For todays post, I have turned to my good friend Ted Leonard for some rib cooking wisdom. I got my first taste of these Leonard specialty ribs at his Kentucky Derby party this past spring. Although the party was bumping and and music was pumping……when Ted served up his ribs, the house fell silent. All you could hear were some mmmmms and the smacking of lips. They were good; Ted sure has skillz on the grillz.

So today, I introduce to you, the first ever guest blogger on Stuff Mike Likes….Mr. Ted Leonard and his art of ribs. Happy grilling everyone.

Ted has skillz on the grillz

The Art of Ribs: Cooking Low and Slow By Ted Leonard

Ribs have been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. To me ribs signify a gathering and community; the first rule of cooking ribs is that they can’t be consumed alone. Whether you are cooking for two or for thirty, the preparation, process, and presentation remains the same.

Begin prepping the ribs the night before. The first order of business is trimming the excess fat and removing the membrane from the bottom side of the ribs. Use a boning knife to trim the large pieces of excess fat from the top portion of the ribs. Be weary of the fat build up on the ends of the ribs. Remember to trim the excess fat and not over do it, some fat is good. To remove the membrane, use your finger nails on the edge of the bottom side of the rib to peel it up. The membrane should come up all at once as if you are pulling an adhesive off the back of a sticker.

Once you have finished laying the ground work for the ribs the next order of business is by far the most important, prepping the ribs with the rub. While some people have their own rub recipes, I found out very quickly that Savory Spice Shop in Denver (http://www.savoryspiceshop.com) has worked out a fantastic rub that requires no additional work. I recommend the Platte River Rib Rub. In addition to the rib rub brown sugar is by far the most important ingredient in cooking edible ribs. Although the Platte River Rib Rub has brown sugar in the mix, it isn’t enough. The folks at Savory suggest you use 2 tablespoons per pound of meat but I use significantly more. My general rule of thumb is that once you think you have applied enough brown sugar/rub mixture; throw another layer on there for good faith.

IMG_1334Your ribs are now ready for the fridge to sit over night. My practice is to wrap the racks in Cling wrap and to wrap them up well. You don’t want a puddle of pig juice and rub at the bottom of your refrigerator. Let the ribs sit for at least 12 hours to make sure the rub sets in and that you have a good base of flavor in the ribs. Please note that the flavor of the ribs does not depend on the BBQ sauce used but rather the rub used the night before.

When you are ready to cook the ribs give your self at least 4 hours prior to the guests arriving. Preheat the oven to 215 degrees. On a flat surface layout two feet of aluminum foil. Over the kitchen sink remove the Cling wrap from the ribs and place on tin foil (you want to put each rack in an individual piece of foil). Fold the long edges of the foil up and over the ribs then crease the short edges and fold over five times (make sure there are no holes for the ribs to drip in the oven as this can cause great hardship when cleaning up). Before sealing up the tin foil pour ¼ of a can of beer in the tin foil – I suggest Dale’s Pale Ale. This keeps the ribs moist and adds some flavor to the final product. Once you have the ribs in the oven let them cook for 5 hours.

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Time to fire up the grill! As a BBQ snob I always suggest that you use charcoal and use a lot of it when cooking ribs because you want the grill hot! Remove the ribs from the oven and from the foil. Be very careful as the ribs are now in their most delicate form. Mop on your favorite BBQ sauce generously and quickly move them to the grill. Place the ribs on the grill for ten minutes flipping them once. Serve the ribs immediately and enjoy with your company.

The hosts - Mr. & Mr.s Leonard

The hosts - Mr. & Mrs. Leonard

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