My husband is an excellent cook. When I first married him I was afraid that he was a better cook than I was and I didn’t want him to show me up. I worked really hard to prove that I was just as good (if not better) of a cook as he was. But over the years I have come to realize that it is awesome having a husband that can cook so well. He loves to cook for our family and friends. Once at a family cook out my sister in law remarked “Rebecca and I are smart because we married men that can cook. They take care of the food and we can relax and enjoy the finished product”. She is absolutely right. I love the days that my husband cooks because I have a chance to rest and I get to enjoy the delicious food he makes.
One of his favorite things to make is baby back ribs. This week Keller’s baby back ribs are on sale. When I shared this news with my husband he pumped his fist in the air and exclaimed, “Yes! I was hoping this would happen!” Baby back ribs can be baked, grilled, smoked, or cooked in the crock pot. My husband smokes them and his baby back ribs are amazing! So, with his permission, I am going to share his secret to the most delicious baby back ribs you have ever tasted.
On a charcoal grill push all of the coals to one side for indirect heat. You want a temperature of 225-250 degrees. Also start soaking a couple handfuls of hickory or apple woodchips in water. While the coals are heating up, prepare the ribs by pulling off the tough membrane from the back of the ribs with a dry paper towel. Then rub them liberally with yellow mustard (that’s the secret). Next, rub on equal parts salt, black pepper, onion powder, and paprika, and a pinch each of garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and cumin.
Once the coals are hot, place the ribs fat side up on the grill opposite of the coals. Add charcoal to maintain the temperature and a handful of soaked woodchips. Cook about three hours, rotating the ribs once and adding one more handful of woodchips. Then wrap the ribs in foil and add 1 cup of apple juice and a handful of brown sugar (these are the other secrets). You can skip the apple juice and brown sugar and use apple cider vinegar instead if you prefer tangy flavors. Cook for about another hour until the ribs are 145-150 degrees on your meat thermometer. This will give you ribs with just the right texture: easy to take a bite out of but all the meat won’t slide all the way off. He says that makes the goodness last longer.
Unwrap the ribs and place them on a searing hot grill for five minutes on each side so the sugars caramelize (this is when you can lather them in sauce or simply let the rub and brown sugar do their thing). We love to serve them with Keller’s Czechoslovakian potato salad and Keller’s Tropical Coleslaw!