Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ribs- Wet or Dry...That is the question

One of the quintessential Southern foods is barbecue ribs and there are as many different versions as there are Southerners. Hot sauce, sweet sauce, secret sauces, charcoal grill, gas grill,oven...it seems here in the South everyone has an opinion about what makes great ribs.

For me, the best way to cook ribs is low and slow,whether in the oven or on the grill over indirect heat. For most of my life I ate "wet"ribs-my mother made them that way with barbecue sauce,I didn't know any other way. even when I began cooking them myself. It wasn't until we visited Busch Gardens Williamsburg back when they first opened and they served ribs with a dry rub in their New France Smokehouse. These ribs were cooked in slabs on an open fire and were perfectly seasoned and the meat almost fell off the bone. From that moment on I have been a dry rub person when it comes to ribs.

The most important thing to help make delicious ribs is pulling off the membrane that is on the underside of the ribs. That will make the cooked ribs easier to eat and will allow seasonings or rubs to permeate the meat. And cook low and slow to ensure tender, pull-apart ribs that are tender but not dry. You can make your own rub, which I sometimes do, or use a good spice rub like Penzey's Galena Street blend or Barbecue 3000. Then get out the napkins, and enjoy! And if you have to have sauce, serve it on the side.

What is your favorite way to cook ribs? And do you like them wet or dry?!


Cynthia said...

I've never actually cooked ribs, whenever I have the yearning for it, I got to a vendor that has a huge set up on the weekend and get my ribs fix. I am a dry-rub person but I think the guy I purchase mine from is a wet-rub kind a guy. Sometimes I find the sauce too much and often have to wipe a lot of it away.

Glenna said...

Low and slow is how we cook them too. We also cook both wet and dry depending on our mood. Makes me want to eat ribs tonight!

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Wet or dry? I say either, as long as they're cooked well. :D I'm with Glenna on the 'low and slow' thing.