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The Perfect Rib

I cook the old fashioned way, trying not to use pre-made "box" food.....I like to say I think outside the box.

When it comes to ribs, you have to start with quality meat: My choice is Baby Back or St. Louis style ribs.

This 573 Magazine Story is sponsored by Hoods Discount Home Center in Farmington, Missouri.

I have experimented with many types of wood for smoking, but prefer the fruity woods.

When smoking meat, consistent low temperatures and cooking time are critical...

Wild cherry is my favorite because it is not nearly as pungent as some other woods and yields a product with a nice red tinge. When smoking meat, consistent low temperatures and cooking time are critical to making the ribs tender.

It is also important to season, or "rub," your ribs. I use a dry rub with 10 herbs and spices and serve the barbecue sauce on the side. If I told you my secret ingredients, I’d have to get my Uncle Vinnie to pay you a visit. have to start with quality meat...

To prepare ribs at home, you will need to start with slabs of Baby Back or St. Louis style ribs and use a grill with indirect heat. You must try to maintain a temperature of 200 degrees and start with charcoal.

After 15 minutes, top the charcoal with cherry wood chips that have been soaked in water.

I use a dry rub with 10 herbs and spices...

Your rub can consist of a brown sugar and kosher salt base with your choice of spices to taste. Rub the meat with the spices, but don’t overpower them.

Place the meat on the grill, cover, and let it slow cook for at least three to four hours (about the length of a Cardinals baseball game). Take off the lid for the last 15 minutes or so to finish at a higher temperature. I prefer to serve ribs with sauce on the side, which is the traditional way, although my dad would always add sauce to soak the ribs.

Here’s a good sauce recipe I learned from my dad years ago...

Start with a base sauce, like a bottle of cherry barbecue sauce. Pour into a square baking pan on the stove and simmer on low heat.

Sauté in 1/2 stick butter; 2 sweet onions, chopped; 2 cloves garlic, pressed; 1 can of full-flavor beer; 1 cup of brown sugar; and salt & pepper to taste. Sauté for at least an hour. Now that’s some good, finger-licking ribs.


pics by t. smugala

words by c. schillinger

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