Memphis-Style Barbecued Pork Ribs
Published by Knopf
Pat: Our first taste of national recognition came in 1997, when our pork ribs were voted “the best ribs in Memphis” by the local media. After the votes were cast, the Today show came calling. Tony and I wound up being featured on a segment with Al Roker. Al’s enthusiasm for our cooking made others take notice–it was a big moment. It’s important to note that we did not become rib masters overnight. It took time to learn the appropriate techniques. Tender, slow-cooked spare ribs require a certain amount of skill and experience. We got ours, and now we are going to give you yours. Gina: All I can say about ribs is: Girl, get yourself a man that can grill and let him light it up!
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Game Day
Recipe CourseMain Course
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free
Taste and TextureCrisp, Hot & Spicy, Juicy, Meaty, Savory, Smoky, Spiced, Sweet
For the ribs:
Rinse the rib slabs in cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the slabs on a clean chopping board. Using your fingers, pull off the thick white membrane. Use a small knife to trim off the excess fat and meat. Using a sharp knife, trim off the brisket bone (or rib tip). Season both sides of the slab with salt and Neely’s Barbecue Seasoning, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to a day in advance.
When you’re ready to cook the ribs, preheat the grill to 250°F, preferably using a combination of hickory wood and charcoal. Place the slab on the grill away from (not directly over) the flame (using indirect heat). Cook the slab curl-side up for approximately 2½ hours. Flip the slab over to finish the cooking, about 1 more hour, or until you get the full “bend” in the slab (see Notes).
For dry ribs, pull the ribs off the grill, and sprinkle more Neely’s Barbecue Seasoning over the entire slab. Cut between the bones and serve. For wet ribs, pull the ribs off the grill, and pour Neely’s Barbecue Sauce over the slab. Slice between the bones into individual portions, and serve.
Tony’s Tip for Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops
Most of us know how to cook chops on the grill Season the meat, throw the chops down ont he grill grate over direct heat, and flop them once (the hotter the grill, the better). But the above method, cooking with indirect heat, also works well. And if you cook over indirect heat, the best way to finish the meat is in a foil wrap, to keep it as juicy and tender as can be. I don’t insist on a standard thickness for chops, because my guests have their own pereferences. My daughter Madison loves thin pork chops—she won’t even eat a thick one—so that’s what I prepare for her. But if pat is coming over, I grill a nice thick chop for him, because that is what he loves.
2009 Patrick Neely and Gina Neely