I was born in Texas and grew up in Kansas City, so I guess you could say I have barbecue in my DNA. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of time spent in Texas visiting my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin. The women would stay inside and visit over iced tea, the men would sit around the grill smoking ribs under the unrelenting Texas summer sun and my cousin and I swam in the pool in the backyard. Time stood still. There was nowhere to be. No emails to answer. No cell phones to check. No homework to be done. I remember asking my uncle how he knew when the ribs were ready and he said, “Just before the beer runs out.” Those were the days!
At this stage of my life long, lazy days like that are rarities. I’m in the middle of what I affectionately call the “busy years” and our weekends are exactly that. Busy. Parents of young kids know Saturdays and Sundays are dominated by football games, soccer tournaments, dance practices and birthday parties. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but time is a luxury I simply don’t have a lot of these days.
The good news is just because I don’t have a lot of time doesn’t mean I can’t have the delicious, tender, smoky ribs I remember from that backyard in Texas. When I started working at Weber, I learned I could make ribs in about half the time by wrapping them in foil. I was skeptical at first, but once I tried it I became a convert. I know there are hardcore, purists who will scream blasphemy – Foil? Gas? That’s not barbecue - That’s cheating! Maybe so, but it’s pretty darn tasty so don’t knock it ‘till ya’ try it, ok?
Foil-Wrapped Baby Back Ribs
by Jamie Purviance
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Grilling Time: about 1¼ hours
Special Equipment: 18-inch-wide heavy-duty aluminum foil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 racks baby back ribs, each 2 to 2½ pounds
1 cup hickory wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
2. In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.
3. Remove the membrane from the back of each rack of ribs. Cut each rack crosswise in the middle to create two smaller racks.
4. Season each half rack evenly with the rub. Using eight 18-by-24-inch sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, double wrap each half rack in its own packet.
5. Brush the cooking grates clean. Place the ribs on the grill over direct medium heat and cook for 1 hour, with the lid closed, occasionally turning the packets over for even cooking, making sure not to pierce the foil.
6. Remove the packets from the grill and let rest for about 10 minutes. Carefully open the foil packets, remove the ribs, and discard the rendered fat and foil.
7. Drain and add the wood chips directly onto burning coals or to the smoker box of a gas grill, following manufacturer’s instructions. When the wood begins to smoke, return the ribs to the grill, bone side down. Grill over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until they are sizzling and lightly charred, 10 to 12 minutes, turning and basting once or twice with the sauce. Remove from the grill and let rest for about 5 minutes. Cut into individual ribs and serve warm with any remaining sauce.
©2011 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe from Weber’s Time To Grill™ by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission