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How do you make sure your meat is succulent, tender and thick with that deep, rich, smoky barbecue taste? Keep the lid down.

Learning the rules of the lid

You’ve got the whole day ahead of you, a wide selection of freshly cut meat and a craving for some barbecue food. Friends and family will prepare the salads and pour the drinks, now all you have to do is provide a juicy, flavour- packed main dish. It might sound like a lot of work, but the truth is that you could potentially have the easiest job of the day – as long as you follow one simple rule: keep the lid down.

Whether you cook with gas, charcoal or electricity, keeping the lid closed is the cornerstone of barbecuing the Weber Way and the key to getting that tender, succulent meat that just falls off the bone. Whether you're barbecuing at low, medium or high temperatures, applying direct or indirect cooking methods, keeping the lid down is the key to success.

It helps to steady the temperature inside the barbecue: as heat rises up from the bottom to the top of the barbecue the lid reflects it back down, circulating it around the food. This evenly cooks your food, helps it retain moisture for longer and locks in flavour. Genius, right?

Finding the perfect blend for smoked food

Wood chip blend, pork

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Keeping the lid on also contains the smoke, which gives ribs, chops and brisket an extra powerful BBQ aroma. Weber’s Pork Smoking Blend is specifically made for those big and bold pork cuts, and combines hardwoods with fruitwoods to create a rich, smoky, BBQ taste. Perfect for when you need your dish to be the star of the show.

Before closing the lid and leaving it for a few hours while you tuck into those appetisers, remember to arrange your meat properly on the barbecue. Each cut needs enough space around it to be cooked and smoked from all sides. This doesn’t mean, however, that you need to cook fewer cuts of meat at once. You simply need to prepare well in advance with a few racks. Using cooking racks, such as the Weber Premium Barbecue Rack, your meat will cook evenly, and it will also allow you to cook more meat at a time without overcrowding the barbecue. This way, everyone gets to eat together, rather than in shifts.

So, you’ve marinated your pork, established a low, even temperature inside the barbecue, and you’ve properly arranged your cuts. Then it’s time to shut that lid and enjoy yourself. Put your feet up, and relish the prospect of finally opening the lid and dishing out your perfectly juicy, show-stopping ribs to the whole family.

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Ingredients

  • circleServes: 8
  • 4 racks spare-ribs, each 1.1–1.6 kg
  • 175 ml unsweetened apple juice
  • 60 ml cider vinegar
  • Rub
  • 2 tbsp cooking salt
  • 2 tbsp ancho chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Sauce
  • 475 ml ketchup
  • 120 ml unsweetened apple juice
  • 60 ml cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chilli powder
  •  
  • Special Equipment
  • Spray Bottle
  • Five fist sized hickory wood chunks

Instructions

  • 1. Prepare the barbecue for indirect cooking at very low heat 110 to 120°C.

  • 2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the rub ingredients. Place the spare-ribs, meaty side up, on a cutting board. Follow the line of fat that separates the meaty ribs from the much tougher tips at the base of each rack, and cut off the tips. Turn each rack over. Cut off the flap of meat attached in the center of each rack. Also cut off the flap of meat that hangs below the shorter end of the ribs. Using a blunt dinner knife, slide the tip under the membrane covering the back of each rack of ribs. Lift and loosen the membrane until it breaks, then grab a corner of it with a paper towel and pull it off. Season the spare-ribs all over with the rub, putting more of the rub on the meaty sides than on the bone sides.

  • 3. In a small spray bottle, combine 175 ml apple juice and 60 ml cider vinegar.

  • 4. Brush the cooking grate clean. Add two of the wood chunks to the charcoal. Smoke the spare-ribs, bone side down, over indirect very low heat, with the lid closed, until the meat has shrunk back from the bones by at least 1 cm, i.e. for 4 to 5 hours. After each hour, add more lit briquettes as necessary to maintain the heat, add one more wood chunk to the charcoal (until they have burned up), and spray the ribs on both sides with the apple juice mixture. Meanwhile, make the sauce.

  • 5. Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • 6. When the spare-ribs are done, remove them from the barbecue. Brush the racks on both sides with the sauce and wrap each rack in damp baking paper. Then wrap them in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Return the wrapped racks to the barbecue, stacking them on the cooking grate. Continue to cook over indirect very low heat, with the lid closed, until the meat is tender enough to tear with your fingers, i.e. for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the spare-ribs from the barbecue and lightly brush the racks on both sides with sauce again. Return the marinated racks to the grill for another 15 minutes 110°C. Cut the racks into individual ribs. Serve warm with the remaining sauce on the side

  • All of our recipes are created by our expert chefs at the Weber Grill Academy. View more inspirational recipes or book a course at the Grill Academy now.

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