Hickory Pork Ribs

Jun 30th, 2009 | By | Category: American, BBQ, Canada Day, Canadiana, Condiments, How To, Meat, Pork, Potato, Recipes, Sauce

IMG_4839One of the first blog posts I wrote was on the subject of ribs. Us Canadians love ribs, we love to grill and in fact you’ll find some of my posts where I grill in the middle of winter!

I recently had friends over for a BBQ and although it was mostly a Greek feast, I included some Canadian faves in the mix.IMG_6258-1

Be it friends, family or readers of my blog – these ribs are tried & true…they have never failed me in being delicious, fall-off-the-bone tender and easy to prepare.

Canada Day is coming up tomorrow and I thought it timely to post this fantastic and easy recipe for ribs. As a side, you can also try your hand at the Montreal Steak Spice potatoes...another favourite for the backyard party.

First off…I am in no way going to argue with the fact that BBQ anything (over wood or charcoal) can be beat – it can’t! The gas grill, the oven and other amenities for cooking are luxuries and time-savers.

Here’s my approach to ribs, be it baby-back or spare ribs:

  • I never EVER boil my ribs;
  • This method works in the oven, on the BBQ/gas grill or a combo of both oven and grill;
  • Always take the time to remove the silver-skin on the underside of the ribs;
  • Apply the dry rub of your choice the evening before cooking

I’ve found the whole boiling of ribs to be unnecessary…somehow I think flavour is being lost. Cover/tent the ribs with foil and you’ll find the meat to render down to “fall off the bone”.IMG_4834

An important aspect to tasty and tender ribs is to remove the silver-skin on the underside of the ribs. I simply use a boning (flexible knife) and scrape the end of the underside of the ribs to loosen some of the skin – just enough to grab with my fingers and then I just pull it off and discard.

This is important so that the rub adheres to the underside and when you’re eating the ribs, you’re not trying to gnaw into something rubbery. Remove it.IMG_4835

As for a dry rub…it’s really up to your personal tastes. I find the best and tastiest results are when I apply a dry rub the night before I cook my ribs. The flavours really penetrate the meat and I even see a smoke ring (from the spices) even though I sometimes just use the oven.IMG_6261-1

Before I get onto the recipe, you have to try mixing some thinly sliced potatoes with melted butter or olive oil and tossing them in a Montreal Steak Seasoning. For those not from Canada or not familiar with Montreal Steak Seasoning, it’s one of the most popular ways us Canadians season a steak because frankly, it’s simply delicious.

If you can’t find a Montreal Steak Seasoning, you can make your own blend and save it in a jar:

IMG_6259-1The original post for Montreal Steak Spice Potatoes appeared way back in the early days of my blog but it’s real simple: Slice about 1 large potato per person and toss in a bowl with olive oil (or melted butter) and seasoning. Wrap well in aluminum foil and place in your BBQ or gas grill over indirect heat for about 30-40 minutes.IMG_4011
Finally, back to the ribs. You can cook your ribs from start to finish either in your oven, on the grill (gas or charcoal) or a combination of both. Sometimes, if I have a busy day of prep and there’s no room on the grill for ribs to be on all day (or the lid is going to be opened & closed), I simply pre-cook the ribs in the oven on a baking tray with a rack, cover them with foil and cook for about 70-90 minutes, 375F oven.
Later in the day, you can simply throw your ribs on the grill (indirect heat) and warm through and apply your favourite BBQ sauce at the end. Speaking of BBQ sauce, a regular BBQ sauce works fine as a base (I use Diana’s brand). I simply mix the sauce with some garlic powder, splash of vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce and some Chipotle sauce for heat and smoky flavours.
You can also add some liquid smoke into the mix but I resist as my dry rub (the most important factor for flavour) contains hickory salt. The night before I am to cook my ribs, I sprinkle hickory (smoked) salt, garlic powder, black pepper, sweet paprika and dried thyme on both sides of the ribs.
I lay them on the rack and baking tray, cover with foil and place in the fridge overnight until they are ready for cooking. Here’s a simple ratio for my dry rub for ribs:IMG_3994-1
3 Tbsp. hickory salt
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1Tbsp. onion powder
1 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. dry thyme
You can mix a jar full of this blend for future use, I just included a mixture that’s good for one rack of ribs.
So, by this time – you’re ready to cook your ribs, you can pre-heat your oven to 375F or pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill to about the same internal temperature.IMG_4027-1
The ribs cook in the oven (covered with foil) for about 1 hr. and 15 minutes and then the foil comes off and the ribs are cooked for another 15 minutes, just enough time to give them that deep brown colour.
If using your gas or charcoal grill, cook the ribs over indirect heat for about 90 minutes and you should get that same “fall off the bone” end result.
Please note: it’s best you put a pan underneath the grill to catch any drippings. Pork ribs will render alot of fat.
Finally, have your favourite BBQ sauce mix handy and simply brush the sauce on at at very end. Your ribs should fall off the bone, the meat juicy and flaky and upon biting into a rib, you’ll even see the smoke ring that’s penetrated the meat!IMG_4847
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at  http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

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© 2009, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.

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59 Comments to “Hickory Pork Ribs”

  1. Heather says:

    Boiling ribs? That’s a sucka’s game. Yours look legit.

  2. Wow, those ribs are to die for! The dry rub sounds fabulous with hickory salt!

  3. nina says:

    I have trouble finding hickory salt around here, but will keep looking. The ribs really looks tender and fall of the bone!!! I am tempted to have a BBQ in the middle of winter. Thank God for an indoor BBQ!!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Τέλειο !!! Πω πω…υπέροχο φαίνεται, και τι δεν θα έδινα να είχα μια μερίδα τώρα !!!

  5. Lisa says:

    These look bone suckin good! Have Happy Canada day!

  6. Great tutorial. These look succulent and full of flavor. The photos want to make you dive right in.

  7. Katerina says:

    We certainly DO our love our ribs don’t we! I use this method too, although I usually add a bit of liquid to the aluminum foil pack in the oven. It is so easy this way!

  8. ELENA says:

    Peter I really believe ribs is your specialite. You cook them perfectly!!!

  9. Mila says:

    Peter, I could not agree more with your suggestions! I never saw the point of boiling them either!

  10. Natashya says:

    Yep, we are of the same rib and spud mind, Peter. Yay for the oven to grill method and yay for Montreal Steak Spice on spuds!
    Your ribs look fantastic, I especially love the dry ones.

  11. So Peter, if I cook them only in my oven, then its 1 hr. and 15 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered at 375??

    Otherwise, if you cook it in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, then you could just throw it on the grill for grill marks?

    Thanks for your help. My son has been asking me to make ribs all summer and I have no clue what to do! Thanks for posting the recipe!

  12. Those ribs look awesome…I agree “no boiling”

  13. Rosa says:

    Those ribs look so scrumptious and spicy! I love anything smokey…



  14. giz says:

    What a feast – for the eyes and the tummy. Have a Happy Canada Day – looks like we’ll be hard pressed to find events that are still on – back yard bbq sounds like a good plan to me.

  15. I am glad to find another person who doesn’t boil their ribs–I totally agree about the flavor, and its a mess to do.

  16. See those are really good tips now that BBQ season here has finally started! The ribs look gorgeous!

  17. grace says:

    sticky, succulent, fall-off-the-bone. even the hesitant bone-gnawer in me couldn’t resist these. :)

  18. Marta says:

    Hahaha this is what happens when you cook stuff you don’t eat: I don’t eat pork, but I make ribs quite often for the carnivorous men in the house… I always boiled them because I assumed they’d be more tender, but because I never tried them, I have no idea!
    I also didn’t know the trick about removing the skin in the back…. or the dry-rub overnight!
    Oh man, they’re going to be impressed with my newly-learnt technique!!! I’ll try this method this weekend (5-day long weekend, thank you very much!) and let you know how it turns out!

  19. The ribs look amazing. I’ve never done a good job with them – I’ll have to try your method.

  20. Karen says:

    They look absolutely delicious!

  21. Peter G says:

    Great tips for the perfect ribs! Interesting that you don’t boil them. And I like that you can cook these in the oven too!

  22. Lucy says:

    Simply mouthwatering ribs, Peter. I make mine very similar to yours and fall off the bone delish. My grill has a smoker box built right into it & I have fun using different woods for awesome flavors.

  23. ok,ok, peter. that is really food porn. even the pic of you pulling off the silver skin. ohhhh yeah baby. i love rib pics where you can actually see how moist (did i just use that word? oh no she di-int!)and sticky they are. ok, now i’m starting to sound like porn!

    these look awesome. also, love the spices picture.i’ve never even thought of boiling my ribs.

  24. pam says:

    Well, that’s that. I’m putting ribs on the grocery list. I was thinking of making burgers for the fourth, but ribs it is.

  25. Paula says:

    Oh man. Oh. Man. Oh man, oh man, oh man! These look terrific. I’ve boiled my in the past, but you’ve convinced me to give this way a try. That’s a great rub mixture you’ve got goin’ on there, and I’m lucky to get that Montreal Steak Seasoning, or as I call it, Montreal EVERYTHING Seasoning. Those potatoes … oh man. YUM!

  26. courtney says:

    Actually I cook minev very similar. Mouthwatering!

  27. Haley J. says:

    Unbelievable ribs!

    And isn’t Montreal Steak seasoning great? It’s one of my go to meat seasonings, especially when I’m feeling lazy. Good on roasted pork, grilled meat, sauteed chicken. Yum. But your dry rub with the hickory salt looks even better. Hickory salt….gotta love it.

  28. maria v says:

    i dont need to tell you that these look delicious, but a little hard to copy here in crete – ribs never get that bog here!

  29. meeta says:

    drool! can’t wait for the next bbq – gotta try this! why do you live so far away peter! i would have preferred if you made these for me!

  30. Janet says:

    Ok, now I know what’s on the menu for our 4th of July! Awesome, awesome tutorial Peter!

  31. A tried and true recipe for ribs Peter:D

  32. Ivy says:

    I take it that these are lamb ribs. They do look delicious.

  33. Kat says:

    Those look so fantastic! We cook our ribs in a similar method but add a little fruit juice in the foil for awhile (my Dad’s Memphis Ribs technique).

  34. FoodJunkie says:

    I was really looking forward to this recipe Peter! Thank you. I will use smoked paprika (pimenton) instead of hickory salt for that smoky flavour.

  35. MaryAthenes says:

    Molis efaga kai mou trehoun ta salia me ayta pou mas deihneis !

  36. elly says:

    Those are some gorgeous looking ribs, Peter, and I love the pic of the spices. Happy Canada Day!

  37. EAT! says:

    I used to be a rib boiler but found that the oven roasting is so much easier. And it results in a tastier rib too. I love all the montreal seasonings too!

  38. elra says:

    Amazing looking ribs, and thank you for the tip as well.

  39. Cynthia says:

    I am trying to resist licking my screen! Happy Canada Day!

  40. Hélène says:

    oh my god! It’s always a pleasure to visit your blog Peter. Gorgeous the Ribs.

  41. Foodycat says:

    I never knew about removing the silver skin! But I am glad that someone else agrees about the boiling them first – what a waste!

  42. Manggy says:

    OMGYUM! I can assure you that love of ribs is not exclusive to Canadians, hehehe :) Save me a seat on that table! Happy Canada day!

  43. these ribs look perfect for the 4th of july. we recently made some hoisin glazed ribs as well..love your dry rub recipe.

  44. Now, those are finger-licking good ribs, Peter!

  45. Kevin says:

    Those ribs look nice and tender and really tasty! I like the sound of those Montreal steak spice scalloped potatoes.

  46. always wanted to be able to grill the perfect ribs…thanks for sharing…i wanna try your tips soon…however after “baking” the ribs for a while in the oven (covered in foil), i am a bit confused by the term “grilling” it…does it mean grill it in the oven uncovered, or on stove top? (please excuse my ignorance T_T)

  47. Nate says:

    Great looking ribs! I’m with you on the no boiling – it’s a cheat way of making tender ribs but it totally takes all the flavor out of the meat. I like that you marinate your ribs overnight. I should do that, but seeing as I usually smoke 6+ slabs at a time, there isn’t enough room in the fridge.

    Interesting that you don’t put any sugar in your rub. Is that because you rely on the sweetness of the sauce?

  48. Kim says:

    Great ribs, Peter! I grew up learning to boil them before roasting, but know I skip that step. Savory looking potatoes to go with the ribs.

  49. CondoGarden says:

    Just a suggestion – when removing the silverskin from the ribs, I always had a hard time keeping a grip on it. Take a papertowel and use it to grip the silverskin. Makes it easier to remove.

  50. I was just scrolling through this your home page, and the sauce on those ribs stopped me in my tracks. Gorgeous.

  51. I am not that much of a meat eater. the potatoes look delicious though.

  52. A. C. Parker says:

    These look great! I love ribs. My dad was born and raised in the deep southern U.S., and occasionally we get FedEx to send us ribs from Tennessee. I’m a wet barbeque eater more than dry, but love both. Anyway, these really do look lovely, and now I’m interested in the Montreal Steak Seasoning, too…

    Thanks for the post!
    (Also, perusing the blog, found you are a friend of Maria V from Chania aka “Organically Cooked”. I adore her, and we correspond regularly.)


  53. Helen says:

    DROOL! Those ribs look amazing Peter! I’m going ot have to make some now. I don’t think beasts liek those will fit on my little BBQ though!

  54. Peter, just a question on the ribs; we’re having a BBQ this saturday but we will only be able to get the ribs on saturday morning. Will that still allow for the flavours to penetrate the meat enough?
    I think we will preheat in the oven and then finish on the barbecue, right? Sorry, if I’m asking dumb questions but I simply have never done any ribs on the bbq! I know, I know… ridiculous. So this is a great and very helpful post!

  55. [...] from Kalofagas had some pretty good instructions for making spareribs which we followed mostly. I never knew there was a silverskin on the ribs that had to be removed [...]

  56. petey pete, my lil’ gweilo…i tried making my own ribs, following (most of) your tips ^_^ but i am sure i must have done lots of things wrong.

    what did i do wrong T_T sob sob
    i will try to do much better next time

  57. [...] however, that I had bookmarked months now because I could very well emulate in my home oven, his hickory pork ribs, but I couldn’t be bothered to order them at the butcher’s. You see spare ribs are not [...]

  58. [...] allow to spend time with your guests, rather than off and away cooking for them. I served up  a packette of BBQ potatoes and some grilled corn, nothing too [...]

  59. [...] ή αποκλειστικά στο μπάρμπεκιου ή να ακολουθήσετε την original συνταγή του Peter ή kalofagas.ca που συνδυάζει φούρνο και BBQ. Ο καλός [...]

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