Ribs on the Propane Grill: Please Don't Call Them Barbecue

Categories: How To

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True barbecue requires smoke, and I'm not buying a smoker. Great ribs need time, and low heat. So to make succulent ribs on a propane grill, I had to make a few cheats, but in this case, cheaters do win.

The first thing I did was apply a rub. There's any number of barbecue spice rubs on the market, but I found a superior Texas-tasting rub, Brooks Family BBQ's All Purpose Seasoning, at Central Market. I talked to Marlon Brooks, and he said it will soon be at Kroger.

I covered the rack of spare ribs with the spice, black pepper, and Morton Sea Salt--enough to create a light crust--and let them marinate for two hours.

After pre-heating the grill for 10 minutes, I cooked the ribs on high temperature for two minutes, flipped the ribs over, and seared the other side for two minutes. Now came the tricky part, to get the proper low temperature without burning the ribs. I turned one burner to low, and the other burner off.

Now, the bottom of the left half of the ribs was over direct heat, the right half over indirect heat. After 15 minutes, I flipped the ribs end-over-end, so the top right half was over the direct flame. It gets confusing, so let me just say that I turned and flipped them twice more so that each half of the top, and each half of the bottom, was cooked 15 minutes over the direct heat side of the grill, for a total of 60 minutes.

The ribs are worthy at this point, but I prefer to add a little sauce for that "barbecue" flavor. I've compared several sauces: Cattlemen's, Sweet Baby Ray's, Bull's-Eye, Stubb's, and Head Country. The Stubb's provided a compatible tang if applied lightly, but the real winner was Head Country, which gave a rich smoky flavor and a little spice, without being sweet.

I turned on the other burner, to low heat, applied the sauce, let it cook a few minutes, flipped the ribs and did the same on the bottom side. I rested the meat 10 minutes before cutting between the bones. The family snapped up the ribs so quickly I couldn't take a picture until they were almost gone.



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3 comments
propane grill
propane grill

yes, I agree with you barbecue requires smoke, but the propane grill is smoke free. I like this ribs cooking idea. Great great cooking idea. Will be try it at home.

John Seaborn Gray
John Seaborn Gray

The best not-homemade bbq sauces I've found are both HEB brands - the Texas variety and the Carolina variety. Someone in HEB's sauce department really knows his or her shit.

Hugh Ramsey
Hugh Ramsey

Works even better with a smokebox.  Soak some wood chips in water and sit them in the box on one side of the grill

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