I’ve been using my 22″ Weber kettle grill a lot lately… experimenting with chicken thighs, getting ready for the Viejas BBQ competition. Cooking on that grill brings back memories of what it was like before I purchased a dedicated smoker and how I used to make pretty good BBQ ribs on just that one simple piece of equipment. Not everyone has a smoker, but most folks have a kettle-style charcoal grill of some sort. So in honor of Labor Day, here is a little something for you to try.
The main thing to remember here is to have all of your coals on one side of the kettle. You don’t even need that many briquettes, just one charcoal chimney full is about all. I only had one rack of ribs, but you can easily do up to four on your kettle if you use a “rib rack” … not to be confused with a “rack of ribs.” A rib rack will hold your ribs vertically on your grill or smoker to maximize the horizontal space.
How to BBQ Ribs
The steps are easy the results are sublime.
- Step 1 – Prepare your ribs by removing the membrane on the inner side of the rack of ribs. You can trim them up Kansas City or St. Louis style if you wish…. or you can do like I did and just take off the flap of meat on the membrane-side of the rack.
- Step 2 – Coat your ribs with a generous amount of your favorite BBQ rub on all sides.
Steps 1 & 2 can be done a day ahead of time. Be sure to refrigerate your meat and make sure that it is stored in such a way that it doesn’t come into contact with any other food.
- Step 3 – Remove the top grate from your grill. Light one charcoal chimney starter full of coals. After the coals have ashed over, pour them onto one side of the grill. It is very important to have them all the way to one side of the grill. It is also important to be extremely careful here because those coal are very hot.
- Step 4 – Add a couple of chunks of hickory over the coals, replace the top grate, cover your grill and close the vents. Wait about 15 minutes.
- Step 5 – Add your ribs to the top grate of your grill opposite the hot coals. Cover the grill and wait four to five hours depending your heat. Try to keep your grill temperature between 325Âº and 350Âº F. It’s o.k. if you run a little hot, just check on your ribs periodically and make sure that they aren’t getting too toasty. If you are running a little cool, open up the vents a little and let some air in.
- Step 6 – Pop open a cold one and put your feet up.
- Step 7 – You may wish to glaze your ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce about a half an hour before removing them from the grill.
- Step 9 – Remove your ribs from your grill and let them rest for 10 to 15 minutes. A sheet pan works really good for this. Cut up the rack of ribs, serve and enjoy.