For many Americans Memorial Day Weekend is not only the unofficial kickoff of summer – it’s the kick-off of and BBQ season! Most grills have gone unused for months, so before using yours this season, you should consider giving it a thorough cleaning. Nick, our own "Barbeque Aficionado" details how he prepares his grill before every grilling season – and shares his Favorite Barbeque Rib Recipe.
To clean, you will need either a pressure washer, a bucket and rag, or a spray cleaner like JAWS Kitchen Cleaner that cuts grease and dirt.
First, pull out all the components of gas and charcoal grills including grates, fire box, heat plates, drip tray and any other removable piece that need cleaning. Remove the propane tank from the grill and wipe it clean. Take notice if there are any parts that need to be replaced. To clean, lay all the parts out and rinse with a power washer or hose. I apply JAWS Kitchen Cleaner and allow the cleaner to sit for several minutes. Then I spray the parts again with JAWS Kitchen Cleaner again and use a heavy duty brush to knock off any residual dirt or grease. Then I rinse the parts and allow them to dry in the sun.
Next, move on to the barbeque grill and start cleaning the inside by and rinsing it with the power washer or hose. I spray JAWS Kitchen Cleaner on the inside and allow to sit for a few minutes before I use a brush to knock all the loose dirt and residual grease free. Then rinse the grill out.
Once it dries, replace all the parts and turn the heat on high for 15 -20 minutes to burn any residual grease and oils off. Some people may think this cooks the seasoned flavor off, but I found that too much buildup can cause a bad taste if it burns off when grilling. Once you no longer see any smoke form greases burning off, you should be ready to grill!
If you have a charcoal grill this will take longer because you have to heat the coals up and allow the grill to reach 400 degrees. A normal size charcoal load should do the trick on the leftover greases and oils. This process is extremely important because a large buildup of leftover greases can ruin a sensitive piece of meat. I normally allow my grill to burn everything off before I put any smoking wood on the grill. This will ensure your meat only gets flavored from the wood and drippings while cooking.
Nick's favorite barbeque rib recipe!
- 1 slab of Baby Back Ribs (At least 3 pounds but bigger is better)
- Aluminum foil
- Brown Sugar
- The BBQ Rub at Killer Hogs (Or any rub you like)
- A.P Seasoning by Killer Hogs (Or any rub you like)
- Sticky Fingers Carolina Sweet BBQ Sauce (Or any sauce you like)
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Pecan Wood (Or whatever smoking wood you like)
First, pull the membrane off of the rack of ribs. There are dozens of videos on YouTube showing how to do this. Next, apply yellow mustard on your ribs to act as a binder. Put on your A.P (All Purpose) seasoning and then apply your BBQ rub. Don’t be shy with the BBQ rub but I would be careful with the A.P because it can get too salty. Repeat this on both sides of the ribs and then set the ribs aside.
If you have a charcoal grill, get your charcoal going and heat your grill /smoker to 275 - 300 degrees, but not over 300. Clean your grates and make sure all the grease and oils and been burned off. Next, put in your smoking wood and allow it to sit for a few minutes until you get a nice steady smoke coming out of the grill. Make sure to space the wood out so it doesn’t catch fire all at once. Put some wood in the spots where the charcoal is not hot yet. If you can’t do this because your grill doesn't allow for it, then you will may to add more wood in the process.
Place the unwrapped ribs on the grill rack on indirect heat. I use a komodo style grill that uses a heat deflector, but you should adjust for your grill/smoker.
Allow the ribs to sit in the smoke for 2 hours without opening the lid. After 2 hours open the grill and wipe the ribs with your finger. If the rub comes off too easily, you will need to keep them unwrapped and in the smoke for a little longer. If the rub mostly stays on, then it is time to wrap them in the foil.
Lay down two layers of foil and add an ounce of vinegar, a handful of brown sugar, a ¼ stick of butter and drizzle with honey. Place the rack with the MEAT SIDE DOWN on the foil. Repeat the same steps with the vinegar, brown sugar, butter and honey on the backside of the rib. Wrap the ribs tightly in the foil, and place them with the meat side down on the grill/smoker for 1 hour. (Note: Fat will render off the ribs while cooking; adding additional liquid of any kind during the wrapping process is unnecessary.
After 1 hour, check the internal temperature from the middle of the rack of ribs. Use a temperature probe, to check the internal temperature. Once it hits 200 degrees, it is ready to come off the barbeque. If it is below 200 degrees, you may need to keep the ribs in the wrap longer. (if you don’t have a temperature probe, check to see if the meet has pulled back from the bone, and the bone is visible on the edges of the ribs)
Once it hits 200 degrees, pull the ribs off the grill and allow them to sit for 20 minutes, with the foil loosely open to allow heat to escape. Then pull the ribs out of the foil and place them back on the grill. Mop the sauce on the ribs and allow to sit for another 20 minutes. (Make sure the sauce is room temperature, but preferably warm). You can allow this to sit longer or shorter if you choose.
Your ribs are ready but let them sit for a few minutes before slicing. Make sure to slice with the bone so you can get perfect pieces for eating. Enjoy!