Is there a more manly meal than barbecued ribs? Cooked over a fire, you eat them with your hands, ripping meat from the bone with your teeth. They're a summer standard but, of course, to get really good ribs, you need a heavy-duty smoker and about ten hours. Or so we thought until a Southern-born chef told us his secret at-home method of starting them in the oven with a dry rub, then finishing them on the grill with some sauce. The result is fall-off-the-bone tender ribs in just over two hours. Another benefit? It's a fool-proof technique that comes in handy when you've got a boisterous backyard full of people and you've maybe had one too many beers. And apparently, it's not so secret. Bon Appetit's handsome new "The Grilling Book" offers a simple recipe, which we've adapted below.
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs dry mustard
Pinch of kosher salt
4 lb baby back pork ribs
Your favorite barbecue sauce
Preheat oven to 325°. Combine spices and season each rack of ribs with the rub and wrap with a double layer of foil.
Bake for 2 hours, remove and then carefully unwrap foil, reserving any juices. Let cool.
Mix 1 1/2 cups of barbecue sauce with the reserved meat juices and heat grill to medium-hot.
Grill ribs with the lid up, basting with sauce and turning every minute or so for 10 to 12 minutes, until the meat has a nice lacquer of caramelized sauce. Some charring is expected and welcome.
You don't have to barbecue everything on the plate. If you're grilling steak, maybe just steam the corn. It shouldn't all taste of smoke.