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What’s for Dinner? High-Rise BBQ Pork Spareribs

By Caitlin Klein in Food on Jan 25, 2011 8:00PM

It’s a real shame that it is so difficult to make your own ribs in the city. We’re pretty sure your landlord is not crazy about the idea of a big barbecue smoker on your rickety wooden porch. Your condominium association might have an objection to you precariously balancing a huge smoker on your 25th story 3x3 cement porch. Nor do we think it good form to funnel woodsmoke into your neighbor’s bedroom window. These challenges aside, you can make what we call “high-rise style” barbecue ribs right at home. (Barbecue smoker purists, turn away!)

What You’ll Need:
1. An oven.
2. A grill.*
3. A slab of ribs (read about the differences between spareribs and baby back ribs here).
4. 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
5. Spices or rib rub.
6. Barbecue sauce of your choice. (Anybody have a favorite?)

*If you don’t have a grill, we recommend connecting with someone who does. In Chicago, much like making friends with someone who has a boat, chumming up with a grill owner is a good exercise in social skills and can come in very handy. (Ed. Note: I have a grill. Caitlin can cook these at my house anytime. AT)

Day 1
Preheat the oven to 250. While your oven is pre-heating, brush the ribs with oil and coat generously with your spices or rib rub. Place the ribs on an oven-safe baking sheet or pan, meaty side up. For ribs that slide right off the bone, wrap the slab in aluminum foil - the moisture from the cooking ribs will, in essence, steam the ribs. If you like ribs that you have to pull away with your teeth, you can skip the foil.

Put your ribs in the oven for about 3 hours, or until the meat begins to shrink away from the bones and is easily pierced with a fork. Remove and immediately slather with your favorite barbecue sauce. Allow the pan to cool, then wrap with plastic wrap and set in the fridge overnight.

Day 2
Preheat your grill. Whether it is gas or charcoal, the essential thing is that the heat is low. If you have a thermometer on your grill, we’re looking for 275-300 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap off your ribs and grill for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour. To determine whether your ribs are done, try the bone-twisting test; if you grip a rib and twist, it should have a little give. If the rib doesn’t move at all, keep grilling. If the rib falls out without any resistance, take those ribs off the grill because they’re probably overcooked! But if the rib twists slightly, but holds, it’s the perfect time to eat.

Enjoy these high-rise city ribs with extra BBQ sauce on the side.