Tender, juicy ribs on the grill or barbeque pit is everyone's
desire. Juicy ribs are attainable and you can do these, but, it
takes a little practice.
First of all let's answer the question "what makes ribs
juicy?". Simple answer, "Water". No, juiciness
is not all from marinades. Marinades will help, but that's not the
total solution. Marinades are used mostly to tenderize and flavor
ribs most folks (like me) buy them from the local grocer and there's
not a lot of meat on them. Since most frequently that is the case,
we'll concentrate on those less meaty ones.
Pork spare ribs are the common purchase and these will most
likely need tenderizing. Baby back ribs are easier to tenderize and
the following method can be used but steaming time will be a bit shorter.
Click here to
see where the pork rib comes from.
Let's get to the "Meat" of the subject. Beef and pork
can be flavored in various ways, and this article will not address
that point. Juiciness is what we're going after here. And, you
should understand that when ribs are cooked perfectly the rib
tissue that keeps the meat on the bone should still be connected but
not holding tight, and, not falling easily away. The end result
should be a rib that is cut easily, stays on the bone for handling
and pulls away easily with the teeth.
Introduction of moisture, that's the objective, and we have a
You could boil the ribs before putting them on the pit but this
releases precious natural meat juices into the water that can't be
recovered. So boiling is an option but not the recommended option.
Steaming the ribs is the better option, and, steaming at the end
of cooking is when you want to do this... now let's get to it. Keep
in mind that if you're doing beef and pork ribs one may be done
before the other.
The simple 10 step process:
Get a pan large enough to hold the ribs and some foil to cover
Marinade and season the ribs as you normally would.
2. Brown the ribs well on both
sides over the fire.
3. Coat the ribs with your
4. Move the ribs off and away
from the fire and let the sauce cook onto the meat well (about 15
5. Sauce the meat once more and
repeat step 4.
6. Put the ribs in the pan and
add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.
7. Cover the pan with the foil
slightly crimping to hold in the steam.
8. Steam over a low fire (you
can do this in the oven at about 275ºF also).
9. Start checking the doneness
after about 30 - 40 minutes. Check the water after about 15 minutes
and be sure there is always water in the pan.
10. When done, remove from the
heat, leave covered, and, let sit for about 10 minutes before
The end result is a nicely browned rib, full of flavor and really
juicy. You may notice a nice sauce at the bottom of the pan. You can
brush the ribs with it after they're cut.
If the pork ribs are done before the beef ribs (or vice-versa)
remove them from the steam pan and lightly wrap them in foil, then
continue to cook the others..
If you want smoke flavor you'll have to do that at the beginning.
Once the ribs are covered in the pan the smoke won't get to the
Click here for more info on barbecue in