One of our favorite cuts of pork for the grill are the Baby Back Ribs! Falling off the bone, super tender, amazingly delicious! It is really easy, though it takes a good part of the day! Technically these ribs are baked and finished on the grill.
Customers ask what is the difference between spare ribs and baby back ribs?
The baby back ribs are removed from the animals rib cage. This is the same area where we get our pork chops. The baby back rib is pretty much what is left over as the pork loin meat (chops) is removed, that is why this cut of rib is so much leaner.
The spare ribs are taken from the belly area of the animal and are meatier and fattier. This is the same area that bacon is cut from. St. Louis style ribs refers to a butcher’s cut of the ribs, they remove the bone-tips so that the rib rack is more square and cooks more evenly. These ribs are a little tougher and take longer to grill.
Both types of ribs are fantastic!
Baby Back Ribs
You can brine the ribs like we did out pork chops below, dry with a paper towel, rub with an oil and generously season both sides of the ribs. Just remember to remove the membrane! Then you can grill them over low heat until the temperature registers 140º, about 1 hour.
The first step in making fall-off-the-bones ribs, is to remove the silver-skin membrane off the back of the rack of ribs. To do this, remove your ribs from package, lay on cutting board meat side down. Slide you finger under the silver-skin on one end of the ribs, using a paper towel for a good grip, pull it off and toss. Repeat with any remaining silver skin.
Heat the oven to 225º.
Rub a little bit of canola oil on both sides and season generously, on both sides. We like Pontiac Trail Pig Powder, the combination of sweet and hot makes this the perfect rub for ribs! But of course you can use any Milford Spice blend you wish! Season the ribs generously, about 1 tablespoon per side.
Take two long (18”) pieces of foil and fold together at one seam to create one large square of foil. Place the rack of ribs in the middle and fold the top and sides to create a sealed pouch. Repeat for each rack of ribs you are cooking.
Place the “pouch” on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 5-7 hours, depending on how much you want the ribs to "fall-off-the-bone". Once baked, remove the ribs from foil and if desired add a bbq sauce. We like both sauced and dry ribs.
Now you can either eat them as they are, or, place them on a hot grill to finish off. That is totally a personal preference! Some people love the ribs right out of the oven and some people will add their favorite BBQ sauce and finish on the grill. Should you choose to finish on grill, which we recommend, you need to be very careful handling the racks as they are soo tender! We love the texture that adding a "char" from the grill gives the ribs. Yummy, does not do this justice!
St. Louis Style Ribs (Spare Ribs)
The first thing we want to do is to remove the silver skin. Will will help the ribs cook more evenly and also make them more tender. The cooked silver skin is very chewy!
Rub a little canola oil on the rib and season on both sides liberally with Pontiac Trail Pig Powder! Wrap in foil and let sit in fridge for 4-6 hours, if you have the time, if not lets grill!
For this type of rib we are using an indirect grilling method. This means that we have one burner (either side) on high, and depending on your grill, the second burner on low and the third burner off. We also want to place a disposable aluminum pan with water over the burner set on high. This will help regulate the temperature and keep the meat moist.
The goal is to keep the grill temp (lid closed) at right around 300º. The ribs will take about 2-3 hours to grill. A good way to get and idea of how close to done the ribs are is to look at the rib bone. When the meat has shrunk about 1/2” from the edge of bone you can bet you are just about done! Always use a thermometer to double check!
We also love to grill a Pork Tip Roast. This too is a very lean pice of meat and if done properly, really moist and and flavorful.
You will want to butterfly this cut which really just means to open it up.
And then use a meat mallet to pound it to an even thickness. Place in a large ziplock bag and then add a couple of tablespoon canola oil and 2 heaping tablespoons Pontiac Trail Pig Powder and massage into meat.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours up to overnight. Heat grill to medium high and grill for 10 per side. It needs to temp at 140º, rest it 10 minutes before slicing.
Pork chops are another grill favorite! Thin cuts of pork, or any other protein, is super easy to overcook. We recommend that you purchase thick center cut chops, minimum 1 1/2 inches thick. We like to brine them in a simple solution of 1 quart cold water, 1/3 cup salt, 1/3 cup sugar (white or brown). Let them sit on the counter in the brine for about an hour or two (longer than that keep them in the fridge). Brining the pork will help the chops retain more moisture and results in a juicier product. Dry them off with a paper towel and rub each chop with a little oil and a generous teaspoon of your favorite MSC spice mix. For this example we used Big Easy Bourbon Molasses Rub, this adds a sweet heat that is so good! We also grilled some white peaches, cut in half, pit removed, cut side dipped in Big Easy Bourbon Molasses Rub and grilled alongside the chops. Grilled fruit is a fantastic savory accompaniment to pork.
Preheat your grill with one burner at medium-high and the second burner on low. Start the chops grilling on the medium-high side for about 4 minutes per side, or until you have nice grill marks. Move to cooler side of grill and continue to cook until your instant read thermometer reads 140º, about 7 minutes per side. The chops will continue to cook to 145º while resting.
As with the majority of proteins, let is rest 5-7 minutes before cutting into. Otherwise, all the lovely juices will be all over cutting board instead of pork chop!
Suggested Milford Spice Company Grilling Rubs & Spices for Pork: