Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter Ribs on the Weber

This weekend is my son Jack’s 2nd birthday, which this year, happens to coincide with my cousin’s wedding. So this weekend we’ll be heading north for a short drive to Nebraska. We’ll take in the wedding on Saturday and have a birthday dinner and some cake on Super Bowl Sunday with Jack’s Nana and Papa along with my brother and sisters and their collective families.

In preparation for this fine family feast I decided to burn some ribs. Only one problem…it will take at least 6 racks of spares to feed everyone and my big cooker is up at my Dad’s shop getting some off season work done (we’ll be pulling it back home on Sunday). My only means of cooking these ribs will be on my standard Weber grill. And I decided early on that I am NOT doing this twice. It will be all 6 racks at once or we’ll just settle for something else.

I never use those vertical rib racks…unless I’m squeezing 6 racks of spares into a space that should hold about 2. But I knew I had a few of things around somewhere…

Now I find that my wife doesn’t complain (as much) about all of my BBQ stuff if I keep it spread out. Kind of like a kid who tries to make it seem like he has eaten more off of his dinner plate by knocking down that pile of peas and hiding some of those carrots under a mangled piece of pot roast. So I have a stash of stuff in the garage, another in the basement and some stuff under the deck in the back yard…oh and some other stuff in the shed out back. The true beauty of my plan is that you can’t see one pile of stuff from any other pile. So when she asks, I just tell her “Oh yeah…that’s the stuff from the garage. I brought it out back yesterday.” It all looks the same to her.

Back to the subject at hand: rib racks. I checked the garage and couldn’t find them there. Out back in the shed? Nope. In the basement? Bingo!

Now I’m ready to cook. I trimmed the spares down just a little and seasoned them with some of The Slabs "Perk Up Your Pork" rub. It was about 15 degrees out and snowing (albeit lightly) when I started cooking on Tuesday morning. But I knew the Weber would hold the heat fine. I threw one chunk of hickory and one cherry on the coals and dropped the lid. It took a little negotiating to get the lid on tight with the ribs sticking up, but it all worked out.

With such a big load I knew it would take a little longer than usual to get everything done so I planned for 4 hours before I would wrap them in foil. The Weber cruised between 250 and 300 the whole time. I wasn’t too concerned about the temp swings or the fire getting too hot. I never really worry about that when I cook at home. About 2 hours in, I flipped the ribs over and rotated their positions in the rack to make sure they cooked as evenly as they could.

A couple hours later I wrapped them in foil and stacked them up in a pan to. They turned out pretty good. Since we aren’t eating them until Sunday, I vacuum sealed them and put them in the freezer and I’ll reheat them in Mom’s oven. I made some mac & cheese and a roasted red potato salad with smoked bacon for sides. It should be a good Super Bowl meal…except we’ll be on the road back home by kick-off.

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