Everyone loves BBQ pork ribs. DSCN1573 - Version 2

Well, I DO, and I reckon you probably do too, since you’re reading this, so we can dispense with the pleasantries and get down to business.

Great, or even good, BBQ ribs are hard to find unless you make them yourself. Yeah, I know, someone you know, or some restaurant near you makes ribs that fall of the bone, and are slathered in the best sweet bbq sauce you ever tasted.

Nope. Unless you live in Memphis, you probably haven’t had them done correctly, or, if you haven’t had mine, or my buddy, James Coplin’s, that is. I’m gonna tell you why most ribs you get in restaurants suck. You can keep liking them if you want, but I challenge you to finish reading this article then go out and make your own, with this recipe, and then come back and tell me that Jimmy-Bo-Bob’s bbq Shack makes’em better.

So what’s wrong with the ribs you get at Bo-Bob’s in the strip mall down next to Mordor-mart (Walmart)?

First off, you can’t get real BBQ from a strip mall, because anyone who knows anything about making BBQ would never put their restaurant in a strip mall. Where are you going to do the smokin’? Inside? In the parking lot? Not usually allowed. Indoor smokers are ok, but they’re not going to do the job as well as an old style smoker out back of the BBQ shack under a shade tree with ‘skeeters flyin’ around. No, what you get in the strip mall, is bbq (in lower case letters). They are cheating, in one way or another, on the process. Trust me, I have yet to find real BBQ in such a place. On the other hand, it’s hard to find good ribs ANYWHERE these days. Why?

Because people are in too much of a hurry, and they want what they want, RIGHT NOW.

BBQ doesn’t happen right now. It happens 7 hours from now, or 12 hours from now, or tomorrow, but never right now. If you’re in a hurry, and expect the restaurant to serve up real BBQ to you, when ever you want it, 24/7, you’re never, repeat, NEVER going to get real BBQ.

However, you can find crappy bbq any fuckin’ time of the day. They will over charge you for it, Sunday through Saturday, and serve it up to you in a couple of minutes tops. And it will suck ass, because BBQ cannot be rushed. In fact, by definition, BBQ takes a lot of time, because in order to do it correctly, you have to cook that meat on a low temperature, for a long time: hours, sometimes 24 hours for some cuts. Luckily, ribs don’t take 24 hours, unless you want rib jerky that is. They’re usually ready in about 5 to 7 hours.

The reason strip mall bbq joints are in such a hurry, is because their customers are impatient little orcses, and they are trying to keep up with the demand from these rapacious monsters. Serving the customer’s every whim might–and I emphasize ‘might’–be a laudable goal, but an impossible one, if you want to serve them something worth eating.

BBQ should go to the bold, the early, and the patient. Those who think they can get out of bed at noon, take a shower, put on makeup and find real BBQ are always going to be disappointed—unless they’ve never had real BBQ. Those who are in a hurry, will be shit out of luck too.

In order to serve these two groups, the lazy and the busy, bbq joints try to speed up the process, so they can always have bbq on hand. The main way they do it, is to steam it. There are several ways to add steam to the process, which will break down the collagen in the meat so that it will ‘fall off the bone,’ but at the same time it will leach out fat—since fat and water don’t mix—and therefore, all the real flavor!

In order to cover up for the lack of flavor, bbq joints usually bathe their ribs in some crappy-assed sauce they either bought from a corporate supplier, or threw together in the back kitchen. I’ve had so few bbq sauces that were worth a damn. Most of them exist to cover up the lack of patience in the cooking process, and the fact that the meat was steamed into oblivion. Usually the sauce was made with the same lack of patience, and sucks worse than the meat it’s supposed to mask.

I know most people judge great ribs by the ‘fall off the bone’ matrix. Wrong. This is unfortunate, and something the bbq industry has promoted, because the only way to get them to do that—or the fastest way—is to add steam to them. Real BBQ ribs do NOT fall off the bone. They are tender, juicy, flavorful (lots of fat), but they do not FALL off the bone. You have to actually BITE THEM, with your teeth.

What’s the deal with wanting them to fall off the bone anyway? Where did that idea come from?

Is it an old folks’ home thing?

Did Bubba boil some ribs at The Shady Acres Retirement Home for the Toothless one day, eons ago, and all the Pepsodent Pride Ladies fell in love with him, or somethin’? If you don’t have to bite into them, they ain’t BBQ ribs, they’re bbq ribs. Just put them in a blender and drink’em with a straw already. Throw in some of that sugary, crappy bbq sauce too.

Ok, down off my soap box—I’m sure I’ll get back up there again, so don’t get all comfortable or anything.

Real BBQ ribs should be ‘toothy’, as my friend, James, says. They should not be tough, and should pull off the bone without too much effort, but you should have to actually bite into them and pull them off with your teeth. And they should never be so wet with sauce that you need a spoon. We’re not making Shady Acres bbq rib SOUP!

Eating ribs should be barbaric. You don’t eat them with a FORK either! You eat ribs with your FINGERS PEOPLE! Pick’em up, get all messy—not too messy, because they aren’t swimming in sauce—and bite down. If you’re worried about impressing some girl, or boy on your first date, go out for milkshakes or something, not ribs. I really do spend a lot of time on that soap box, don’t I?

Personally, I don’t like much sauce at all on any of my BBQ. A little goes a long way, as long as it’s great sauce and great BBQ. You will discover this, once you try this recipe. So let’s get on with the recipe, why don’t we. Otherwise, I’ll never finish bitchin’ about ribs—I can do it for days—and we’ll all miss the 4th of July, which should never happen. There’s too much BBQ to eat!

On to Part 2, How to Make BBQ Ribs: the Practice

Steve Bivans is a FearLess Life & Self-Publishing Coach, the author of the Amazon #1 Best Seller, The End of Fear Itself, and the epic-length, self-help, sustainability tome, Be a Hobbit, Save the Earth: the Guide to Sustainable Shire Living, If you want to learn how write and self-publish a book to best-seller status, crush your limitations and Fears, and disrupt the status quo, contact Steve for a free consultation to see how he can help you change the world! CONTACT STEVE