Ribs, Rubs and Recipes
What better way is there to kick off grill season than by making your own smoked ribs? Few things in life compare to the taste of juicy, tender ribs that have been slow-cooked and smoked for several hours. When most people think of ribs, they think of pork, but venison ribs are also delicious. They're a great way to put to use the game you've been preserving with your GameSaver® Food Preservation System since last season. Your game will be just as fresh as the day you sealed it, ready to be cooked into delicious smoked ribs.
Read on to learn how to make perfect smoked ribs.
Cutting the Meat
The quality of your cooked ribs depends in part on how you cut the meat. When removing the skin, be careful to keep as much meat intact as possible, which will give you juicier, tastier ribs. You might be tempted to remove more to get a cleaner cut, but without a thick layer the ribs will be drier. Once you've removed the skin, cut the meat into sections of 4-5 ribs.
Here's the Rub
A dry rub is integral to giving your ribs tons of flavor, which will only be enhanced by the smoking process. Here's a basic rub to get you started:
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder.
Simply combine all ingredients together in a bowl, and rub onto the ribs before cooking. To infuse even more flavor into the ribs, you can coat the meat with the rub and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Bonus Rub Recipe:
Here's another great rub recipe to try out.
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 dried chipotle peppers
- Pinch of salt.
Time to Cook
Tossing the ribs on the grill just won't do - if you want that smoked flavor, there's a special method to follow. The key to smoky flavor is cooking the ribs on indirect heat, meaning that the ribs are not placed directly over hot coals. Instead, you trap heat and smoke in the grill which in turn cooks the meat.
Follow these directions to cook your venison ribs:
- Add coals to your grill, laying the coals so that they pile up toward one side of the grill.
- Wrap wood chips in aluminum foil and place them on the coals. Wood chips impart extra smokiness - choose a variety like cedar or hickory for a flavor boost. It's generally recommended that you soak the chips in water for up to an hour before grilling. Wrapping the chips in aluminum foil helps keep them from burning out too quickly.
- Light the coals. You want to maintain a cooking temperature of 275 degrees for the ideal smoky ribs.
- Place the ribs on the side of the grill that is not directly above the coals. Remember, the goal is to indirectly cook them.
- Shut the grill cover and cook the ribs for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Make sure to check on the progress of the ribs halfway through.
- Check for doneness, let cool a little, and enjoy!
There are no hard and fast rules for cooking ribs - the key is to tweak the smoking method until you come up with a process that cooks your ribs just the way you like them.