People in Memphis take their barbecue seriously. I am not here to argue that "low and slow" (the mantra for grilling ribs in the South) is not the best, but the reality is I just don't have time to tend to the grill for hours on a busy weeknight.
By baking the ribs first in the oven, I have taken the guesswork out of making flavorful and tender ribs.
For a boost of flavor and moisture, I first slather my ribs with yellow mustard. For seasoning, I then apply a generous dose of barbecue dry rub seasoning. Wrapping them up tightly in foil seals in the juices that will make the ribs extra-moist and flavorful. Throw them in the oven and forget about them.
In an hour or so, they will be falling-off-the-bone tender.
To get that beloved smoky, charred flavor, I finish the ribs on a hot grill just before serving. It only takes about 5 minutes per side.
For sauce-based wet ribs, slather them with your favorite barbecue sauce before throwing them on the grill. For Memphis-style dry ribs, leave off the barbecue sauce, and add extra dry rub prior to grilling.
Jennifer Chandler is the author of "Simply Salads" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99) and "Simply Suppers: Easy Comfort Food Your Whole Family Will Love" (Thomas Nelson, $24.99). She is the national spokeswoman for French's Mustards and French's French Fried Onions. She lives in East Memphis with her husband and two daughters.
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup barbecue dry rub seasoning
2 slabs pork baby back ribs (about 3 to 4 lbs. total)
Vegetable oil, for the grates
1 1/3 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
Preheat an oven to 300 degrees.
Place each slab of ribs on a double layer of aluminum foil. Evenly slather both sides with the mustard. Generously season the ribs with the dry rub. Tightly wrap each slab of ribs in the foil and place on a baking sheet. Cook until meat pulls away from the bone and is easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 1 to 11/2 hours.
Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.
Carefully remove ribs from foil, pouring off any liquid. Brush the barbecue sauce generously on both sides of the ribs.
Place the ribs on the grill. Close the lid and cook the ribs until sauce begins to bubble and brown around the edges, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve ribs with extra sauce, if desired.
Source: Simply Grilling (Thomas Nelson, Spring 2012)