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VTM#7: 4th of July Long Weekend

Video by Joel Kuwahara

For anyone who’ll read this….have a safe 4th of July, because the USA is broke and cops are looking to bust some festive drunks for their next paycheck.   JK about the paycheck, but they are looking to round up a lot of happy people this year just to make payroll……..just kidding!  Just don’t drink and drive .

– MJ

Just Winging It BBQ Ribs

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Just Winging It Ribs

I call this stuff  “Winging It Ribs” because I just went with the flow and cooked like a guy with no formal cooking experience or the common sense to research helpful tips.  I made these Ribs over the weekend and prepped it the night before the actual BBQ.

The Meat Tenderizer
A bottle of Dr. Pepper

Before packing on the dry rub, I brushed the ribs with some Dr. Pepper to tenderize them a bit.  I remember seeing it being used on a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives episode where a cook used the soda to marinate his Tri-tip Steak. Initially, I was going to only use dry rub to coat the Ribs….but I decided to use the Dr. at the last moment.

The Dry Rub
1.5 cups of Brown Sugar
1 cup of Dehydrated Garlic Chips
1 cup of Dehydrated Chopped Onions

After mixing all of these ingredients together, using a tablespoon to distribute the rub, I spread the mix onto both sides of a each rack.  I then rubbed the mix into the meat with my bare hands and wrapped each one up like a burrito in tin foil.   Following that I stored them all in my fridge for overnight.

Farmer John’s Ribs From Smart and Final
2 packages of Pork Ribs (each package contained 2 racks.) – cost about 20 bucks each.
2 packages of Baby Back Ribs. (1 rack per package) – cost 10 bucks each

Four hours before BBQ time, I placed the larger racks of tin-foiled Pork Ribs into an oven that was preheated at 350º.  After one hour had passed, I placed the smaller Baby Bag Ribs into the oven and just let them  cook for 3 hours longer.

Winging It Sauce
1 cup of Jim Beam (or Jack Daniels)
1.5 cups of Brown Sugar
1 can of Tomato Sauce
1 whole bottle of a medium size A-1 Sauce
5 spoonfuls of Asian Hot Chili Oil

In a heated pot I got all the alcohol out of the Jim Beam by lighting it on fire like how Beavis and Butthead would.  I used a single match and survived with my eyebrows still intact.  I then added the Tomato Sauce, A-1, Chili Oil, and the 1.5 cups of Brown Sugar into the mix.  On medium high heat and while stirring, I let the sugar in the sauce start to boil up before I took it off the burner.   Unfortunately, I think I made the mistake of not condensing the sauce long enough because when it was time to grill, the sauce didn’t caramelize the way I wanted it to on the ribs.   I probably should have let the sauce simmer longer because it was  too watery.

On The Grill

On a hot (gas powered) grill, I placed the meatier side of each rack on top first just to burn off  any excess wet rub.  Since the Ribs were steaming in it’s own juices underneath the foil, the dry rub and fat drippings grouped up together by the bulk.  As that happened, I painted the bone side up of each rack with my special sauce, flipped them over and did the same on the other side   Through out the process, I would flip the ribs over a few times and add more sauce in order to get the right color.  However, like I mentioned up above, I didn’t get the exact channelization I wanted…..but the ribs still came out succulent and flavorful.

The Good: The ribs were tasty, sweet, and fall-off-the-bone tender.

The Bad: The sauce didn’t caramelize the way I wanted it to on the grill and the amount of Chili Oil I added didn’t give off any heat.  During the BBQ…the weather sucked.