You know that ribs are good—actually better than good, they are outstanding. The problem with ribs, though, is that they take time, too much time. I know guys who stand over their ribs for hours, basting and turning to get them just perfect, only to have a brother-in-law or neighbor come over right at the very moment you sit down to enjoy your labors and polish off an undesignated portion, leaving less for you.
From the moment you put those delectable slabs of meat on the grill, all slathered with your favorite secret barbecue concoction, the whole neighborhood is alerted by the wafts of drool-inducing smoke that oozes over their fences. You can’t win. Being the kind and generous soul that you are, you know that there is no getting around having to share your ribs with some unworthy opportunist with a gluttonous appetite who just happens to come by right as you are sitting down for dinner. There is a solution.
While it is true that you cannot mask the wonderful aroma that exudes from the ribs as they cook, there is a way to cut back on your labors so as to make the whole sharing ordeal a lot less traumatic. Instead of standing for hours basting your ribs over a hot grill, try my little trick for easy and delectable ribs. The first thing I do is cut the ribs into 1- to 2-inch strips and then cut between the bones, making little individual riblets. You then take the little riblets and throw them in either an electric skillet or large roasting pan, depending on the amount of ribs you are fixing. Then pour your secret sauce liberally over and under the ribs, mixing thoroughly. Place the lid on the skillet or roasting pan a little askew to let the excess moisture evaporate. Cook at a very low temperature. You want to cook them as slowly as you can. Once the barbecue sauce has thickened into a reddish black bubbly goo and the ribs are melt-in-your-mouth tender, they are done. It may take about 2½ to 3 hours or more. It still takes time, but you can be watching the game or something instead of standing over the grill; the smell will still alert the neighbors, but you could try closing all doors and windows to trap the smell. If that doesn’t do the trick, turn off all the lights and pretend you’re not home. It works for me.