This essential first step will ensure a fall of the bone masterpiece at the end of the day. Don’t cut corners in this step. As long as you follow the steps to the letter, it will pay off in the long run. You should start by removing the very thin membrane from the back of the ribs. Do this by slicing into the membrane with a sharp knife and pulling it off of the rib meat. To tenderize baby back ribs, next you should combine kosher salt with black and red peppers and set it aside—eventually, it will add flavor, infusing the ribs with additional savory qualities.

Photo: Jennifer Davick

No matter what you're cooking or what kind of grill you're using, handling food safely is crucial. Here are our tips.

Safety Tips:

  • Store raw meat in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill it.
  • Trim excess fat from meat to avoid flare-ups.
  • Make sure your grill is hot before placing meat on it. Allow about 10 minutes for a gas grill to heat up and about 30 to 40 minutes if you are using charcoal briquets.
  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure that the meat has reached a safe internal temperature. Color and feel are not accurate ways to check doneness. Make sure the thermometer isn't touching any bone, as this could give a false reading.
  • Plates, bowls, or utensils that touch raw meat should not be used once meat is cooked. Use clean plates and utensils for serving.
  • Boil leftover marinade that touched raw meat (including for basting) for at least one minute before reusing.
  • Never use cooking sprays around a lit grill.
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly.

How Hot Should It Be?
Confusion over the proper meat temperatures can be the pits when you're barbecuing. Here's a quick reference for the proper temperature any cut of meat should reach--whether cooked in the oven or on a grill--before you safely serve it to friends and family.

  • Beef: 145°
  • Chicken: 180°
  • Lamb: 150°
  • Pork: 160°
  • Turkey breast: 170°
  • Whole turkey: 180°

 

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