Every Southerner should master the art of fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth ribs; it’s a tell-tale sign of a true Southern cook. Lucky for all of the rib-cooking rookies out there, we have a simple guide for getting amazingly tender ribs without having to be a certified pitmaster. Two great things to know before diving in: don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, and don’t be shy with the rub. This streamline recipe uses a gas grill and basic dry rub to achieve the perfect barbecued ribs, as The South's Best Butts author Matt Moore recommends.
For the dry rub, start with your basics–but you can change it up to fit your tastes. First, you'll need to pull off the inner membrane of the ribs. Matt recommends using a paper towel, which allows you to grip the membrane and remove it cleanly from the back of the meat. Our pitmaster stresses the importance of letting your ribs tenderize with the dry rub on them for at least eight hours, if not more. Prepping the ribs allows the flavors to really soak into the meat.
Before throwing your ribs onto the grill, let them sit at room temperature around 30 minutes. If you add cold ribs to the heat right out of the fridge, the ribs will bring down the temperature of your grill, which, as Matt says, is not what we want to do. Cold ribs also lose their rub more quickly. Being patient with your ribs is key; let the meat cook on medium-low for a little over three hours. The wait is well worth it though, after having a bite of these swoon-worthy ribs. No sauce necessary!