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Nothing comes quite as good as pork spare ribs, especially with the rib tip intact on top, as in this recipe from James Beard Award-winning pitmaster Rodney Scott, in “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day: A Cookbook.” “
“Now there will always be preferences within barbecue,” Scott — the founder of Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ (rodneyscottsbbq.com), with locations in South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia — writes in the book. “Some people find the rib ends too lean or too chewy compared to the meat between the ribs – but I don’t mind. I like the slight resistance you get when you bite into our ribs – I think they’re perfect.”
Read the full instructions below, in honor of National BBQ Month.
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Rodney’s Spare Ribs from Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 ½ hours
3 slices pork ribs, skins removed
1 ½ tbsp Rodney’s Rib Rub
2 to 3 cups Rodney’s Sauce
1. Light your grill between 200°F and 250°F.
2. Season each slice with Rodney’s Rib Rub, making sure to get under the flap, the piece of meat dangling from the bone side of the ribs.
3. Place the seasoned ribs on the grill rack, bone side down, with the fatty end toward the center of the grill. The center of the grill is usually hotter, so the thicker part of the rib is cooked well. Close the grill and cook: You want to caramelize the ribs before flipping them. That should take about 1 hour. Open the grill and look for caramelization on the bone.
4. When it’s done, use the mop-flip-mop method:. Set aside a cup of Rodney’s Sauce (recipe below) to serve with the ribs. Use the leftover head to use the “mop, flip, mop” method by brushing or mopping the meat side with sauce, then flip the ribs over so they’re bone-side up. Mop the ribs again. Close the grid.
5. Return the grill to a temperature between 200°F and 250°F. Cook the ribs until the second side has the same caramelized look. To check the doneness, we pick up a slice of ribs with tongs and see how much has been given. When you pick up the record, it should sag or flop easily. If there is a small crack in the meat between the bones, that is another sign of doneness.
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For the ribub:
½ cup kosher salt (we love Diamond Crystal)
¼ cup MSG
¼ cup freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup bell pepper
¼ cup chili powder
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months
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For Rodney’s Sauce:
1 gallon distilled white vinegar
1 lemon, thinly sliced
½ cup ground black pepper
⅓ cup cayenne pepper
1 ¼ tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 cups sugar
1. Heat the vinegar in a small stockpot over medium heat. After about 5 minutes, when the vinegar reaches 150°F on an instant-read thermometer, just before it begins to simmer, add the lemon slices and continue cooking until the lemon peels begin to soften and wilt, about 10 minutes more.
2. Whisk in the black pepper, cayenne pepper, pepper flakes and sugar. Continue to cook over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and the sauce has reached 190°F for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using. Once the lemon has been removed, the sauce can be stored in an airtight container for up to 8 weeks.
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This original recipe is from the cookbook “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day: A Cookbook,” which was published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, and shared with Fox News Digital.