Big Joe Henry’s Award Winning Ribs
Before we get started I should say my "award winning" ribs have never won anything, not a darn thing, no ribbons, no honorable mentions, nothing, but that’s because I never entered them in any contest. They have “won” a few compliments when eaten and that’s a great thing!
There are so many factors in making the “best” ribs possible. Gone are the days when you run to the grocery store, pick up the ribs, slap on some sauce and throw them on the grill. I have learned that the most important factor in cooking great barbeque is time, lots of time.
Nice and easy, slow down, let the great rubs and sauces permeate the meat and it will be flavorful and tender with a mouth-watering taste that will make you wish you cooked more.
Most of the pros have smokers. I do not, but I can tell you from friend and family reaction, these ribs are very good. Relax and cook some ribs, Jersey style!
Just a note, these ribs are going to take about 8 hours to cook, so be prepared!
Two racks of ribs (pork, membrane removed and trimmed – the large pork ribs, not the baby back ribs, those are too small!)
1 can of beer (o.k., two cans of beer one for the ribs and one for you.)
2 cups of rub (I use Butch’s but just in case you can’t get Butch’s in time, here’s a rub recipe that I’ve used before that works well)
Big Joe’s Emergency Rub:
1 ½ cups brown sugar
½ cup garlic powder
¼ cup Kosher salt
½ cup onion powder
½ cup chili powder
¼ cup black pepper freshly ground
¼ cup cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon white pepper
2 tablespoons of dried thyme
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
¼ cup ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons finely grated orange zest
Butch’s Doctored Barbeque Sauce, Big Joe Style:
1 bottle 18 oz of Butch’s Mild Barbeque Sauce (if you can’t get Butch’s try an upscale Barbeque sauce)
1 bottle 18 oz of Butch’s Pyro Barbeque Sauce (if you can’t get Butch’s try an upscale Barbeque sauce)
2 tablespoons of habanero infused honey
¼ cup of orange juice
½ cup of bourbon liquor (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
How to Prep and Cook the Ribs:
After you have prepared the ribs, generously apply the rub to both sides of the ribs. I suggest you use plastic gloves as to not get the paprika stains on your fingers. Really get the rub into the meat.
Once covered with rub, wrap the now covered ribs in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and put back into the refrigerator for 6 or more hours, preferably overnight.
After the ribs have been taken out of the refrigerator and are now ready to be cooked, preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Place ribs on a standing rack, I use a turkey rack and lay the ribs up against the sides of the grate. Make sure that the ribs are not touching the bottom of the pan.
Add the can of beer to the bottom of the pan holding the ribs, making sure that the beer is not touching the ribs. Once the oven has reached 225 degrees place the ribs in the oven and cook for 7 hours.
In a large sauce pan, over medium heat add just a ¼ of one bottle of barbeque sauce to pan, add garlic and orange juice, let reduce for about 5 minutes, add the honey and stir well with a wooden spoon. Add the bourbon and remainder of barbeque sauce. Let simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.
Once ribs are cooked, preheat your grill so that it is at maximum heat. After the ribs come out of the oven immediately apply barbeque sauce generously to the ribs. Head over to the grill and cook ribs on the grill for about 3 – 4 minutes on each side, depending on the heat of the grill. Apply more sauce as you cook. You want the ribs with a glazed coat. Be careful not to burn the ribs.
Remove from the grill. Cut the ribs using the ribs as guidelines and savor. Remember it took you a long time to cook them so take the time to enjoy them!