Salt Creek Grille

Rumson, NJ

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions


The Salt Creek Grille in Rumson is impressive with its rustic wood exterior sitting majestically on the Navesink River. The restaurant provides a great view for diners upstairs and downstairs. On your walk in you’ll smell the famous mesquite wood used in preparing so many great dishes.

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The bar at Salt Creek Grille is usually busy with wine and specials found throughout the week. I so enjoy the Salt Creek and its friendly staff led by Managing Partner Steve “Biddy” Bidgood. Biddy takes great pride in having a dedicated staff with low turnover because Biddy is a good leader and a good guy; we’ve been friends for years.

Biddy has remained very active in the community donating services to so many charities. His annual Wine and Martini Tasting Charity event each April held at The Salt Creek Grille has raised over $1,000,000 for local New Jersey based charitable organizations.

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Biddy opened Salt Creek Grille Rumson in 1998. His Executive Chef Bobby Belt has been there over 15 years and is a master of cooking with mesquite wood. Chef Bobby does a tremendous job. I love the steaks, pork chops, prime rib and baby back ribs and since I’m a bar guy, I enjoy a glass or sharing a bottle of wine from the extensive and impressive wine list to go with my dinner.

I like to think that I’m a pretty good judge of great barbecue and the Salt Creek Grille has their signature Mesquite Grilled Baby Back Ribs. Thanks Biddy and Chef Bobby Belt for sharing this great recipe. Go to the Salt Creek Grille in Rumson, bring your friends, your family and your appetite, you’re going to eat.

You’ll Need:

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Two racks of ribs (pork, membrane removed and trimmed – the large pork ribs, not the baby back ribs, those are too small!)

2 cups of rub

Emergency Rub:

1cup paprika
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

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Barbecue Sauce

1 bottle 18 oz of  Barbecue Sauce
1 bottle 18 oz of Barbecue Sauce
½ cup of bourbon liquor (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

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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, they 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.

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 barbecue sauce to pan, add garlic, let reduce for about 5 minutes. Add the bourbon and remainder of barbecue sauce. Let simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally.

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Once ribs are cooked, preheat your grill so that it is at maximum heat. After the ribs come out of the oven immediately apply barbecue 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!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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