Thinking Forward – Best Backyard Ribs? You be the Judge

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Thinking Forward - Best Backyard Ribs? You be the Judge

Every fall for the past eight years we've held a neighborhood smoked bar-b-que competition. We always cook ribs and one host choice, sometimes sausage or chicken. This year we cooked ribs and KC strips. We all gathered together around 11 AM, smokers fired up, ready to play washers, have a few adult beverages, and enjoy some wonderful football on the television.

We had perfect weather this year and enjoyed quite a wonderful afternoon smoking ribs. Our wives are always the judges panel and aren’t afraid to share their true feelings about the quality of our offerings. They can be quite harsh as judges, but if you know our friends, we enjoy every minute of ribbing each other. If the ribs are disgusting, overcooked, raw, or they just plain taste bad, we hear about it. But if they love them, they stand out, or someone really knocks it out of the park with the best they've ever had, why, they let us know that as well. They've become quite the critics and we’ve all become better smokers because we’ve learned how we need to make our ribs to meet their taste pallets. Through the years, we have found that sweeter ribs perform better with these judges than spicy or salty or any other variety you can dream up.

Last year, Matt Johnson and I won best ribs. It was quite an honor considering for the past seven years I hadn't gotten any better than third place out of anywhere from five to eight teams. I have always secretly wanted to win the competition and last year we did. Below is the winning recipe we used which was loved by all the judges. Now this year was a different story (the ladies always help to keep me humble). The best feedback we received was that we definitely had the best zucchini. We got last place as the ribs were deemed too sweet. Too much honey was what I heard from many of the judges.

And The Winner of the 2016 Best Backyard Ribs Is...

This year the crown shifted hands but stayed in the TRUE family, as Brian Paulsen and Marty Williams won with the best ribs. Marty has become a legend among the group winning for a third time. Brian cooked their KC Strip, delivering a steak sandwich that his boys come running for. The steak sandwich was done in by a strip topped with a cheese sauce that would have been delicious on top of a roof shingle.

Try my recipe for yourself and see if you can create some winning ribs. See if you have a pallet for sweet ribs. I'm sure you'll love munching on these fabulous, fabulous ribs that I've been perfecting for almost a decade. And if you do try the ribs let me know how you do and how they turned out for your family.

We know our finances are important but these are the moments and experiences we plan for. Good times with great friends. If you have any questions or want to quiz me on the recipe or any recommendations to improve it, email me, Bryan (Bryan@RetireWithTrue.com) or Brian Paulsen (BrianP@RetireWithTrue.com). If you have a favorite rib recipe or rib rub, I'd love to hear from you. Send it in and your culinary wisdom may get featured in a future blog post.

3-2-1 Ribs Recipe

  • Purchase St. Louis style spare ribs. Remove the membrane (back of the rib rack). Coat in your favorite rib rub, wrap them up tightly in plastic wrap, and let sit in your fridge for 24 hours.
  • At 185 degrees, place your ribs meat side up for 3 hours.
  • After cooking for 3 hours, layout a large sheet of aluminum foil for each rack of ribs you are smoking. Sprinkle directly onto the foil a layer of brown sugar, followed by some honey and heavily drizzle your favorite BBQ sauce (I use Blues Hog). Place one rack of ribs, meat side down, directly on top of this mixture. Repeat for each rack of ribs.
  • Wrap the ribs tightly and cook meat side down for 2 hours at 225 degrees.
  • After two hours, remove the ribs from the smoker and remove from the foil. Discard all of the liquid inside.
  • Cook for 1 hour at 225, meat side up.
  • Remove from the smoker and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy your tasty rack of ribs.

Keep Thinking Forward and have a great week!

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