Are you tired of the same old grilled rib recipes? The ones that follow the standard approach of cooking St. Louis-style or baby back ribs low and slow before smothering them in store-bought barbecue sauce? Well, it’s time to break free from the ordinary and take your ribs to a whole new level.
But first, let me tell you about the ribs I grew up eating. My dad used to boil St. Louis-style ribs to a slow and painful flavor death before dousing them in barbecue sauce and grilling them to a crisp. Not exactly the epitome of culinary brilliance, to say the least.
So, you may be wondering, how can you prepare pork ribs that are both easy to make and delicious? The answer lies in one simple word: brine. Yes, you heard it right. Brining your ribs can transform them from ordinary to extraordinary. And I have just the recipe for you.
The Magic of Brining
Brining is a fun and different approach to cooking ribs. Forget about the same old techniques; it’s time to try something new. Introducing the apple cinnamon brine for baby back ribs. This unique brine will not only make your ribs juicy and flavorful but also give you consistently fantastic results every time.
The great thing about this brine is that it works equally well for St. Louis-cut ribs, spare ribs, pork loin, pork chops, and more. It’s versatile and foolproof, guaranteeing a delicious outcome no matter the cut of meat.
How It’s Done
Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of making these mouthwatering apple cinnamon brined baby back ribs. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2-3 racks of baby back ribs
- 6 cups water
- 3 cups apple cider or apple juice
- 1 cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup kosher salt
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp whole cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup paprika
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dry mustard
Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of creating these delicious ribs:
How to Make Apple Cinnamon Brined Baby Back Ribs
Step 1: In a large pot, combine water and apple cider and bring it to a rolling boil. Add the remaining brine ingredients and let it boil for 10 minutes. Remove the brine from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. You can even pour a cup of brine into a spray bottle for later use.
Step 2: Remove the membrane from the backside of the ribs. This membrane acts as a barrier, preventing the flavors of the rub and brine from penetrating the meat. Removing it will make a world of difference in the taste and texture of your ribs.
Step 3: Submerge the ribs in the room-temperature brine, ensuring they are completely covered. You can use a disposable aluminum chafing pan or any other container that fits your needs.
Step 4: Place the ribs in the refrigerator and let them brine for 24 hours. This will allow the flavors to infuse and the meat to become tender and juicy.
Step 5: While the ribs are brining, it’s time to prepare the rub. Combine all the rub ingredients and put them into a shaker bottle. Feel free to make more of this rub because it works wonders on various meats.
Step 6: Light your grill and set it up for two-zone cooking, maintaining a temperature of 285-300 °F.
Step 7: Remove the ribs from the brine and discard the brine. Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
Step 8: Rub a thin coat of vegetable oil onto the ribs. This will act as a binder for the rub, ensuring it adheres well to the meat.
Step 9: Sprinkle the rub generously onto the racks of ribs, covering all sides. The combination of spices will create a mouthwatering aroma and flavor.
Step 10: Place the racks of ribs on a cutting board and get your meat hooks ready. Using two hooks is recommended for added security.
Step 11: Insert the first meat hook into the ribs, going about two bones deep. Push the hook all the way through the meat, ensuring it lays flat against the ribs.
Step 12: Position the second hook, taking note of the curvature of the first hook for proper placement. Connect the second hook to the first for extra support and peace of mind.
Step 13: Add apple wood chunks to the hot coals and hang the ribs inside the grill or smoker. Cook them for approximately 3 hours, spritzing them with the brine every 45-60 minutes to keep them moist.
Step 14: Once the ribs are cooked to perfection, remove them from the grill using the hooks (remember not to grab the hooks with bare hands!). Let the ribs rest for about 10 minutes, uncovered, before slicing and serving.
The Finishing Touch
Congratulations! You’ve just created a masterpiece: apple cinnamon brined baby back ribs that are tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor. It’s time to dig in and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
For an unforgettable dining experience, pair these ribs with your favorite side dishes and a refreshing beverage. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or simply treating yourself to a delicious meal, these ribs are guaranteed to impress.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your grill fired up, grab those baby back ribs, and let the magic of brining take your taste buds on an extraordinary journey. Your friends and family will be begging for the secret to your delectable ribs.
But remember, the real secret lies in the apple cinnamon brine, which adds a unique and enticing flavor profile to these already mouthwatering ribs. Let your creativity shine and experiment with different flavors, spices, and cooking techniques.
And if you’re looking for more inspiration, head over to Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ for a wide range of barbecue tips, recipes, and mouthwatering delights. Happy grilling!