Lock ‘n’ Load – Cooking Ribs in Arkansas State University’s Tailgate City

The Governor, Ribs, and Football

Michael and I had the pleasure of being invited to cook with the McGinnis family and their friends this weekend as the Red Wolves took the field against the Utah State Aggies. The day was full of excitement as we prepared to cheer our team to victory! We even had a special visit from Governor Mike Beebe who took time to review our trophies from our past barbecue contests.

We cooked 6 slabs of ribs to perfection with the help of our friends and a few items straight from the Bluff City BBQ Supply catalog. We began our cook with 6 racks of baby back ribs, a rotisserie smoker, lump charcoal, Rub Beautiful, Sauce Beautiful, and some sacrificed light beers.

Preparation

The ribs were trimmed of excess fat and gristle as well as the membrane on the back. Then a liberal coating of Rub Beautiful was applied to a thin glaze of olive oil. This makes the ribs have a nice and even rich red color. The cooking temperature of the smoker was brought to a temperature of approximately 230 degrees F for a nice and even heat. The ribs are placed with the tips on the grill with the curve facing up.

Cooking

Once the ribs have been cooking for about 45 minutes, Michael mixes a special beer baste comprised of a 1 to 1 ratio of Sauce Beautiful and a domestic beer of choice. The beer used was Michelob Ultra. Dark beers or full flavored beers are not preferred. The sauce is mixed with the beer into a thin and runny marinade that is applied to the ribs once avery 30-45 minutes. This gives the ribs a nice tangy flavor with a moist texture and amazing color.

The ribs were cooked for about 5 hours at an average temperature of 225 degrees F. The ribs were wrapped in aluminum foil for the last two hours, and finished with a full glaze of Sauce Beautiful for the last half hour to give the ribs a nice candy shell.

Serving

Once the ribs reach an internal temperature of at least 180 degrees F, depending on the size of each rack of ribs, they should be done. We took each rack and placed them into a large aluminum serving tray and sliced each rib right down the middle and put them on the buffet line for all of our guests to enjoy.

Lee Quessenberry

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