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How to Cook Ribs.

Many of our friends and neighbors in Pittsburgh are quite experienced throwing a few burgers and dogs on the grill. After all, most of our dinner tables move to the patio during the summer and we gather round for Sunday brunch during fall tailgate parties. However, it may only be on certain occasions that you’ll cook those sweet, sticky, tangy ribs everyone’s mouth waters for. But why the lack of love for this swine specialty?

The truth is, many people don’t own smokers, while others are intimidated by cooking ribs because they feel it’s a long drawn out process, and some simply leave it up to our friends in the South.  This month, the grill experts at Ed’s Woodshed share their tips on how to cook the best ribs ya’ll ever did eat!

Pork or Beef? Oh the age old question! While the choice is yours, pork ribs are more popular than their beef counterparts. Pork spare ribs are the crème de la crème of the rib family, but baby back ribs are more popular and easier to cook

Prep 101. If you look at the back of the ribs, you’ll notice they’re covered in a thin membrane. Many want to remove this one-sided casing because it’s unappealing to the eye, but don’t be tempted to! This part of the rib will help keep in all juices. If you go about removing this, expect tough results.

Spice Rubs and Barbecue Sauces. There are hundreds of spice rub recipes online. Pick the one that makes your mouth water the most, rub it all over the ribs and let them rest in your refrigerator for up to 24 hours. As far as what barbecue sauce to choose, this is another personal preference. Maybe you savor sweet Kentucky style or maybe you prefer the spicy and tangy Memphis favorite. Either way, experts say do not coat the ribs until the last 10-15 minutes of cooking as the sauces will char causing the meet to cook unevenly.

Low ‘n’ Slow. While there’s no definitive length of time to cook perfect ribs, Grill Masters agree the best way to cook ribs is on low heat and for an extended period of time. Each individual recipe differs from the next, requiring different ingredients and various cook times. Grill both side of the ribs for at 10-15 minutes a piece, slow cook them the rest of the way. While some recipes call for upwards to 8 hours for ribs to slow cook, others may suggest only an additional hour to achieve ribs that are practically falling off the bone.

Invest in a Smoker Box. Unless you’re willing to spend thousands of dollars on an actual smoker, you can turn your gas grill into your own grill pit with the addition of a smoker box at a fraction of the cost. This grilling accessory allows you to add smoking wood chips to your grill, releasing a rich smoky flavor that envelopes any foods you cook.


At Ed’s Woodshed, we are fully stocked with gas grills, charcoal grills and all the accessories you’ll need to turn your backyard into your own barbecue pit. We proudly carry brands like Vermont Castings™ and Napoleon®, supplying our customers with traditional grills, built-in grills and outdoor gourmet grills to complete any outdoor kitchen. Call us at 412-257-0492 or visit us at our Bridgeville, PA location, less than 13 miles south of Pittsburgh!

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