How to cook ribs


Spareribs are the outer ends of pork ribs, which are sparely covered with meat. A rack of ribs weighs about 3 pounds. If spareribs are to be the main part of a meal, figure on about 3/4 to 1 pound per person.

Back ribs are short sections of ribs, cut somewhat closer to the backbone than spareribs. They're sometimes sold as "baby back ribs."

Country-style ribs are thick and meaty and are cut from the shoulder end of the rib. They are more like pork chops than spareribs. Expect about 3 country-style ribs per pound.

Ribs can be separated and grilled individually, but basting and turning a rack of ribs is easier than working with portion cuts.

Wipe the ribs with paper toweling and trim off any surface fat. For extra tenderness, pull off the silver skin on the inside of the rack. The ribs can then be rubbed with dry spices or marinated.

You can cut down on grilling time, by par-boiling ribs ahead of time. Parboiling is frequently called for in recipes for ribs, but if you don't wish to include this step, leave plenty of time for slow cooking over a medium to low fire.

Slow cooking is the secret to tender ribs. Without parboiling, figure on about 1 hour 10 minutes total grilling time for spareribs, ad up to 1 1/2 hours for country ribs.

You don't have to baste but if you want to, brush the ribs with a mixture of 1/2 cup of chicken stock, the juice of 1 lemon lime, and 1 teaspoon of hot red pepper sauce.

If you want to coat the ribs with a tomato-based barbecue sauce while they cook, wait until at least halfway through the cooking; otherwise, the sauce will blacken and burn.


This is a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe from1936.


2 cups flour
1 egg -- beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk

Cut spare ribs into portions and place in the bottom of a roasting pan. Add the sauerkraut, cover the pan and bake at 350-F for 1-1/2 hours.

Make dumplings by combining the flour, baking powder, milk and egg. Drop by spoonfuls on the sauerkraut. Cover pan tightly and finish baking at 350-F for 30 minutes.


4 pounds pork back ribs
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon oregano

Cut ribs into serving-size pieces. Combine seasonings together well and rub on all surfaces of ribs. Place ribs on covered grill over indirect heat and cook, turning every 15 minutes, for 1 1/2 hours.