These Sweet Chili Glazed Baby Back Ribs are part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Farmland/Smithfield, but all my opinions are my own.
Ah, this is why I love upstate New York! The weather. We’ve finally escaped from the seemingly endless winter, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally spend time outside again! The apple trees in the back of my yard have bloomed. My wife and I even planted our garden this past weekend. (Although we promptly had a frost warning that same night. Frost warning…seriously? It’s mid-May!) We were sitting out on the back porch one night last week chatting about all of the delicious ideas we have for the grill this summer. Then my wife pointed out that Memorial Day Weekend is almost here, and she’d love to grill up some baby back ribs for the official start of summer. She didn’t need to ask me twice!
When it comes to grilling and/or smoking, I’m pretty much always in the mood to get out there on the back deck and cook up something tasty! From pizzas and flatbreads to burgers to simple grilled veggies, our grill gets a workout during the summer. That’s ok because it gets a 6-month break during the winter. There’s even a nice blanket of snow to keep it insulated!
But back to the ribs! I swung by Walmart and picked up a rack of Farmland/Smithfield Baby Back Ribs. The only thing left was to figure out what sort of spice rub and glaze to use on these bad boys. I’m always a fan of the classic BBQ sauce approach, but I wanted to mix it up a bit this time. I decided to go sweet + spicy. Just stop and think about this for a moment. Baby back ribs lightly rubbed with a spice blend and then cooked low-and-slow for several hours. Brush on a nice and simple Sweet Chili Glaze at the end and let the sugars caramelize on the ribs. Ok, just typing that made my mouth water! Seriously, though, these Sweet Chili Glazed Baby Back Ribs are absolutely delicious!
If the thought of grilling ribs at home sounds a bit daunting at first, don’t worry! I’ll admit that I was a bit intimidated the first time I made a rack of ribs on my smoker. Aside from a little bit of prep work, it’s one of the easiest things to make on the grill! I’ve included a couple of my favorite tips and tricks for ribs below:
- Indirect Grilling. The secret to making amazing ribs is grilling them “low-and-slow”…as in low temperature for a long time. Since they’ll be on the grill for a few hours, you can’t just throw them over a direct flame. Instead, set up your grill for indirect cooking. If you’re using a gas grill, just turn on a single burner on one side of the grill. If using charcoal, use several cups of lit coals and then pour several more cups of unlit coals on top. Then set all of these coals up on one side of the grill. Then just grill the ribs on the opposite side from the lit burner or coals. If you happen to have a smoker (I use the Big Green Egg), then just adjust the air vents to create a stable 220°-230°F grill.
- Low and Slow. Give yourself plenty of time to make the ribs. Pick an afternoon when you have some yardwork to do or a book to read. A good rule of thumb is about 1 hour per pound of ribs. Don’t try to speed the process up by increasing the cooking temperature…you’ll just end up with tough and chewy ribs. And be prepared to get very, very hungry. After smelling those ribs cook all afternoon, you’ll be more than ready for dinner!
- 2-2-1 Method. You may have heard of the 3-2-1 method for making perfect ribs. It’s easy: put ’em on the smoker for 3 hours, then wrap them in aluminum foil and put them back on for another 2 hours, then finally unwrap the ribs and cook them for 1 more hour. It’s a pretty foolproof method! Because baby back ribs typically have less fat (compared to spare ribs), I usually reduce that first smoking time to just 2 hours.