As the judges took their seats with one each of the two ribs in the competition, a hush descended upon the room. There were those at the table who were in the know as to who made which ribs. I did not know. This was exciting.
In front me lay two pork ribs on a very patriotic red, white and blue plate. Both looked quite different. Rib A had a reddish color to it, had a smoky aroma and a dryer look. Rib B was more browned and juicy looking with meat that looked shredded and ready to just fall off the bone.
The room became tense as myself and Ross’s (one of the chefs) parents took a bite into Rib A. Oh boy, this was good. Full of sweet, spicy flavor and a taste that made you want to lick your lips. Rib A was lip-smacking good.
Rib B was up. Even before I brought it too my mouth the meat was falling off the bone. This rib had a fantastic brisket texture and was so moist and juicy. It was fall-off-the-bone good. Oh no, I was in trouble… I liked them both.
The judges deliberated… we could not get beyond a tiebreaker. We loved the flavor of Rib A but the juicy tenderness of Rib B. We needed them combined. The rest of the group was having none of it. We needed a winner. In the end, but only due to the fact that George (Ross’s dad) could not chew Rib A as well as Rib B, Rib B became the winner. We believe the Chef’s need to join forces to create a Rib C.
Rib A belonged to Ross, Lauren’s husband and Rib B belonged to Nick, Libby’s husband (brothers in-law.) They shared their recipe and process and I was surprised by how similar the ingredients were and yet the process itself made them so unbelievably different.
For me both were winners and I ate many more of them in equal number much to my stomach’s chagrin.
The Rib Chefs happily shared their secrets for making a great Kansas City rib…
Rib A- Ross
2 Racks of 12 Pork Ribs
2 cups apple cider vinegar
Smokin’ Guns Mild Rub
Handful of smoked apple woodchips
Smother ribs with smokin’ guns rub both sides.
Marinade in the apple cider. Cover with tin foil and leave for 12 hours.
Prior to cooking soak the woodchips in water for an hour.
Put the woodchips in enclosed tinfoil with holes poked through the top and place over the charcoal.
Cook on a smoker with the woodchips for 3 hours at 250 degrees.
Rib B – Nick
3lbs Pork Baby Back
Smokin’ Guns Mild Rub
1 bottle of Boulevard IPA beer (could be any type of dark… heavy beers are better)
Apply the smoking’ guns rub to the ribs – both sides. Cover with tin foil and let sit for 2 hours (no soaking).
Cook ribs on grill (not directly over the flame) at 375 for 2.5 hours with beer bath (below ribs). Keep ribs out of the bath to avoid boiling them. The hot liquid will help keep the ribs moist and may add a little flavor.
Likely need to add 2 cup of water to the bath to keep it from drying out after 1 hr of cook time.
A recommendation from both Chefs’ is to mix the two recipes. Marinade longer and use the apple cider but add a water/beer bath for the meat to be able to fall easily off the bone.