Rodney Scott’s Victory Ribs
Fire up your grill to between 200° and 250°F. Season 3 slabs pork spare ribs, membranes removed, with 1 ½ tablespoons Rib Rub and make sure you get under the flap, the little piece of meat that dangles on the bone side of the ribs. Place the seasoned ribs on the grill grate, bone side down, with the fatty end toward the middle of the grill. Close the grill and cook. In about 1 ½ hours, open the grill and look for caramelization on the bone (you want that before you flip the ribs). If they’re ready, use the mop-flip-mop method: Mop the top and sides of the ribs with Rodney’s Sauce, flip the meat over, and mop the other side with sauce. You’ll need about 2 to 3 cups of sauce. Close the grill. Bring the temperature back up to between 200° and 250°F. Cook the ribs until the second side gets that same caramelized look. To check doneness, pick up a slab of ribs with a pair of tongs and see how much give there is—it should sag or flop easily. If a slight tear develops in the meat between the bones, that’s another sign of doneness.
Makes 2 cups
Mix ½ cup kosher salt, ¼ cup MSG, ¼ cup fresh ground black pepper, ¼ cup paprika, ¼ cup chili powder, ¼ cup packed light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 2 tablespoons onion powder, and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Makes 1 gallon of sauce
In a small stockpot, warm 1 gallon distilled white vinegar over medium-high heat. After about 5 minutes, when the vinegar reaches 150°F on an instant-read thermometer, just before it starts to simmer, add 1 lemon, thinly sliced, and continue to cook until the lemon peels begin to soften and wilt, about 10 minutes more. Whisk in ½ cup ground black pepper, 1/3 cup cayenne pepper, 1 ¼ tablespoons red pepper flakes, and 2 cups sugar. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and the sauce reaches 190°F, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to completely cool before using. Once the lemon is removed, the sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 8 weeks.
Scott’s Top 3 Tips
Cook ribs low and slow. Patience is the key to great ribs, Scott says. “If you cook them at high heat you’ll sear them,” he explains. “With ribs, you want a fall-off-the-bone texture and that’s only achievable by cooking them low and slow.” To do: Get your grill temperature between 200° and 250°F. “Watch the gauge and avoid putting too many coals in at once,” Scott advises. “Also, aim to have one part of the grill that’s a lower temperature than the rest. That way, if you overheat it, you have a place to move the meat over to so it can cool off a bit.”
Use the mop-flip-mop method. “It adds flavor to the meat as it cooks and also tenderizes it,” Scott says. Take a basting brush (Scott uses a kitchen mop on big cuts of meat), soak it with sauce, and mop the visible side of the meat with the sauce. Flip the meat over. Mop the meat again. Close the grill and cook at 200° to 250°F until the second side gets that same caramelized look.
Serve the right sides. “They help turn a good barbecue into a well-rounded meal,” Scott says. “Sides such as coleslaw offer a cool crispness that helps balance and complement the spice of the protein.” Think creamy dishes, too, like mac and cheese. Scott likes to serve things like deviled eggs and grilled veggies as appetizers.
Grill icon by JohnnyZi, Brush icon by Musket, Bottle icon by Adrien Coquet from the Noun Project.