Grilling · Main Dish · Planked · Pork

Planked Babyback Ribs: Oh, My!

Planked Babyback Ribs

WHY did I wait so long to try this??? And when can we have it again? That’s what went through my head the first time I made ribs this way. I was planking all sorts of things all summer long. I can’t even begin to imagine why I didn’t just start with these! It just doesn’t get any easier than this, folks, & I’m hard pressed to think it could get any better, either. We served them up with some steamed fresh green beans, and a big bowl of cherry tomatoes fresh off the vine – all of which we consider finger food when among family. 

I love babyback ribs, & have been grilling them for years. Decades, even. Most of the time they’re great, but…Sometimes they flare up so much that they get charred. Sometimes they don’t let go of enough of their fat & are greasy. Sometimes they take too long & are tough & dry. Slather on some Sonny’s Sizzlin’ BBQ Sauce, & it’ll cover a multitude of sins. But what if I could get even closer to the real thing by adding smoke? It occurred to me that day that a small rack of babybacks is about the same length as a king salmon size cedar plank (I get mine at OutdoorGourmet.com). A real “duh” moment. I couldn’t wait to get home and try it. What a success! No char, no grease, no dry stringiness. Just wonderful smoky flavor & juicy, tender meat. Sure, we threw on a little Sonny’s – it’s pretty awesome, after all – but wow, what yummy ribs! I’m gonna have to order more of the big planks, I think. There’ll be many repeat performances, that’s for sure! I usually allow 1 rack for every 2 people, which is pretty generous. Depending on who’s here for dinner (or even just how hungry I am), sometimes there will be leftovers. Of course, you can also cut the racks in half & use smaller planks for individual servings, as I did another night when there were 5 of us. You’ll find a printer-friendly version of the recipe at the bottom of this page.

Ingredients:

1 small rack of baby back ribs

1 King Salmon size cedar plank

¼ cup Sonny’s Sizzlin’ BBQ Sauce, plus more for the table

gas grill with lid

Preparation:

1.) About 30 – 60 minutes ahead, set the plank soaking in water. Weigh it down with something to keep it under water.

IMG_2822

2.) Preheat the grill for a few minutes on high, until the temp is around 400ºF. Drain the plank.

3.) Put the ribs on the plank, and the plank on the grill. Close the lid, and turn the heat down to medium. Set your timer for 10 minutes.

img_3778
Planked babyback ribs, ready to cook.
4.) Check on the ribs: You should see a little smoke coming from the grill. Crack it open just a bit to peek, making sure the plank isn’t in flames & the ribs are cooking slowly. Let out as little smoke as possible, and adjust the temperature as needed.

5.) Check again in another 10 minutes. Depending on how meaty your ribs are, you might be done now. When a meat thermometer inserted into middle of the meatiest area, not up against a bone, reads 145ºF, brush the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce, turn off the grill, & close the lid.

Let the residual heat warm the sauce & get it nice & sticky. Then either serve each person their own half-rack to cut as they go, or remove the ribs & cut them apart to serve. Leave the sauce bottle on the table for those who’d like a little extra.

Planked Baby Back Ribs
Beautiful, smoked ribs!

Planked Babyback Ribs

Ingredients


1 small rack of baby back ribs
1 King Salmon size cedar plank
¼ cup Sonny’s Sizzlin’ BBQ Sauce, plus more for the table
gas grill with lid

Directions


1.) About 30 – 60 minutes ahead, set the plank soaking in water. Weigh it down with something to keep it under water.
2.) Preheat the grill for a few minutes on high, until the temp is around 400ºF. Drain the plank.
3.) Put the ribs on the plank, and the plank on the grill. Close the lid, and turn the heat down to medium. Set your timer for 10 minutes.
4.) Check on the ribs: You should see a little smoke coming from the grill. Crack it open just a bit to peek, making sure the plank isn’t in flames & the ribs are cooking slowly. Let out as little smoke as possible, and adjust the temperature as needed.
5.) Check again in another 10 minutes. Depending on how meaty your ribs are, you might be done now. When a meat thermometer inserted into middle of the meatiest area, not up against a bone, reads 145ºF, brush the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce, turn off the grill, & close the lid. Let the residual heat warm the sauce & get it nice & sticky. Then either serve each person their own half-rack to cut as they go, or remove the ribs & cut them apart to serve. Leave the sauce bottle on the table for those who’d like a little extra.

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