Sweet and Spicy, Tangy and Tasty Ribs

Sweet and Spicy, Tangy and Tasty Ribs


The word alone is enough to get everyone’s attention.

Pork ribs should be at the top of the very short list of go-to’s that come to mind whenever you have a little time on your hands and want a nice home-cooked dinner. They are truly the middle ground between home-style cuisine and BBQ science, because they are super versatile and easy to work with. You can grill them, roast them, cook them low and slow, or hot and fast, or even sous vide – there’s always a way to make them work.

Pork isn’t known for having a bold flavour profile, but it mixes very well with marinades and – the fat within its muscle fibre acts as a conduit for rubs and evens out the flavours. Whether you choose baby back or spare ribs, your focus needs to be on the flavour profile, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations of rubs and sauces.

Ribs are part of the BBQ holy trinity, but a lot of people are still intimidated by them because they can take hours to cook. Let me reassure you and tell you that ribs can be done quickly and easily, and still taste great!

Many people swear by the ever-so-popular 3-2-1 method – smoking the ribs for 3 hours at 225°F, then leaving them wrapped in foil with a liquid for 2 hours to add back moisture and flavour, and to accelerate the cooking process, and lastly, unwrapping them for 1 hour to dry out the bark and letting them glaze up at the very end. Occasionally, however, time just isn’t on your side and you need to make things work as fast as possible. The good news is that there are other ways to cook easy homemade ribs in half the time.

Here is how I cook my Sweet and Spicy, Tangy and Tasty ribs:

It is important to note that whichever method you choose to cook your ribs, the first step will always be to remove the silver skin. From there, you will be building up and crafting your flavour profile to give your ribs some personality.

While I like my spit-roasted ribs on the savoury side, I enjoy my traditional ribs best when they are sweet and very tender. When choosing a dry rub for this method of grilling ribs, look for the perfect balance of sweetness and heat; it should also help the bark achieve a nice mahogany colour.

Pro tip: The sweeter the rub, the heavier you need to go. Don’t hold back and go light on the sweetness. It’s easy to go overboard with heat and salt, but it’s very hard to oversweeten ribs. Furthermore, if your rub is composed of high-quality sugar, it will help build a deeper and richer crust as the sugar won’t burn through the first hour of cooking.

It is best to use a smoker for this recipe, and in order to cook something that won’t take all day and still be delicious, I prefer to use the hot-and-fast method – this consists of smoking the ribs in half the time, all while making sure to consistently add moisture as they cook.

Once the ribs are trimmed and seasoned, the next step is to cook them at 275°F for 90 minutes and to sprinkle them with Cherry Cola or Dark Ginger Ale every 30 minutes. Trust me, the addition of an extra sweet layer will help turn these ribs into rich and flavourful bites in the long run. Everyone will ask for more!

Once the ribs are done smoking, take them out and wrap them in foil with butter, some extra dry rub and a quick dab of rib glaze. After that, you can put the ribs back on the barbecue for 60 to 90 minutes at 325°F. You’ll know when they are ready – they will be soft enough to bend backward as you move the foil.

Now, after all of that, your bark will have most likely softened up in the foil, so you’ll want to remove them, slather them with some extra rub and/or glaze, and for the finishing touch, throw them back over direct heat to help rebuild texture on the bark.

And there you have it! A simple and efficient way to cook very tasty ribs that are packed with flavours, thanks to the extra love provided by the dry rubs.

Some days, you just have to remind yourself that you don’t need to get fancy to get some finger-licking good food on the table. All you need is to mix the right rub with the right protein and you’ll be able to create some magic.

Now that you know that amazing ribs recipes can be done in under 3 hours, enjoy some more ribs, have fun playing around with your favourite rubs and sauces, and spend more time with your loved ones!


Max Lavoie
BBQ Guru, House of BBQ Experts

The Perfect Time for Cold Smoking

The Perfect Time for Cold Smoking

Have you ever tried smoked salmon? Personally, it’s my favorite snack and I love making it. It’s made by cold smoking, a technique used to preserve meat, and is now considered a renowned delicacy worldwide. To this day, this refined preservation method is employed often, in hopes of storing meat for a long time without it going bad. Not only does smoking kill harmful bacteria, it also gives a wonderful smoky flavor to your dishes. There are many ways to smoke, but here’s a very simple way to elevate your cooking game to the next level.

My favorite smoking method is to cold smoke, which I love doing with different foods, but more particularly with fish. To cold smoke, you must first understand that it is not a source of heat that will cook your meat; instead, the smoke penetrates each layer and slowly cooks it. Hence why it’s called cold smoking. This method requires the ambient temperature to be favorable. Fall to early winter and spring seasons are ideal as it’s not too warm outside. If the smoking isn’t done in a smoker, you can use a barbecue with a large grid. The reason for this is that we want the food to be as far as possible from the heat source while it’s smoking.

These are the very simple steps I use when cold smoking which have never let me down:

If cold smoking meat or fish, you must brine your piece in a mix of your favorite spices and salt for at least 12 hours in the fridge, to cure the meat and stop bacterial growth. The quantity of spice depends on the size of your filet. Make sure your filet is well covered with your favorite rubs and tightly wrapped in your fridge, to contain the delicious yet “fishy” smell.  When ready to go, gently rinse your fillet and pat dry. If you are planning to cold smoke nuts, cheese or fruits, you can skip this step.

  • Check the outside temperature! To cold smoke, you must make sure that it’s between 4 and 15 degrees Celsius. Your smoking session will last 3 to 4 hours, so do it under the warm midday sun or after sundown to stay within that temperature range as much as possible.
  • Fill the pellet holder of your choice with enough pellets to fulfill a 3-4 hour smoking session and light the pellets on fire. Wait until the pellets have burned a few centimetres with a strong flame, then blow it off to keep the smoke going. You want to make sure the fire is strong and will work its way through after you set it up and forget about it. Too close to the fire? Don’t hesitate to wear gloves.   
  • Place the smoking pellets at the opposite end of your fish inside your BBQ, either under or on your heat deflectors.
  • After making sure you have good airflow and that your BBQ is cold smoking, close the lid and let the flavor-infused smoke slowly cook your meat.
  • For a milder flavor, smoke your meat or fish for 3 to 4 hours, and up to 10-12 hours if you prefer a very intense flavor. No matter what, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious and simple dish!

Remember that smoking with maple, cherry, and apple woods will render a softer smoky taste while hickory, oak, or mesquite will  make it more pronounced.

I love this simple recipe on any given day. Smoked salmon is great on salad, can be enjoyed with a cream cheese bagel the next day, or as a topping on white pizza. Well… that’s another recipe!

Enjoy your barbecue at this time of the year and get smoking!

For more recipes and barbecuing techniques, visit www.bbq-experts.com.

Being Thankful For Your Barbecue

Being Thankful For Your Barbecue

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and being grateful. It’s the one holiday we gather and celebrate exclusively with food, with the turkey as the main attraction. Nothing is more important than how the turkey turns out at a Thanksgiving dinner, so the pressure is on to live up to everyone’s expectations. So instead of preparing a turkey the traditional way (in the oven) like everyone else, consider using your trusted barbecue for a guaranteed positive impression on your guests.

The stove, oven and microwave are generally the go-to appliances for preparing a Thanksgiving dinner; however, they can make your kitchen feel like a sauna once your oven is cranked to 475 degrees and all burners on the stove are raging. But by cooking the turkey outside and letting your grill do the heavy lifting, it frees up your oven for other tasks and provides a tasty alternative to the traditional oven-roasted turkey, much to the delight of your guests.

There are countless recipes to prepare a scrumptious turkey on a gas, charcoal or pellet barbecue, and you can achieve terrific results with a ceramic (or Kamado) grill or a smoker.  Each method will give your turkey a distinct, delicious flavour, making it a meal to remember. Check out the following links to recipes and cooking instructions on how to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey outside.