Cooking 101

Slow-cooked baby-back ribs are worth the wait

Kansas City BBQ: What’s so special about it?

Famous Kansas City barbecue restaurants, from Arthur Bryant's to Joe's Kansas City to Q39.
Up Next
Famous Kansas City barbecue restaurants, from Arthur Bryant's to Joe's Kansas City to Q39.

You can’t rush the perfect barbecued baby-back ribs. That’s why Brenden Grinnell has developed a recipe worth the time investment.

The ribs need to sit in the refrigerator for three hours after you apply the dry rub and then cook in an oven for three or four hours before you put them on a grill.

His best advice for success?

“Start making this recipe in the morning.”

Grinnell’s father used to work at a restaurant in Detroit that served Coney Island dogs. The loose-meat sandwich topped with chili was pretty fantastic, the 19-year-old says. Since Kansas City doesn’t have anything like it, he’s thinking of opening a restaurant here that would serve them.

The ingredients are secret so he can’t share them. But in the meantime, Grinnell is pretty sure you’ll love his barbecue recipe for summer get-togethers.

The stylist

Recipe and food styling by Brenden Grinnell, a second-year student in the Johnson County Community College culinary program. He is an apprentice at The Zebra Room at the Aladdin in Kansas City.

About the column

Cooking 101 is a bimonthly column exclusive to The Star designed to introduce home cooks to basic cooking techniques. The recipe, food styling and photography are a joint project between culinary students and instructors at Johnson County Community College’s Hospitality Management Program.

Grilled Baby-Back Ribs With Barbecue Sauce and Apple Coleslaw

Makes 4 servings

2 racks (about 2 1/2 pounds) baby-back pork ribs

Dry Rub:

2 cups brown sugar

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper

Barbecue Sauce:

1 tablespoon hickory-flavored liquid smoke

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

1 3/4 cups brown sugar

1 cup ketchup

Using a paring knife, pull up the white membrane and stip off the underside of the ribs. Bridget McNabb Bridget McNabb/JCCC
033014-Grinnell-02To prepare the ribs: Using a paring knife, remove the white membrane on the underside of the ribs. Once you can clearly see the blade between the layer of thin membrane and meat, pull up to take the layer off. It should all come off in one long layer.

Rub ribs with rub and refrigerate for 3 hours. Bridget McNabb Bridget McNabb/JCCC
To make the dry rub: In a medium-sized bowl, combine brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper and mix them together until thoroughly combined. Apply the rub to the ribs on both sides, coating them completely. Wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil wrap and store in the refrigerator for 3 hours.

To make the barbecue sauce: Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together until well combined.

Wrap ribs in foil and bake for 3 to 4 hours, or until tender, then finish on the grill. Bridget McNabb Bridget McNabb/JCCC
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the foil-wrapped ribs on a sheet tray and cook for 3 to 4 hours or until tender.

Thirty minutes to an hour before the ribs are done, start a fire in the grill and allow the coals to burn down to medium-high heat.

Remove ribs from the oven, unwrap foil and place them on the grill. Baste both sides with barbecue sauce and grill 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce has an almost honey-like consistency. Be careful not to overcook. You may need to move the ribs around so the sugar in the sauce does not burn. Remove ribs from grill and allow to rest 10 minutes before serving with Apple Coleslaw.

Per serving: 490 calories (46 percent from fat), 25 grams total fat (9 grams saturated), 86 milligrams cholesterol, 49 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams protein, 1,108 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

Apple Coleslaw

Makes 4 servings

4 Granny Smith apples

1 large carrot

2 cups mayonnaise

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon celery seed

Grated beet, for garnish

Use a mandoline to cut the apples into julienne strips. (If you don’t have a mandolin, use a knife.) Peel the carrot and use a box grater to shred the carrot. Rinse the shredded carrot in cold water until no more orange water is visible. In a mixing bowl, combine apples, carrots, mayonnaise, sugar, salt and celery seed together. Refrigerate or serve immediately.

Per serving: 961 calories (82 percent from fat), 94 grams total fat (13 grams saturated), 39 milligrams cholesterol, 43 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 1,170 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.