First there is straight grilling.
Like I said you will want to grill
indirectly, meaning that you have a fire on one side and the food on the
other. Actually you want a four part cooking area. Water Pan, Ribs,
Fire, Drip Pan. The fire heats the chamber as well as heating a pan of water.
This water pan will help maintain moisture in your grill while cooking. The
drip pan keeps grease from the ribs from reaching the fire.
Of course there are variations
to this basic layout and you probably need to
do a little experimenting to determine what is going to work best for you. A
couple of variations include using wood chips either soaked and added to the
charcoal fire, if you are using a charcoal grill, or in a smoker box if you
are using a gas grill. This will add a good smoky flavor to your ribs.
You can also precook ribs
to speed up the process or to increase the
tenderness of the ribs. Ribs cooked on a smoker at a low temperature for
several hours will be very tender. Ribs cooked on a grill, especially a gas
grill, will not be as tender even cooked indirectly. To make your ribs more
tender you can precook by either boiling the ribs for about 30 minutes or by
placing them in a slow cooker. This will get the ribs going and not dried
out. Once you are ready to grill then you can season the ribs and cook them
indirectly until done.
Now for the seasoning. It
seems that most people cook up their ribs and
brush on barbecue sauce during the grilling. Remember that most barbecue
sauces whether store bought or homemade contain some kind of sugar (tomatoes
contain sugars). This can cause your ribs to burn, even cooked indirectly. I
suggest using a good rub before you grill and maybe a sauce after the
grilling is done. However if you want to use a sauce try using a mop. A mop
is a thin sauce (mainly vinegar or water) that you brush on during grilling
to help maintain moisture and to add flavor. Sometimes you will hear it
refered to as a baste.