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There are so many sights, sounds, and songs that make you think of summers past. There are feelings you associate with your best summer days and nights. Cool, beachy breezes. Songs that remind you of beach towns. The feeling of your feet in sand. The feel of cotton candy on your tongue. The smells of a barbecue coming together, and of course, the tastes. The tastes!
Without a doubt, I’m somewhat new to the culinary world. Something about having my second kid in school (daycare) made me realize it was finally time to learn to cook and bake better. And how cool it would be! A Supertaster, with a very discerning taste, who also loves kid foods like rainbow sprinkles and chicken nuggets? I think my food may be many things, but it never gets boring. My husband is such a grill master, that we worked together on my favorite recipe for Smithfield Extra Tender Back Ribs with a Honey Soy Ginger glaze. The smell is so good, and the taste blows me away. And it’s simple!
Smithfield Ribs are an easy meal solution, not only for barbecues and parties, but also for any night of the week! I used to be intimidated by grilling ribs, but with the help of Cassidy, who’s a wonderful chef/baker/griller, I’ve grown more confident!
As I touch upon in my recipe, using a charcoal grill for meat can really bring out an intense and smoky flavor. Since my taste buds are so sensitive to begin with, I generally put a lot of thought into ingredients and how they’re cooked.
It’s easy to pick up the ingredients for my favorite, delicious glaze, because it contains mostly all ingredients we already have! So it’s just a matter of picking up last minute garnishes – like green onions – and also focusing on side dishes.
What I love is a complete meal. I love side dishes, gathering around a powerful main dish. I prefer the smokier, richer taste of these ribs. The ribs are tender and smoky on their own, but the sauce/glaze really knocks them out of the park.
You’ll also find some tips and tricks in my recipe. Grilling ribs does not have to be intimidating. You can make sauces and rubs with ingredients you already have, and buying ribs is as easy as going to the meat section at Walmart and grabbing them!
- Smithfield Extra Tender Back Ribs
- 1 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup favorite soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- Sesame seeds
- Sliced green onions/leeks/scallions, etc.
- 1/4 cup chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- There are so many ways to cook ribs, but we're focusing on a charcoal grill because it gives them more flavor, and the long, slow cooking will make them tender with a crisp crust.
- Open the package of Smithfield Ribs and rinse them in water. Pat them dry with a paper towel and remove the membrane with a knife. This will make more tender ribs!
- Make your sauce/glaze with ingredients above mixed together in a medium bowl. Set aside until the last half hour of cooking or so, to prevent burning.
- Cook your ribs slowly for 1.5 to 2 hours over medium heat (325-350). Cook them over a drip pan half filled with water. This is a long and slow way to cook ribs, but if they are browning too quickly, which can happen, shut the grill vents. Here's the breakdown of timing (flexible):
- Grill the ribs covered for 45 minutes. Reposition the ribs for equal heating for all. Grill for another 45 minutes up to an hour, basting with your sauce/glaze every 20 minutes.
- You will know they're done after 1.5 to 2 hours because the meat shrinks and exposes the bone at the thinner end as it cooks. When 1/4 of an inch of bone is exposed, that's a way to tell they're done. When you pick up the middle of the rib with tongs, the meat will separate from the bone. If it feels rubbery, it needs more cooking.
- Remove ribs from grill and let them stand for ten minutes. Take pictures!
As you can see, it’s a bit of a fun process. You don’t really add the sauce/glaze until the end, because you don’t want the ribs to burn. So they will change form a lot during the cooking, and you’ll also break them apart as you best see fit.
Smithfield Ribs are hand-trimmed, extra-tender, and juicy, with no added hormones or steroids. What’s cool, especially for me, is that the Smithfield Extra Tender fresh pork is so juicy and tender, that it will come out great no matter what level of grilling experience you have. They’re my secret weapon for looking like a grill expert!
Now side dishes vary so much. I personally love an Italian Marinade Pasta Salad with my main course. This can be done easily, and can also be pre-made the day before. You cook any form of pasta according to the package, drain, and rinse in cold water. Then place the pasta in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, along with meats – like salami or pepperoni, cheeses, vegetables, and olives. Add salad dressings and seasonings, turn over, and put in the fridge until serving!
I also love these gooey Honey Cornbread Muffins. They absolutely drip with delicious honey as a topping! This recipe makes 12 large muffins. Preheat oven to 400. Mix 1.5 cups of flour, 1 cup of cornmeal (you can get anything from soft to gritty, depending on your tastes), 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of making powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt, 1 stick of melted butter, 1 cup milk, 2 large eggs, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tablespoons of canola oil, and 2 tablespoons of sour cream. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. Scoop the batter into the muffin tins – about 75% full. Sprinkle with more cornmeal, bake for 15-17 minutes, and then drizzle with more honey! I love mine with butter over the domed top.
Now are you ready for the Smithfield® Hog Wild Throwdown? You can grill, vote or play for the chance to win. Prizes include (2) Ford F-150’s! Celebrity Pitmasters Moe Cason and Tuffy Stone have been partnered with Smithfield® for the last two years, to show their excitement for the products, and are brand ambassadors for the Hog Wild Throwdown.