Rubbed RibsWith summer well underway, it's prime time for cookout weather. Low-heat smoking is a great way to relax outside with the family and enjoy a mouthwatering meal at the end. Here are 5 simple steps to perfect pulled pork and ribs:
1. Prep the meat properly: In the test kitchen, we tried rubbing spices on our meats from an hour ahead to a day ahead. Not surprisingly, the overnight rubs resulted in much more flavorful meat. Try Bobby Flay's rub from our July issue or our Good Housekeeping Memphis-style one.
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2. Get the right set-up: If you have a smoker, great! For charcoal and gas grills, you want to create a zone where there isn't any direct heat on the meat. If you have a charcoal grill, banks the coals to both sides. For gas, turn on half the burners.
3. Wait for the right temperature: For smokers and charcoal grills, the charcoal is going to get hotter before it settles into the steady low heat you want (ideally, around 250 degrees). If your smoker or grill doesn't have a thermometer built in, stick one in the vent holes and close the vents to check the temp. Don't add your soaked smoking chips until the temp is right.
4. Keep the meat moist: The low temperature will keep the meat tender and moist, but you should also start the meat fat side up for extra insurance. You can also brush a mixture of cider vinegar and vegetable oil on the meat every hour or so for extra juicy meat.
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5. Maintain the heat: For a smoker or charcoal grill, once you start to see the heat dip, add hardwood lump coals to the mix. They don't need to be lit separately. For gas grills, be sure to start with a full tank of propane.Pulled Pork Sandwich
The best part about smoking is that it's really low effort. You just have to keep an eye on the points above and you'll have incredibly flavorful meat for a meal at the end. For a final seasoning, try our Carolina sauce or check out our barbecue sauce taste test winners. Coleslaw is a must, whether it's sandwiched with pulled pork or served with the ribs.Genevieve Ko
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