Latin Touch Meat Guide
Pork: Part Three
~Chef Perry Perkins~
In part one, we looked at how to know how much pork to serve, the basics of cooking, brining pork, and tips for perfect pork chops. Next we moved on to some larger cuts: tenderloin, pork loin roast and, pork shoulders.
Now, in our final guide to pork, let’s take a look at ribs…
Ribs are, hands down, the most popular cut of pork for grilling and BBQ. Rib meat is tough and can be fatty, but cooked low and slow, the just a little seasoning, it’s a texture and flavor unlike any other.
Pork ribs are sold by the slab, each typically weighing two to three pounds. Half or more of that weight is bone, so be sure to figure at least half a slab per person.
Again, low and slow is the key, transforming that tough collagen into gelatin, and unctuous, tender ribs of mouth-watering pork. While ribs can be cooked in the oven, slow roasting inside your La Caja China (preferably with smoke), and then searing a whole slab over fire is the ideal method for producing perfect pork ribs.
There are two schools of thought on how to prep ribs. Some insist on removing the membrane from the underside of the slab, while others (myself included) don’t bother. Season your ribs with your favorite BBQ rub, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Dry vs. Wet
Most of us are used to seeing ribs served “wet” — which means they're slathered with sauce before they're smoked, grilled, or roasted for several hours.
While “dry” ribs, which are more regional, rubbed down with a spicy dry rub before being smoked or roasted, and usually sprinkled with a little more, just before serving.
As always, let the ribs rest on the counter to warm for an hour. Place ribs on top of the rack, bone side up. Attach the top rack using the 4 S-Hooks. Place the rack inside the box (still bone side up.)
Cover box with the ash pan and charcoal grid.
Add 16 lbs. of charcoal for model #1, or 20 lbs. for model #2, or Semi Pro, and light up.
Once lit, (20-25 minutes) spread the charcoal evenly over the charcoal grid. Cooking time starts right now.
After 1 hour open the box by removing both the ash pan and grid together, and place it on top of the long handles. Now flip the ribs bone side down, and brush liberally with melted butter, or a non-sugary sauce (or it will burn.)
Replace the ash pan and charcoal grid and add another 10 lbs of charcoal. Cook for an extra 30-45 minutes until done (internal temp 145 degrees F.), peeking in at 10 minute intervals.
If you want to sauce the ribs, do so 5 minutes before they’re done and watch carefully.
Remove the ribs from heat, and let them rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.
Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.
His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”
You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at ChefPerryPerkins.com