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Mastering Spare Ribs.

Share your war stories, your successes, and how Steven's books have changed your cooking from charburgers to grilling magic.
Post Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:23 pm
Zews39 raw

Posts: 1
Last week I sent the following letter to Steven. I'd like to share it with the community.

Hi Steven,

A few short years ago I had absolutely no clue about grilling ribs, or practically anything else. In fact the very first time I grilled ribs, they were baby backs for my family, I made beautiful pieces of charcoal. I wish I had a photo of that disaster, however I was too upset to take photos.

Now, in no small part thanks to your book "How to Grill", and your personal suggestions from time to time, I can say in all confidence that I have mastered grilling Pork Spare Ribs. I have continued to hone my skills by browsing online and trying new things I had not dared to try before having learned from you. You taught me how to walk so to speak as far as grilling is concerned.

Yesterday I was challenged to cook for 24 people, and ventured to grill 8 racks of spare ribs on a good friend's brand new Weber Genesis grill. They came out perfect! Everybody loved "my" BBQ sauce, in fact your "basic BBQ sauce" from "How to Grill" with about double the Cayenne and Tabasco, as well as 5 Star Anise pods added.

Attached are a few photos of the event.

As you can see in the photos, I used two rib racks to support the ribs. Yours and an unknown brand that belongs to my friend. Your racks stand head and shoulders above the other one both literally and figuratively for several important reasons.
- It is much wider, so the racks don't flop over on the ends.
- It is much taller, so the racks are supported better.
- It has an extra space on the bottom of about 3/4 of an inch so the racks don't sit right on top of the grill grate.

Since I was using only the left hand burner (with smoker pouches above it, see photos) to keep the temperature low enough, obviously resulting in somewhat uneven heat inside the grill, I switched the two racks every half hour to even this out. The handles on your rack made this so easy.

I still wish that you would make your rib rack in stainless steel, since this would make it so much easier to clean, because you can than see what you are doing.

All the best.

What I did not mention in my letter to Steven, is that the event in question with 24 people present was a weekly Tertulia (, and most if not all of the guests were from Spain. After the event one of my friends, a Spaniard, gave me a new nickname: "El Costillero"
8 racks 01.jpg
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8 racks 02.jpg
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8 racks 03.jpg
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Post Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:17 pm
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 8648
Location: Stoughton, WI
Great-looking ribs, and welcome! We'd love to see more of your work!

Post Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:40 pm
JPET User avatar

Posts: 258
Location: LOS ANGELES, via Long Island
For those of you who are foreign language impaired like me,

"El Costillero" can translate to -The Rib King-, or- the Rib Cooker-, or -HE who cooks ribs-, or -the Barbecuor of Ribs-.

Post Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:33 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
Great job! Those ribs look fantastic.

Looks like that nickname wasn't just given, but earned! 8)

"How to Grill" is definitely a game-changer and I recommend it all the time.

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