Thursday, May 3, 2012

Caveman Ribs over a campfire

Silverfiddle posted a few words about grilled fajitas a few days ago (, a slight departure from his liberal bashing ways, and I thought if Silverfiddle can stray from the conservative reservation to dwell on all things smoky, then I might as well give it a stab myself.

Everybody, both liberals and conservatives, would agree on the following statement: things taste better when cooked over a campfire. Burgers, hot dogs, brats, smores, bacon and eggs, all excellent campfire fare and I don't think I will get a single syllable of disagreement on this.  It's just an immutable law of nature.  But campfire cooking has its limitations, in that controlling the fire and heat are problematic at best, and a campfire is not an ideal venue for preparing baby back ribs.

Not until now.

There are some purists out there who would gasp in disbelief at the following method of preparation of a rack of baby backs, and would curse such barbecue heresy, and wish a pox upon my house.  But I will press on in the face of the howls of rage from such purists, because there is nothing that tastes better than campfire baby back ribs, using a recipe that I affectionately call 'Caveman Ribs.' 

Read on, if you dare. 

First and most important, secure a nice full rack of baby back pork ribs.  And this next step is the one that creates the rabid, vicious cries from the purists out there: BOIL them for 30 minutes in water along with some chopped onions, peppercorns and a bottle of your favorite beer.  Yes, boil that nice rack of baby backs.  It's OK, you can bring yourself to do it, once you see how this works out over the campfire.

After boiling, allow the ribs to cool to room temperature and then place them in a large zip lock bag and marinate them with liberal amounts of your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce, or make your own, it's a matter of preference, along with chopped onions, some more beer and peppercorns.  Refrigerate the ribs for at least 4 days, and longer if possible.

Then go camping.

Once you are ready for cooking, with a low campfire going (low flames are OK), place the ribs on your camping grill that you put over the fire and simply heat them (they are already cooked, remember boiling them?).  Once they are up to temperature, coat them with your favorite barbecue sauce, and sear the sauce onto the ribs a minute or so on each side, and serve.

You won't believe how good these taste.  Caveman Ribs. 

Just remember, I told you so.


Silverfiddle said...

I am not a purist, but I do frown on par-boiling. That can get you kicked out of the BBQ club.

However, seeing how it's camping, it's all good. We prepare all kinds of food differently for camping than we otherwise do, so, I smell what you're cookin'!

I think we'll try that this summer, only with the cheaper spare ribs or St Louis cut ribs.

Thanks for the props and thanks for the recipe!

Kid said...

I trust you Fredd. I'll try it.

Fredd said...


I get it.

It sounds bad.

But if you trust me, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

And I know you will not be disappointed....

Z said...

Fredd, I forgot that Mr Z and I boiled ribs from time to time before bbq'ing...and I remember how PLUMP they'd get.
Duck, too, is delicious if you first boil it a little and then bake it...the boiling cooks all the fat right out of it. The last time we moved, we never did install a barbecue, so it had been some time since we'd grilled.

Kid, try it...Fredd's right! We never waited for days after boiling (or camped together at all, come to think of it!) but it worked even doing it just beforehand.

Fredd said...


You are correct that the boiling removes much of the fat. I omitted that little tidbit because cavemen would grouse at this, as they liked every calorie available, to include cracking the bones and sucking out the marrow.

That, and I'm not much of a 'cooking light' kinda guy.