Grilled Baby Back Ribs

Imagine this scene, if you will: "I want my baby back, baby back, baby back..." sung by Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) and Lackawanna County School District Representative Christian (Tim Meadows). Do you know what I'm going on about or am I typing to an empty room? It's a reference to the show 'The Office' if you didn't know.

Hm, moving on: I grilled a half-rack of ribs last month, yeah, last month and I'm only posting about them now (all those Belize posts pushed my summer cooking adventures back about a few weeks). Well, anyway they came out awesome. I turned to my good friend, Google, for guidance on how I should go about cooking these ribs, knowing I wanted to involve the grill. There were a lot of different techniques out there so I did what I always do - I combined bits and pieces of what I read to create my own method.
I decided to do a dry spice rub because I thought it would be less messy than a wet marinade and because I knew it wouldn't burn as easily as using a liquid, sugar-filled barbecue sauce.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
½ rack baby back ribs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
+ barbecue sauce for dipping (optional; I like Kraft's Honey barbecue sauce)

I just picked a bunch of spices from my cabinet - ones I thought would make a flavorful rub and taste good on ribs. You can do the same - you don't necessarily have to use exactly what I did. But I would definitely recommend using brown sugar as a "base" to add sweetness and aid in caramelization.

Start by combining all of the spices together in a bowl and giving it a good stir.
Spoon the spice rub all over the ribs and rub it into the meat, both sides.
Watch out if you're using turmeric and cumin though, because they will stain your fingernails yellow, which is something I discovered after I took off my polish.
Cover the ribs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but if you have time, let it marinate overnight. I like to just use the tray that the ribs are packaged in because it's less cleanup and fewer dishes to wash.
Once the ribs are done marinating, take two sheets of foil and double-wrap the ribs.
Then, place in the grill (medium heat), bone side down, for one hour with the lid closed.

Throw some corn on the grill too, if you're so inclined. The corn only takes 15 to 20 minutes.
After an hour, the ribs should be fully cooked but still moist (from being wrapped in the foil). Remove the foil and then place the ribs, bone side down, on the grill over a medium high heat.
Let the ribs cook on the bone side for 5 minutes and then on the fleshy side for 5 minutes. This step is just to get that lovely charred and grilled taste.
Plate the ribs and let them rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting into them. The resting time will allow the juices to redistribute instead of spilling out all over your plate.
I also made some garlic and spinach rice to go with the meal. It's super easy. Just make some long grain rice using chicken stock. Then, in a frying pan, heat up some butter. Cook a bit of minced garlic until golden brown and add in a few huge handfuls of spinach. Once the spinach is wilted, add in the rice and stir to combine.

Serve with a lovely glass of half-and-half ice tea/lemonade (with a straw that looks like it's meant for chocolate milk).
These ribs are awesome with some rice and a bit of watermelon & feta salad. The meat was moist and flavorful. I think the spice rub and the cooking technique were both a success. And we didn't really need much of that wet barbecue sauce after all. The ribs were yummy enough on their own. But of course, there are some people out there in the world that like a little extra sauce on everything.
Oh yeahhh, the sign of a successful meal.
Here are the recipe pages for the ribs and the garlic & spinach rice: