Memorial Day Weekend is here and it's time to fire up the grill. And if you're looking for grillin' tips, I got 'em courtesy of Alyson Lupinetti of Butch's Smack Your Lips in Mt. Laurel, NJ. Alyson is the two-time defending “Best Ribs” champion at the annual Rock, Ribs & Ridges music and food festival, having won in 2017 and 2018. She'll defend her crown at this year's Rock, Ribs & Ridges, the 10th Annual celebration, at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta on June 29th and 30th.
From Alyson Lupinetti of Butch’s Smack Your Lips BBQ, Mt. Laurel, NJ
1) Good meat ain’t cheap and cheap meat ain’t good. Alyson buys St. Louis-style ribs from U.S.-produced hogs. The rack of ribs will weigh about 2½ pounds.
2) Before smoking the ribs, use a knife to separate and remove the membrane on the back of the rack of ribs.
3) Maintain a low temperature. The ribs should take 4–4½ hours cooking time.
4) Soak some wood chips (she likes hickory), wrap them up real good in heavy-duty aluminum foil (poke some holes in the top) and then place over your fire or coals (or water pan in the oven). Now you're smokin'! Don't be looking or you won’t be cooking! Just let them smoke.
5) When ribs are tender and pulled back from the bone about ¼-inch, then and only then, is when you sauce them. Sauce the top using a mop or brush. When your ribs get bubbly, not burnt, flip them. Sauce the other side until it bubbles. Do not put the lid down during this process. Stay with your meat and watch it closely. This should take 3-5 minutes total. Remove from grill, cut into individual bones, and enjoy!
Rock, Ribs & Ridges "Best Ribs" champ Alyson Lupinetti. Photo courtesy of Rock, Ribs & Ridges