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Open Pit Barbecued Ribs

My wife and I just spent a week in the South Carolina “Low Country” with my son and daughter in law. Our rental house only had an open pit BBQ rather than a grill. It had been a while since my son and I cooked over an open fire, so we decided on ribs.

2 slabs baby back ribs


Black pepper

Garlic powder


Trim excess fat from the ribs and season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. To prepare the fire: (1) pile approximately 1/2 bag of charcoal briquettes, (2) squirt each briquette with lighter fluid, (3) wait 1 full minute, and (4) lay a paper towel over the briquettes and light it. When all the coals are covered in white ash (approximately 30 minutes) spread them out and place the cooking grate in place. The grate was approximately 8 to10 inches above the coals. Since there was no way to adjust the cooking grate height, we finished the ribs in the oven as described below. Place the ribs directly over the fire and cook for 1 1/2 hours until the meat begins to pull away from the bone on the ends. Tend the ribs to ensure they are cooking and not burning, turning every 5 minutes or so.

The ribs were then wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in a 350°F oven. After 1 hour the foil was removed from the top, the ribs were drizzled with honey, and the broiler turned on. They were broiled for 15 minutes.

Since we were in South Carolina, they were served with a commercial South Carolina Mustard BBQ sauce (set on the table, not poured over them). They were accompanied with a mixture of canned baked beans and black beans.


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