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Video: Celebrate July 4 with award-winning BBQ ribs

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    >>> is time for "today's kitchen." we're gearing up for good old finger lickin' southern bbq for your fourth of july celebration.

    >> who better than the world champion barbecue master herself. that would be melace cookson. the owner of memphis barbecue company. restaurants in north carolina and mississippi. so nice to see you.

    >> walking in this kitchen felt so good.

    >> thank you.

    >> what are we making?

    >> well, first -- we southern women like our sweet tea so i made you --

    >> what's in here?

    >> big girl sweet tea .

    >> what's in there? a little something.

    >> it's sweet tea .

    >> enough. that's delicious.

    >> and it's delicious.

    >> take us through the ribs.

    >> we'll talk about ribs. these are loin back ribs. phenomenal. i'm going to give you quick, easy steps because barbecue can be so overwhelming to a lot of people. first thing is just take this off the back. take the membrane off. and when you do that you get lots of flavor through both sides of the rib. and then you want to put rub, which i developed this many years ago, but it is wonderfully complementary to pork. i start off with a little -- that doesn't go there just yet.

    >> hoda cannot wait to get down there and sink into them.

    >> put them on the smoker for five hours.

    >> five hours. low and slow is great.

    >> low and slow.

    >> now when you take it out of the smoker, that's when you want to apply your salt. if you do it too quick it will caramelize and burn it. now --

    >> now.

    >> and you know, you can never have enough sauce. it's sticky. it's wet. it's good.

    >> come on.

    >> memphis -style barbecue is very sultry. a lot of great flavors melding in there. sweet with a little saltry heat. savoriness.

    >> those are going to be ready. as soon as that sauce sets. it's going to take a few minutes.

    >> now we'll do some baked beans . so i'm going to put onions, peppers in here with some bacon. who doesn't love bacon. bacon is a staple. going to let that saute up.

    >> then just dump it in the beans?

    >> we're going to dump that as well as some barbecue sauce .

    >> thank you.

    >> brown sugar . rub. and i'm going to put a little garl nick here later so it doesn't burn.

    >> okay. we're going to try this while you are explaining whatever you are talking about.

    >> we cannot wait.

    >> that way you don't get all my secrets if you can't listen to what i'm saying.

    >> oh, my goodness. that falls off the bone.

    >> unbelievable. oh, my gosh.

    >> that's so good.

    >> memphis -style barbecue is definitely the best.

    >> find the recipes at klgandhoda.com.

TODAY recipes
updated 7/1/2013 10:29:26 AM ET 2013-07-01T14:29:26

Recipe: World championship baby back ribs

  • 6 slabs baby back ribs, about 3 pounds each
  • Basic BBQ Rub (recipe follows)
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 1-cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup purple grape juice
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1tspn. dry chipotle powder
  • Yellow Mustard
  • Basic BBQ rub
  • 1 cup turbinado Sugar, ground
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Garlic
  • 1.5 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, fine ground
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Mustard
  • 4 tablespoons Chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 6 tablespoons Spanish Paprika

Using a coffee grinder, grind the turbinado sugar with a few "pulses" until it is lightly powdered. Combine with other ingredients and hand stir until well incorporated. Store in an airtight container.

Rinse the ribs and remove the membrane from the back. Trim any excess fat from the tops of the slabs. Trim 1 bone from the large end of the ribs and 2 bones from the small end. This will give you a much more consistent slab for cooking.

Starting on the backs, sprinkle the ribs with approximately ½ tablespoon of rub each, then add ½ tablespoon mustard each and massage into the meat. Flip the ribs over and repeat. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. For a contest, I marinate ribs like this for 12 to 16 hours.

Prepare a smoker to run at 225 degrees with around 4 chunks of apple wood and 4 chunks of cherry wood so that the wood will smolder throughout the cooking. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator, unwrap, and repeat the rub and mustard procedure, massaging them in. Don't get it too thick or paste-like, as this will give you a dark appearance when cooked. Place the ribs in the smoker meat side up and cook for 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the smoker and increase the temperature to 250 degrees. Apply rub and mustard to both sides of the ribs as before. On the top sides, slather approximately 1 tablespoon of honey over the surface, then sprinkle heavily with Turbinado sugar. Lay the ribs meat side up on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil and fold up the edges. Pour approximately 1 to 2 ounces of purple grape juice into the bottom of the foil, then finish wrapping the ribs but don't crimp the edges-you want steam to be able to escape.

Return the ribs to the cooker for 2 hours, then test for tenderness. (I cook ribs in this stage until they look overdone and too tender. Don't worry, they'll tighten up. If they still have too much texture, leave them in for 20 to 30 more minutes.) Remove the ribs from the cooker, open the foil, and drain off the liquid. Using the foil as a tool, "roll" the ribs over so the bone side is up, glaze with sauce, then roll them back over and glaze the tops. Using long tongs, carefully remove the ribs from the foil and place them back in the smoker for 15 minutes. This will let the glaze cook onto the ribs and let the ribs tighten back up. Remove from the cooker and allow to rest for 5 minutes, apply a very thin coat of sauce to "glisten" the ribs, then lightly sprinkle with chipotle powder before serving.

Serving Size

Serves 6-12

Recipe: Barbecue baked beans

  • 6 15-ounce cans store bought baked beans
  • 1.5 cup bacon, pre-cooked and chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced garlic
  • 1.5 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup BBQ Rub

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon trimmings for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the celery, onion, and peppers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. In a baking dish, combine the beans, bacon and pepper mixture, and remaining ingredients and stir. Cover and bake for 1 hour, then uncover and continue to bake until thick and bubbly, 15 to 20 more minutes.

Serving Size

Serves 4-6

Recipe: Grilled cayenne peaches

  • 6 peaches
  • 4.5 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1.5tspn. vanilla extract
  • 1.5tspn. Cayenne pepper
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Prepare a hot grill.

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, vanilla, and cayenne. Place the peach halves in a baking dish cut side up and spoon the sugar mixture over the peaches. Allow to sit for 20 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.

Place the peaches on the grill skin side down and cook for about 3 minutes or until they develop some char and the sugar is slightly set. Turn over and grill for 1 minute, then quarter turn them to develop a nice diamond shaped grill mark. Remove, place on serving plates, and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Serving Size

Serves 6

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