Recipes: 'Grill It!' This book streamlines strong flavors into bold, relatively simple recipes. Our recommendations? Easy Memphis-Style Barbecued Pork Spareribs or Smoke-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Maple Barbecue Sauce.

Recipes: 'Grill It!'

'Grill It!' cover

Back to Main Story

Get more recommendations from T. Susan Chang.

These recipes appear in Grill It! by DK Publishing , DK Adult, 2008.

Easy Memphis-Style Barbecued Pork Spareribs

Serves 4 to 6

This is for those of you who don't have the patience or the space to make slow-barbecued ribs. Although they only spend a few minutes on the grill (after several hours in the oven), this version is still mighty delicious. In fact, once they're oven-cooked, you can refrigerate them for up to two days before finishing them off on the grill. They are "Memphis-style" because, like the pitmasters of that rib-centric city, we don't put sauce on the meat. Instead, we coat them with our Traditional Barbeque Rub before they get cooked, then pass the sauce separately along with the cooked ribs. That way, the ribs have a nice, crisp, dry crust on the outside, which you can coat with as much sauce as you like.

The Meat
2 racks pork spareribs, up to 3 lb (1.35kg) each

The Sauce
1 cup ketchup

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons prepared brown mustard

1/2 teaspoon "liquid smoke" (optional)

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Traditional Barbecue Rub
1/3 cup kosher salt

1/3 cup freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground paprika

2 tablespoons ground chile powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons ground coriander

2 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon ground ginger

In a small bowl, combine all the rub ingredients and mix well. (If you want to multiply the quantities, this mixture will keep, covered and stored in a cool, dry place, for months; it's great with any pork cut or with chicken.)

Preheat the oven to 200° F (95° C). Coat the ribs thoroughly with the barbecue rub, set them on baking sheets, and roast until the meat is tender and pulls easily from the bone (about 3 hours). Remove the ribs from the oven.

While the ribs are cooking, combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, mix well, and set aside.

When the ribs are nearly done, light a small fire in your grill. You want a very low charcoal fire with the grill rack set as high as possible. When the ribs are done, put them on the grill for as long as your patience allows — at least until a light crust has formed, which can take from 10 to 20 minutes per side, depending on your fire. Of course, the longer the ribs cook, the better. Brush them with sauce during the last minute of cooking.

Cut the racks into individual ribs and serve, passing the remaining sauce on the side.

Smoke-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Maple Barbecue Sauce

Smoke-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Maple Barbecue Sauce

Serves 4

The Chicken
8 large, bone-in chicken thighs, about 8oz each

The Spice Rub
2 tablespoons ground coriander

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon kosher salt

The Barbeque Sauce
3/4 cup ketchup

1/3 cup maple syrup

Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)

Light a fire well over to one side of your grill, using enough coals to fill a large shoebox. When the fire has died down and the coals are covered with white ash, you're ready to cook.

Combine the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Coat the thighs generously with the spice rub, pressing gently to be sure it adheres, then arrange them, skin side down, on the side of the grill away from the coals, being careful that none of the meat is directly over the coals. Put the lid on the grill with the vents open one-quarter of the way and cook for about 1 hour, adding a handful of fresh charcoal and flipping the thighs over after 30 minutes. To check for doneness, cut into one of the thighs at its thickest point; there should be no redness near the bone.

While the chicken is on the grill, combine the ketchup, maple syrup, and lemon juice in a small bowl and mix well. Baste the chicken with the sauce during the last 10 minutes of cooking, and serve the remaining sauce along with the smoked thighs.