Take a walk through Memphis to find a BBQ rib joint and you are going to find some of the best ribs you have ever experienced. Memphis is famous for their "dry" ribs. In other words, not masked under a BBQ sauce, but pure ribs with the most amazing dry rub. At the Rendezvous in Memphis, where this recipe is adapted from, the ribs get mopped with a combination of the seasoning rub, vinegar, and a small about of ketchup. This recipe can easily be increased for more than 2 servings.
Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. Par the ribs dry with paper towel. Sprinkle the kosher salt all over the ribs.
Line a sheet pan with foil and place a baking rack on top. Set aside.
In the small bowl add 1 tablespoon of the dry rib rub, the white vinegar, water and ketchup; mixing well. Using a basting brush, generously brush all sides of the ribs with the rib mop.
Place the ribs, meaty side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Cook, basting with the mop every 12 to 15 minutes, for 1 hour or until the ribs are flexible but don't fall apart. (See Cook's Tips for the Bend Test)
When the ribs pass the bend test, place the ribs on a serving platter and brush one more time with the rib mop. Sprinkle all over the with the remaining dry rib rub.
How To Know When Your Ribs Are Done
Always check the internal temperature of your ribs before eating them. The easiest way to do this is inserting a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the ribs, without touching the bone, and making sure the temp reaches between 180°F and 195°F.
The bend test method. Use tongs to pick up the slab of ribs near the center. Gently bounce the ribs. If the slab bends nicely and the meat begins to crack on the surface, your ribs are ready. If there is only a small crack, cook the ribs longer.
The best way to salt ribs:
I prefer to use kosher salt in most of my cooking and strongly recommend it here as well. The large crystals in kosher salt give me more ability to control the amount of salt and how it is dispersed throughout the dish. Because of their size and crystal-like shape, they also absorb readily into whatever you are cooking.
This recipe uses Morton kosher salt. Morton kosher salt and Diamond Crystal kosher salt have very different volumes because of the size of their crystals. The ratio is approximately 1-½ Morton to 2 for Diamond Crystal. For the 2 teaspoons of Morton kosher salt in this recipe, you would use 2-¾ teaspoons of Diamond crystal.
While not necessary, if you can salt ahead of time you will get a better dry brine on the ribs. Season the ribs with the salt, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to give the ribs time to absorb the salt.
The Memphis style dry rub recipe that is used for these ribs does not contain any salt. If you decide to use another dry rub recipe that contains salt, decrease the amount of salt you use to season your ribs.