Traeger Smoked Spare Ribs

David Billups

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Manfood Certified

Grillin ain’t a game. Despite what you might think, it’s not for the thinned skinned or faint of heart. It’s a labor of love meant to test your skill, creativity, patience and most importantly your pride. And if you step up, be prepared to be judged by a jury of you peers, most of whom couldn’t light a grill with a start button. But that doesn’t matter to them because you took the challenge, and the guy that can’t make ramen noodles without reading the instructions on the back will be your worst critic. Oh, you thought they were all coming over to eat, drink and be merry? To live, love and laugh? Please. Standing behind that grill is a bold move that says to every man in attendance, “you are my subordinate”, and trust me when I tell you, in the words of the great Michael Jordan, 95% of them came to see you loose. So what do you do about that? My advice is, don’t lose. Win. You want to know how? Follow these steps.

Step 1 – Be quiet. Don’t go bragging about the grill you just bought. That just brings unnecessary pressure. Learn it. Practice it. And once your confident about the food, work on your style and technique.

Step 2 – Be cool. Again, it’s not about the food, it’s about you. That’s why you didn’t order from Pizza Hut. So no stumbling, fumbling or bumbling around your work area. Get organized, know where your stuff is and proceed with swag.

Step 3 – Be clean. While your buddy’s wife may eventually recover from the physical and emotional anguish of having explosive diarrhea in your downstairs bathroom, your reputation will not.

Step 4 – Be creative. Don’t do dogs unless you’re feeding kids. Do something that will make them say Daaaaaaam!

Step 5 – Be certified. MANFOOD CERTIFIED that is. Follow me on IG for ways to make your grilling official. For example, here is a winner on a grill I highly recommend. Traeger smoked spare ribs with baby potatoes and roasted sweet peppers:

  • Rub ribs with a light coat of Olive Oil.
  • Season generously with a dry spice of your choice. Homemade or store bought.
  • Bake ribs at 225 degrees for 3-5 hours until meat begins to pull away from the outer ends of the bones.
  • Sprinkle ribs with brown sugar and grill on higher heat until sugar melts into a glaze (30 minutes or so)
  • Brush lightly with a BBQ sauce that compliments your dry seasoning (feel free to add some dry seasoning to your BBQ sauce)
  • Cut ribs in two’s and lay them on a large cutting board atop the roast baby potatoes and back away (cover with a food umbrella).

Don’t say you’re done. Don’t say food is ready. Don’t say time to eat. Just back away and let everyone stew and wonder. Make them squirm. When they finally figure out that they can dig in, probably after the ramen noodles guy makes a dash for the front of the line, and you say “Ladies First!” Then, and only then, will you be The Man!


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