Grill the Charcoal Way

There is nothing quite like grilling on charcoal. In our opinion, the smoky layers of charcoal flavour that infuse into your meat of choice is simply unmatched. As much as we love the finished product, grilling on charcoal can a bit of a production. Luckily, Weber has some great accessories that make charcoal grilling that much smoother.Weber Premium GlovesRapid Fire Chimney Starter

High heat demands Weber’s high temperature Premium Gloves.  Two in each set, the gloves have a silicone grip pattern on the palm to aid  in holding hot cooking tools.

The Compact Rapidfire Chimney Starter makes lighting charcoal a breeze. It is designed to speed up charcoal ignition with a cone-shaped design that exposes more briquette edges to the flame. You’ll never use lighter fluid again!

What goes better on charcoal than slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone tender ribs? Try out this delicious recipe this weekend and let us know how it goes! Our mouths are watering already!

Classic Baby Back Ribs

Serves: 4 – 6



2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons paprika
4 teaspoons granulated garlic
4 teaspoons pure chile powder
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 racks baby back ribs, 2 to 21/2 pounds each
4 medium chunks hickory wood, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

Barbeque Sauce:

3/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon pure chile powder
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 cup apple juice
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce (from above)


1. In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.

2. Using a meat thermometer or dull knife, slide the tip under the membrane covering the back of each rack of ribs. Lift and loosen the membrane until it breaks, then grab a corner of it with a paper towel and pull it off . Season the ribs all over, putting more of the rub on the meaty sides than the bone sides. Do not press the spices into the surface of the meat. Arrange the ribs in a rib rack, with all the ribs facing the same direction (see page 114).

3. Prepare a two-zone fire for low heat (see pages 14-15), making sure the charcoal covers no more than one-third of the charcoal grate. Place a large, disposable drip pan on the empty side of the charcoal grate. Fill the pan about halfway with warm water.

4. Drain 2 chunks of hickory and place them on top of the charcoal. Put the cooking grate in place. Place the rib rack over indirect low heat (over the drip pan) as far from the charcoal as possible, with the bone sides facing toward the charcoal. Close the lid. Close the top vent about halfway. Let the ribs cook and smoke for 1 hour. During that time, maintain the temperature between 250?F and 300?F by opening and closing the top vent. Meanwhile, make the sauce and the mop.

5. In a small saucepan mix the barbecue sauce ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes over medium heat, and then remove the saucepan from the heat.

6. In another small saucepan mix the mop ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes over medium heat to melt the butter, and then remove the saucepan from the heat.

7. After the first hour of cooking, add 8 to 10 unlit charcoal briquettes and the remaining 2 hickory chunks (drained) to the fire. At the same time, lightly baste the ribs with some mop. Leaving the lid off for a few minutes while you baste the ribs will help the new briquettes to light. Close the lid and cook for another hour. During that time, maintain the temperature between 250?F and 300?F by opening and closing the top vent.

8. After 2 hours of cooking, add 8 to 10 unlit charcoal briquettes to the fire. Remove the ribs from the rib rack, spread them out on a clean work area and baste them thoroughly with some mop. Put them back in the rib rack, again all facing the same direction but this time turned over so that the ends facing down earlier now face up. Also position any ribs that appear to be cooking faster than the others toward the back of the rib rack, farther from the charcoal. Let the ribs cook for a third hour. During that time, maintain the temperature between 250?F and 300?F by opening and closing the top vent.

9. After 3 hours of cooking, check to see if any rack is ready to come off the grill. They are done when the meat has shrunk back from most of the bones by 1/4 inch or more. When you lift a rack by picking up one end with tongs, the rack should bend in the middle and the meat should tear easily. If the meat does not tear easily, continue to cook the ribs. The total cooking time could be anywhere between 3 to 4 hours. Not all racks will cook in the same amount of time. Lightly brush the cooked ribs with some sauce and, if desired for crispiness, cook them over direct heat for a few minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and tightly cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with the remaining sauce on the side.


Don’t forget, OLM and Weber are joining forces to help you upgrade your grill! Enter our awesome contest for a chance to win a Weber Performer Deluxe Charcoal Grill.

To enter, share a photo of your worn-out, rusty, upgrade-ready grill. All you have to do is head over to our Facebook page and leave a comment on this post with a photo of your grill. Twitter more your style? Tweet your photo entry to us @ottawalifers.

Good luck!

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© 2007 Weber-Stephen Products Co. Recipe from Weber’s Charcoal Grilling™. Used with permission.