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[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

Nothing can fulfill the defining barbecue trifecta of smoky, sweet, and tangy quite like ribs. Which is why I think they're a must-have on any menu for the second biggest cookout day of the year—Memorial Day. Last summer I worked on perfecting the standard sweet and sticky rib, but now I have something new that captures everything you'd want in a rib with a bit of a twist in these balsamic-glazed baby back ribs.

A rub that features a trio of peppercorns—white, black, and Szechuan—coats racks of baby backs, which are then cooked low and slow over cherry wood, in either a smoker or grill. A brushing of balsamic barbecue sauce in the last half hour leaves the ribs with a glistening sheen.

They may look like everyday ribs, but the balsamic makes a pronounced difference, thanks to a distinctive acidity that melds well with the sugars and peppers in the rub. Combine this with the tender and smoky meat, and you have everything you could wish for in backyard barbecue, making them a great way to kick-off of this grilling season.

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

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