Pendleton Whiskey Baby Back Ribs came to mind when I was checking out the Pendleton Barbeque Sauce at Amazon.com. I took a leap of faith and invested in a bottle of Pendleton BBQ Sauce so that I could let our fans and readers know how we rated the taste and flavor. Memorial Day was around the corner so I figured that this would be a good time to give the sauce a try.
It was Sunday, May 24, 2015 and after finishing a light breakfast of Cinnamon-Raisin bread with Bladnoch Whisky Marmalade, I got the charcoal grill fired up for a day of grilling. As I waited for the charcoal to heat up, I pulled out the baby back ribs from the refrigerator so that they could come to room temperature. I retrieved the required pork rub and apple cider vinegar from the pantry. I also pulled out my trusty rib rack.
I thoroughly washed and cleaned off the ribs. I also removed the membrane from the ribs underside. I pierce the underside (where the membrane was removed) with a fork to allow the apple cider and rub to penetrate. I applied approximately 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the underside of each slab of ribs. I flipped the ribs over and applied 2 tablespoons to the meaty side and massaged in the apple cider vinegar. I also applied the rub to each slab of ribs to the desired amount (light rub to a rub crust).
I lightly covered the slab of ribs with cling wrap and then checked on the heat level of the grill. Since I use a charcoal grill without a thermometer, I gauge the heat using the hand test at a distance of approximately 5 inches from the grill top. I should be able to hold my hands over the heat for 5 to 7 seconds which should be around 350 – 450 degrees; however, if I’m able to hold my hand there for 8 to 10 seconds the coal temperature should be around 250 – 350 degrees. I was able to hold my hand there for about 7 seconds which is a medium heat for my grill.
Due to the thickness of the baby back ribs I was looking for a slow cooking time of 2 to 3 hours at a medium heat. I positioned the ribs in the rib rack
and placed the rack on the grill. I decided on a direct heat for the ribs and closed the lid. Keep in mind that the cooking time can lengthen if you have to add more charcoal every 20-30 minutes. Every time I had to add more charcoal, I flipped the ribs over and basted them with the Pendleton Barbeque Sauce
Even when you start to see the meat pulling away and exposing rib bones, you are still possibly a long way from your ribs being done. I have come across different methods (the bend, twist, popup, peek-a-boo, taste or toothpick test) for checking for rib doneness. I prefer the bend test so if the slab only bends slightly I know that I need more cooking time. If the slab is close to breaking toward the center you should have a fully cooked slab of ribs. My slabs had a slight bend and I thought about cooking longer on the grill until I looked at my guest’s faces and saw a look of crazed hunger. I decided, for my own safety, to finish the ribs off in my oven for an extra 10-15 minutes.
The ribs looked and tasted great with a smoky mesquite flavor and the sauce was initially tangy and sweet.
The Pendleton Barbeque Sauce reminded me of Bull’s-Eye Sweet and Tangy or Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce. The Pendleton Canadian Whiskey is smooth and light with a tangy flavor on the palate. It is a light sipping whiskey which is not overpowering. Since the sauce had a sweet taste, I added cask strength bourbon to cut back on the sweetness of the sauce. The bourbon tamed the sweetness and made the sauce even more palatable.
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