Tips: Secrets of a Boston BBQ Master

By Donna Garlough

Andy Husbands knows a good rack of ribs: The chef-owner of Tremont 647 is also a member of iQue, the team that took home the Grand Champion title at 2009’s Jack Daniels World Championship Barbecue competition in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We asked the local BBQ guru to let us in on his tried-and-true secrets. Here, this web extra from our Summer Fun package delivers his juiciest tidbits.

Throw your gas grill out. Sorry. The easiest, cheapest thing you can use is a standard Weber grill. But the best is the WSM-the Weber Smokey Mountain.

Use hardwood charcoal. The lump kind.

For ribs, you’re looking for ones without “shiners.” No big lumps of fat.

Ribs have a layer of sinew on the back. You can take it off using a paper towel, but you have to loosen it first. We use a Phillips screwdriver. Just slide it under the membrane.

Clean it, rub it, smoke it. That’s about it.
Baby backs? No. Ugh. Chili’s made them popular, but you know what? They’re cheap. The meat to bone ratio on is higher on a spare.

The key is low and slow. In competition, we’re looking at temps of between 225 and 250.

After 2 to 3 hours, we spray ’em down every half an hour with white cranberry and pineapple juices. This builds the bark and caramelizes it.

NBC. Nick, break, or cut. That’s the old-school way of telling when it’s done. Take a little peek on the underside to see.

A falling-off-the-bone rib is an overdone rib. It should have a little tug when you pull it away from the bone. That’s what judges look for.

Blue’s Hog barbecue sauce is by far the best. Heat it up and brush it on.