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Complete Idiot’s Guide to Grilling
by Don Mauer

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 6 to 8 hours to brine
Cook time: 12 to 14 minutes
Serving size: 2 to 3, depending on size


    • 4 to 6 lb. beef short ribs (with bone)
    • 1 cup kosher salt
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 qt. water
    • 6 (12-oz.) cans or bottles lager beer
    • Barbecue sauce (your favorite homemade or store-bought)


1. Rinse beef short ribs under cold water, and set aside

2. Add kosher salt, sugar, and water to a 2-gallon reclosable plastic bag. Seal bag and shake until salt and sugar dissolve. Add beef short ribs. Press out as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.

3. Add beer to a large, deep saucepan or stockpot, and place over medium-high heat. Remove ribs from the bag, discard the bag and marinade, rinse ribs under cold water, and add to beer in the saucepan. If necessary, add water to saucepan to cover ribs by 1/2 inch. Bring almost to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring once in a while, for 2 hours. Be careful not to let it come to a rapid boil.

4. Fire up the grill:
For a charcoal grill: Open the bottom vents. Ignite 6 quarts or 2 1/2 pounds charcoal briquettes or hardwood charcoal. When the coals are hot, set up for a single-level, medium heat fire (so you can hold your hand 5 inches above the cooking rack for only 4 to 5 seconds).
For a gas grill: Turn each burner to high and ignite. Cover the grill. When hot, set all burners on medium heat.

5. When the grill is ready, using tongs, remove short ribs from cooking liquid and place on the grill bone-side down, not directly over coals or heat. Cover and grill for 20 to 30 minutes or until ribs are golden brown. Brush each rib on all sides, except for bone side, with barbecue sauce, and grill for 6 to 9 minutes, covered. Remove ribs from the grill, and serve immediately, passing additional barbecue sauce.

Note: Short ribs have a lot of fat, so when shopping for ribs, take a good look, and purchase the leanest, meatiest ribs you can find.

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