From Kiya’s Kitchen
One “Hell” of a Rub!
Note: We certainly couldn’t end an edition that whets the whistle and not ask the young woman who so recently thrust Allegany County into the culinary national spotlight. After photographing Kiya for last month’s cover of Allegany Magazine, we brazenly asked her if she would be willing to share with us one of her favorite and top secret recipes. To our surprise and delight, she happily agreed – so from Hell’s Kitchen, to Kiya’s Kitchen, to your own kitchen, we present this special contribution from Kiya Wilhelm – as seen on TV! And of course, we had to send our photo correspondent, Cody Steckman back for seconds!
When I think of one the first dishes I cooked at the outdoor club I think of the one that gave me recognition amongst the members as being able to cook. All I can think of is the first time I made ribs as a special. I’ve always been a proper fan of ribs and all across the cooked spectrum as well. The kind where they fall off of the bone, where they stay on the bone, dry rubbed, wet rubbed, smoked. Etc. All of it.
But my favorite ribs that I make is somewhat of a combination of many of these cooking methods.
I start by lighting a charcoal grill and making sure the temperature varies between 275 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. While the grill is warming up, I take my ribs, score the back vertically, horizontally and diagonally so that the tough skin that holds the ribs together cooks evenly with the meat. I set my ribs aside and make the rub. The rub is as follows, equal parts spices for two racks of ribs you’ll need:
2c packed light brown sugar
1/4 c paprika (mostly for color, make it smoked paprika for an extra earthiness)
1/4 c salt
1/4 c pepper
1/4 c ground mustard
1/4 c garlic salt
1/4 c onion powder
1/4 c garlic powder
Mix all these flavors in a bowl. Then, rub your racks of baby back ribs down with half of the dry rub, reserving the other half for later. This is the time to now turn your oven on to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. (Trust the process) Go out and check your charcoal grill to see if it’s up to temp. If the grill is ready, place your ribs meaty side down first. Depending on the temperature of your grill you will leave the racks in the grill before flipping until a slight char has formed on the ribs. I look for small areas of black caramelization from the sugar burning. Once you see that it’s time to flip, look for the same, and when you see another side beginning to caramelize, take your ribs off the heat. Now, this is when I either cut the ribs into single pieces, thirds, or halves depending on how many people I’m feeding. Once your ribs a just cook enough to touch, cut them to your desired thickness or don’t cut them at all. Remember the rub we saved from earlier? We’re going to use that now!
Take your rub in a bowl and add just enough warm water to dissolve the sugar when whisked. This is going to be a wet rub now, that is placed on the ribs before you throw them into the oven.
I usually put my ribs into a hotel pan or rap them individually in foil to lay on a sheet tray but this part is up to you. The wet rub can be touching the ribs in this secondary cooking process. Ribs really only need to be cooked to 165 degrees to be considered done, but I find when the ribs are cooked until 195-205 degrees that’s when the meat begins to fall off the bone. In my oven that takes about two hours. But just remember to keep an eye on them.
However you like ribs, if you even like them at all, this rub recipe is a mixture of all classic barbecue seasonings. It can be used on many types of meat you plan to grill or smoke. But one thing is for sure, I like it on ribs best!
Photography for Allegany Magazine by Cody Steckman