Summer, summer, summertime is upon us and along with the dresses and line dances, it’s time to break out the grills for a good barbecue.We’ve rounded up tips from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas and their sweet and spicy ribs recipe your cookout. 

The first step to successful rib grilling is selecting the type of rib that best suits your tastes and budget. There are several types of pork ribs available at local grocers or specialty meat shops. Popular cuts are spare ribs, St. Louis cut ribs, baby back ribs and country-style ribs.

Spare ribs have more bone than meat, but offer excellent flavor and are a little less expensive than baby back ribs. One slab of spare ribs is usually enough for two people.

St. Louis ribs (often called barbecue cut or Kansas City cut) are spare ribs with the rib tips removed. These have more meat in between the bones than baby back ribs and some prefer the taste of them over other cuts. A 3-3.5 pound slab will serve two people.

Loading the player...

Baby back ribs are shorter than spare ribs and less fatty. A single serving is usually a half-slab, or whole slab for a healthy appetite.

Country-style ribs are cut from the sirloin or rib end of the pork loin. The meatiest variety of ribs, country-style ribs are sold either as slabs or in individual servings. These pork ribs are perfect for those who want to use a knife and fork.

To prepare ribs, experts recommend first trimming the silvery membrane, called the peritoneum, on the back of the ribs. (If the peritoneum remains on, it will become hard and parchment-like when grilled.) Spices and seasoning rubs should be applied to both sides of the ribs prior to cooking, allowing the seasonings to permeate the meat on both sides. Near the end of the grilling process, apply sauces by liberally basting meat over a low heat. Ribs will turn a nice crispy brown as the sauce caramelizes, making it succulent and melt-in-your-mouth good.

Try this apricot mango BBQ ribs recipe »