Here are the entrants for the Charleston Scene Rub My Rib! contest. Pick your favorite story by number and the cook with the most votes will represent Charleston Scene in the Rub My Rib! competition against area restaurant chefs. He or she will cook 1,000 ribs from 4-8 p.m. Saturday at the Charleston Maritime Center, 10 Wharfside St. The deadline for voting is noon on Wednesday and the winner will be announced on Charleston Scene Thursday morning.
1. Cooking tender, juicy, delicious, ribs is more than craft, it’s a passion. Applying the craft and artfully producing the best ribs one can eat is the goal every time my cooker is fired up. Perfect succulent ribs are a series of choices. Spices, flavors, and sauces all need to be expertly matched. The most important choice is fire. I enjoy mixing and matching woods to create the perfect fire that gently bathes the meat in heat and smoke. Layering on flavors during the process will produce a rib that you will truly call the best you ever ate.
2. I am blessed to have grown up in the low country and have parents that loved to entertain. For over a quarter century they had a large Labor Day party that included tables in the yard, linens and ribs cooked on an open pit. Uncle Eph Clark, my mentor, had a special basting sauce that was applied using a hickory stick with strips of cotton on the end. He said that cotton was from my sisters drawers, giving a unique and added flavor. This summer I entered the IOP VFW rib cook off and won first place.
3. I make the best southern pork barbecue ribs in town with entertainment to match. It all begins with the ingredients, salt, pepper, apple cider, win-a-gar (wine and vinegar), and 11 secret herbs and spices. My granddaddy got this recipe from a Col. in Kentucky in exchange for our fried chicken recipe. End product is tender, tangy pork that will make your teeth sweat. Our family and friends show all of our teeth because it is too much fun and remember huba, huba, huba-you gotta take those ribs and rub, rub, ruba.
4. To make my ribs takes some Good Pork, Good Beer and most of all Good Friends. Put alittle Balsamic Vinegar on top for about 1/2 hour then smoked low and slow for 5 hours with my own “Stanley 19” special seasoning. Just add friends and family and you have the best time.
— Kris Stanley
5. I’m privileged to be a South Carolinian from a long line of superb cooks. When I was six my father uprooted the family, temporarily, to a foreign land — Massachusetts. Barbeque rescued me. I’ll explain. At school, I was ostracized because of my accent. My manners (“yes ma’am”) landed me in the principal’s office. My key to survival was savoring the things that made me think of home, like mom’s cooking and dad’s delicious barbeque. Three things you must know about Jimmy’s barbeque sauce: 1. It’s terrific on chicken; 2. It’s marvelous on pork ribs; 3. It’ll take you back home!
6. My father spent 17 years in Asia and began blending his southern sauce and Asian influences into one. I took it over and well...there is no such thing as perfection but this is close! It has been called “crack” sauce. You can’t get enough...
My ribs are the best! I do not eat ribs from anywhere other than my grill. I prefer my ribs to have...you know, A GRILLED FLAVOR! If you want juicy, part in your mouth pleasure from a rib, allow me to share it with the Holy City! You will not be disappointed...
— Jonas Mount
7. There are several things that I feel set my ribs apart. First the ribs are rubbed with my own dry rub that includes brown sugar and just a touch of cayenne pepper. The ribs are Hickory-smoked at a low temperature for 2 hours then wrapped tight in foil and returned to the smoker for an additional 2 hours. The final step is to finish the ribs on the grill, preferably over charcoal or wood. During this step they are coated in my own special recipe sauce, a sweet yet tangy red sauce that pleases almost everyone.
— Wally Hamm
8. Initially, I was pursuing a date with a beautiful sailor-girl who loved ribs. CofC sailors are like ballet dancers in their drive to starve themselves before regattas in order to make “boat-weight.” After racing all weekend, however, they would return home cranky, ravenous and ready to sacrifice the rest of the week’s calories for just one outstanding meal.
My homemade rub and slow-smoke method are legendary- they’ve been demanded at every party I’ve attended since 1998; winning friendly competitions and empowering me to enter this contest. And that girl I wanted to impress? She married me. Yeah, they’re that good.
— James Lipp
9. When “ Oink, Oink….More, More “ is crescendo-ing from our roof top, and friends and family elbow their way to platters of our ‘Bohicket Bacon’ Rubbed Racks of costae verae (short ribs) every Coon Dog Day in Saluda N.C., this “Chef” (wanna’ be) is pretty sure our “Rubbed Ribs” made the grade.
Bobby Flay hasn’t challenged us……yet…. (maybe Low Country Pluff-mudders intimidate America’s First Iron Chef)….but when he sees the Charleston Restaurant Week Chefs go Gimlet-Eyed over our lip smacking, tummy teasing, succulent, Juniper Scented, bone sucking porcine beauties, we expect a “ Throw Down “!!
— Thomas M. Leland
10. Every year, we give (my brother) Chris our empty containers and on Christmas Day he presents us with a container filled with Chris’ Secret Rub. When we run out Chris is always willing to refill our containers during the year.
When my wife begs for ribs we start the 18 hour process like this:
Preheat oven to 350 just before going to bed.
Apply Chris’ secret rub to four slabs of pork ribs.
Half fill two pans with apple vinegar.
Turn the oven off after an hour and leave the ribs in the oven overnight…the dogs go crazy with the mouth watering odors coming from the oven.
Wake up, turn the ribs over, re-heat the oven to 350 for 30 minutes and turn it off.
Spend most of Saturday doing chores, eat lunch, turn the ribs over again, reheat oven to 350 for 30 minutes
Just before dinner heat the grill, cut the ribs and braze the ribs.
— Marc Hehn
11. My ribs come from years of backyard practice to perfection. First, I rub the ribs with brown sugar and paprika. I then lightly wrap them in foil, adding a few ice cubes, and bake at 250 for at least two hours. The ice melts with the ribs’ natural fat, the two slowly boiling and steaming the ribs tender, flavoring the deepest rib meat with the rub. Once the ribs are tender, I grill them with my homemade mustard sauce (made with mustard, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper), just long enough to seal the tender meat. They are good!
— David K. Haller
12. When a friend of the family, nicknamed ‘Big Fun’, showed me his fall-off-the-bone rib technique, my obsession with ribs was borne. My BBQ breakthrough came when I added some original ideas and flavors. Years of fine tuning have led to a process that includes a moderate application of a homemade rub, hours of slow smoke, a little time wrapped in foil with bourbon, and a crystallizing sugary finishing rub. This crafts a unique rib that is both sweet and salty with hints of herbs, has a smooth smoke flavor, and is tender on the inside with a little exterior crispiness.
— Russ Seamon
13. I have won numerous chili cookoffs through the years, cooked boston butts for my kids sports teams for as long as I can remember, but ribs are my first love. I’ve been working on my recipe since long before the internet and “google search” I have read books and hosted backyard BBQ’s in search of perfection. I finally found it and I am prepared to share it with all of Charleston at this fun event..
I’m ready to challenge the big guns, I doubt they’re ready for me!!!
1) Rub the meat and get it spicy.
2) Cover it up and wait.
3) Give it lots of attention.
4) Let it cook for a long time, low and slow.
The best rack of BBQ ribs in Charleston-
Tender, juicy, smoky ribs- (I’ve been perfecting my recipe for years). You won’t need a napkin, they’re not drowning in sauce. Besides, you’ll be licking your fingers.
People love my Baby-Backs and tell me I should open a restaurant. Vote for me and tell me what you think!!
— Ed Heavey