If you’re looking for a pit master this weekend, chances are they’re in Chicago cooking at the great Windy City Smokeout. From July 10-12, barbecue pros will be grilling and smoking up a meaty storm, while country music stars serenade the craft beer-swigging festivalgoers gnaw on sticky, messy ribs. Can’t make it? Don’t worry. You can still enjoy some seriously incredible barbecued ribs this weekend by following these great tidbits of expert rib advice from some of the fest’s brilliant guest pit masters.
Choose the right rack of ribs. “Perfect BBQ ribs begin with a great slab of meat,” says Barry Sorkin of Smoque BBQ in Chcago. “There should be no exposed bones.” Scott Roberts of Texas’s The Salt Lick adds: “They should be red in color, not dingy.”
Season the meat—but not too much. “Seasoning is everything, but don’t go too far with flavors,” Roberts says. “Pork ribs should taste like pork. Remember, the more flavors you add the less pork you will taste.”