Memorial Day BBQ


Memorial Day weekend is the official start of the summer grilling season. Time to fill up those propane tanks for your gas barbecue and gather your ingredients for your signature barbecue “rub.”

Mr. Buttelman’s Signature Baby Back Pork Ribs

My husband makes the best ribs I’ve ever eaten. He’s taken a few years to perfect his “rub” and his grilling technique. All great BBQ starts with a fantastic rub. We use this on everything, ribs, steaks, chicken, even corn!

Experiment with flavors you like and create your own signature dry rubs for meat, chicken and seafood.

The day before

1 rack of pork baby back ribs (remove the tough membrane from the back of the ribs by using a knife to pry up a corner of the membrane, then pull it down the entire length of the ribs. This is a must).

Dry Rub

  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like it really spicy you can use up to 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder

Mix all the ingredients together and slather generously over front and back of ribs. Work the dry rub into the meat.

Wrap the ribs in foil and place in refrigerator until ready to BBQ.

The next day

Heat grill to 225F.

If you have a two-burner grill, light only one side and leave the other off. If you have a three- or four-burner grill, light the outside burners but leave the middle off.

Fold a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil and place a handful of hickory chips in the middle. Wrap the wood in the foil, making a compact package, then pierce it in several places with a bamboo skewer.

Lift the grate and place the foil packet of hickory chips near the flame. Replace the grate and lay the rack of ribs over the burner or burners that aren’t lit. Close lid. 

Cook baby back ribs for 3 to 4 hours. Low and slow, as the pit masters’ say. The ribs are done when a rib bone rotates easily if you grasp the end and wiggle it back and forth. Cook until internal temperature reads 185F on an instant read meat thermometer. 

Brush the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce, and crank up the heat on your grill to 450F. Cook the ribs for a few minutes to caramelize the sauce and make it stick to the ribs. Serve. 

Note ibs can cook faster or slower so keep an eye on them and check the internal temp often.

My favorite Coleslaw

This is my favorite homemade coleslaw recipe, courtesy of my dear, departed friend Chris Dougherty. 

Exact ratio of cabbage to carrots and other veggies is up to the individual. 

Shred a small head of cabbage and put it in a bowl. Add small bag of shredded carrots and mix. 

You can also add finely chopped celery, grated onion (only a teaspoon or two), green onion, chopped broccoli or cauliflower, really any vegetable that does not contain excess water.

  • For one cup of dressing use
  • 3/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Celery seed, salt and pepper to taste

Stir together until the sugar dissolves. Thin with milk or cream to desired thickness, season to taste with celery seed, salt and pepper.

Add more vinegar or sugar to adjust to your taste preference. 

Grilled Mexican Street Corn

  • 4 ears corn
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan

One lime, cut in half, to squeeze over cooked corn

Red chili powder, to taste

Remove husks of the corn and grill the corn until slightly charred on all sides. Mix mayonnaise, sour cream and cilantro together. Remove corn from grill and slather with the mayonnaise mix. Squeeze lime juice over the corn and shower with Parmesan. Season with chili powder. 

Michele’s Homemade Potato Salad

I don’t make this as much as I once did. It’s a lot of chopping and I find that after I’ve slaved away on this potato salad it disappears so fast there are rarely any leftovers.

  • 5 large potatoes (Yukons or Russets)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 can whole, large olives, sliced
  • 1 8 oz. jar whole green olives with pimento, sliced
  • 6 large radishes, sliced


  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1 tbsp prepared mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp dill weed
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and chop.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, olives and radishes.

In small bowl mix together mayo, mustard, lemon juice, dill weed, celery salt and salt. 

Add to potato mixture. Mix well. Chill 1 hour before serving. 

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