Having started with one small steakhouse, Golden Corral Corporation has grown into one of the nation's strongest family restaurant chains. The ability to adapt to changing tastes allowed Golden Corral to continue growing during the 1980s and 1990s as changes in eating habits and increased competition brought drastic change to the family steakhouse business. Success continued in the 2000s as well--by 2003 the company operated and franchised 467 restaurants throughout the United States, serving 167.5 million guests that year.


KC BBQ Spare Ribs

Golden Corral Copycat Recipe

2 racks spareribs (each 3-4 pounds)
5 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons sweet paprika
3 tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons lemon pepper
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
3/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup bourbon
KC Master BBQ Sauce
4-1/2 to 5 cups of hickory or other hardwood smoking chips, soaked in water for an hour and drained

Prepare your ribs. Remove the membrane from the inner portion of the ribs.

Place the sugar, paprika, salt, lemon pepper and the granulated garlic in a mixing bowl. Blend well.
Generously sprinkle the rub on both sides of the ribs, rubbing the seasoning onto the meat. If time allows, it’s best to let the ribs cure in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 2 hours, or as long as overnight.

Using a funnel, pour the cider and bourbon into a spray bottle. Shake the bottle to mix.
Set up the grill for indirect grilling. Place a drip pan in the center and preheat the grill to medium (325-degrees). When ready to cook, if you are using a charcoal grill, toss 1-1/2 cups of the wood chips on the coals. If you are using a gas grill, add the wood chips to a smoker box or wrap them in a heavy-duty aluminum pouch with holes punched in with a fork. Place pouch under the grill grate on top of the grill diverter plate.

Place the ribs bone side down, in the center of the grill. (if your grill has limited space, use a rib rack to stand the rib racks upright). Cook the ribs until well browned and cooked through yet tender enough to pull apart with your fingers (about 1-1/2 to 2 hours).

Start spraying the ribs with the apple cider and bourbon mixture after 30 minutes and spray them again every 30 minutes until they are done. After 1 hour, if using a charcoal grill, replenish the charcoal and add another 1-1/2 cups of the smoking chips. When the ribs are done, they will have shrunk back from the bones by about ½ inch and will be tender enough to pull apart with your fingers. The exterior will be dark, almost black, but not burned. Transfer the racks of ribs to a platter or cutting board and cut the racks in half or into 2 or 3 bone portions. Serve the ribs with the barbecue sauce on the side.

Notes:  If you like your ribs with a sweet glaze, brush the ribs with the sauce toward the end of the cooking time. Brush the ribs with the sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking, then move the ribs directly over the fire and cook them until the sauce sizzles and browns, being careful that it does not burn.

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