Atlanta-based Shane's Rib Shack celebrates National BBQ Month

Here at Good Day Atlanta, we believe any month is a good month for barbeque.  But May is National BBQ Month, which means it’s an especially good time to indulge in one of Georgia’s favorite things.

Atlanta-based Shane’s Rib Shack is celebrating the season with a Rib Giveaway on April 30, featuring free baby back ribs for the first 100 customers at participating locations.  The restaurant was created in 2002, when Shane Thompson quit his 9 to 5 corporate job and opened his first location in McDonough.  Now, there are Shane’s Rib Shack locations in several states, including Arizona, Florida, New York and Tennessee, each featuring Shane’s famous ribs with Thompson’s grandfather’s “secret sauce.”

Good Day Atlanta’s Paul Milliken spent the morning at the original Shane’s Rib Shack in McDonough with the man himself, getting a lesson in grilling that perfect slab of ribs.

Shane's Rules of BBQ

  • Cooking is about making memories. Always have fun with it!
  • You always want to cook slowly. Never cook in a hurry and use a temperature gauge to maintain low heat.
  • Cook by temperature, not by sight.
  • Know the difference between grilling and smoking. You CAN make great BBQ on a gas grill. Make sure to preheat the grill.
  • Get a temperature probe. For a pork butt, we cook it for 10 hours at 225 degrees. Monitor the temperature of your smoker.  If you were to cook it at 245 degrees for 10 – 12 hours, then you will see a drastic change in the product. Barbecue is a slower cook.
  • Add moisture. If you are using a gas grill, it’s best to use a pan of water on one side of the grill for steam. Injecting the meat is another possibility.
  • Always use fresh meat, if possible... If you’re using frozen ribs, then you will need to thaw them out. When you’re thawing the ribs, be sure to thaw them slowly, so the flavor of the ribs remains with the product. Fresh meat is best because it has better flavor consistency and it’s easier to handle.
  • Don't be scared to be creative…make your own dry rubs. That's really what I love about barbecuing; you can experiment and let your own personality come out.
  • Use real wood lump charcoal. The key is to use a fire starter instead of lighter fluid for flavor transfer. The real wood lump charcoal will last longer than regular charcoal briquettes and it will produce an enhanced flavor. Flavor is key!
  • Don't put sauce on your ribs too early.  Anytime you’re using sauce, be sure to apply it after the meat is fully cooked. It is best to increase the heat, so the sauce will caramelize as you apply it to your meat.
  • Soak wood chips in water for a minimum of 30 minutes before using them in a smoker or on a grill. It will allow the chips to smolder instead of burning rapidly, which will prevent an enhanced smoked flavor.

          Types of wood for smoking: 

  1. Hickory – most popular – mild – Best if bark is removed.
  2. Mesquite – Great for Beef – can be overpowering
  3. Apple – Great with Poultry –  Sweet & Fruity
  4. Pecan – Fruity Flavor – Burn at a very low temperature
  • Avoid using meat tenderizer.  The best way to tenderize your meat is to use a fresh product, lower temp and slow cook time.  The use of chemicals and/or tenderizers will change the texture and flavor of your meat.