Grilling tips from an award-winning chef at Naperville Rib Fest

NAPERVILLE -- Naperville Rib Fest is bringing ribs from 12 different chefs to the western suburbs this 4th of July Weekend.

Owner Mark Link of the award-winning Uncle Bub's BBQ says they like to cook their ribs at low temperatures for 4.5 hours over apple and hickory wood. On top of that, there's a lot of other meat as well.

"We're going to go over 2,000 pounds of pulled pork, we'll go through 1,800 pounds of beef brisket, it looks like we are going to hit 2,000 slabs of ribs this year," Link said.

Link wouldn't give away all their secrets, but said they start by covering the ribs in a special, secret blend of seasoning (13 herbs and spices), plus a spray down of lemon juice and eventually apple juice to help make them extra tender.

"I like them where they come right off the bone when you can bite it and there is a clean mark right off the bone from your teeth so its low and slow," Link said.

The contest to see who has the best ribs happens Sunday - and Link said he hopes this year he can win over the pickiest audience of all: a panel of kid judges.

Ribfest continues through Monday, when there's a big fireworks show in the evening.