MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - May 24, 2010) -  (Family Features) Gearing up for the summer concert season? Don't forget the most important piece of equipment -- the grill. Add a little music, some family and friends, and you're ready to go.

"Good tunes, a hot grill, and your favorite people are all you need to throw a great barbecue this summer," said Chris Lilly, the official pitmaster for the Keith Urban Summer Lovin' 2010 Tour, sponsored by KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauces, which stops at state fairs and festivals nationwide this summer.

Like the authentic flavor of the Kansas City sauce slathered on food hot off the grill, Urban has a unique and authentic connection to his fans. Music lovers come to experience his critically hailed live performances with family and friends, an experience that begins from the moment they enter the parking lot -- with thousands tailgating before the performances. 

"Music, like barbecuing, has a unique communal quality that brings people together," said Urban. "It's that connection that we strive for every night at our shows -- which can start with a relaxing tailgate party before we even hit the stage."

Whether you're tailgating at the show or have the music set on high out in the backyard, official tour pitmaster Lilly makes it easy to celebrate the summer concert experience with these grilling tips:

  • Perfect Your Opening Act. To ensure a more uniform doneness in your barbecue, let the meat come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. This simple trick will help to add the perfect amount flavor. 

  • Prepare the Set List. Plan ahead and marinate meat before guests arrive, or throw the meat in a marinade when you're at home so they are ready to go when you get to the parking lot before the show.

  • Chose the Right Instruments. If you use a gas grill, you sacrifice the added flavor that comes from cooking over burning coals. Try barbecuing with charcoal for a more authentic and flavorful meal.

For more pre-concert tailgating tips, and recipes from Chris Lilly, connect at Facebook.com/KCMasterpiece. While there, check out exclusive Keith Urban concert footage and stay tuned for chances to win concert tickets throughout the tour.

Smoky Bourbon Ribs

Makes: 4-6 servings  
Prep time: 20 minutes  
Cook time: 3 hours, 45 minutes  
2 slabs loin back ribs (baby back)
1 cup KC Masterpiece Smoky Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
Dry Rub  
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons garlic salt
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Liquid Seasoning  
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup apple jelly
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry rub mix (above)

Remove membrane from back of rib slabs. In small bowl, combine dry rub ingredients and mix well. Reserve one tablespoon rub for the liquid seasoning mixture. Generously apply dry rub onto front and back sides of ribs.

Build a charcoal fire for indirect cooking. Add a small aluminum pan to the void side of the grill and fill it halfway with water. When charcoal grill reaches 250°F, place ribs meat-side up on grill grate and cook over indirect heat for two hours and 15 minutes. 

Remove ribs from grill. Place each slab meat-side down on its own doubled aluminum foil square. Mix liquid seasoning in a small bowl. Pour 1/2 cup liquid over each slab. Then, tightly wrap and seal each slab with aluminum foil. Place wrapped ribs back in cooker for one hour at 250°F.

Remove ribs from grill and discard foil. Brush Smoky Bourbon Barbecue Sauce on both sides of ribs. Place ribs back on grill for 15 minutes, or until sauce caramelizes.

Recipe created by champion pitmaster, Chris Lilly, on behalf of KC Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce.