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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 06-19-2011, 07:27 AM   #1
dan09554
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Join Date: 06-05-11
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Default First Ribs

Happy Fathers Day to all. Smoked baby backs yesterday. Put on some rub, very basic. Brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Smoked with a mix of hickory and apple at 225 on a propane grill with a smoker box over the burner. 2.5 hrs, put some honey, barbeque sauce and a little more brown sugar in foil for another 1.5 hours. removed foil and finished another hour. They came out EXTREMELY tough. Flavor was really good. Family liked them, they say I'm too critical.
Did I leave these on too long?? Or, maybe just poor quality. It was a learning experience. I'll try again soon. I'm on the lookout for a real charcoal smoker. Everyone enjoy fathers day
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:39 AM   #2
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It's really hard to say with BBs. There's so many different ways to cook them and each pit is different too. I've never done them over propane. If they're tough, it sounds like they're undercooked. How were they when you de-foiled them? Usually I pick them up from one end with my tongs. If they're still pretty stiff, they're not ready. If they bend really well and the outer edge starts to flake, they're more or less ready to be finished. If they fall apart, they're overdone. That is all subjective, though. Some like them tougher and some like them fall-apart. That last full hour on the grill can be a bit much and may dry them out, but it all depends on temps and your pit. Sometimes I get a rack that seems to need a LOT more time than the others in the foil to finish.
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:43 AM   #3
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I tried doing the "bend test" but really don't know what to look for. I picked the rack up at the first bone, they rack bent, but didn't start to split. the internal temp clearly hit 165, which is why i thought they were overcooked. Hadn't given much thought that maybe they still needed more time. Maybe spares will be more forgiving
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Old 06-19-2011, 07:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan09554 View Post
I tried doing the "bend test" but really don't know what to look for. I picked the rack up at the first bone, they rack bent, but didn't start to split. the internal temp clearly hit 165, which is why i thought they were overcooked. Hadn't given much thought that maybe they still needed more time. Maybe spares will be more forgiving
With the cuts of meat that we typically BBQ (ribs, pork shoulder/butt, brisket, etc.) the FDA guidelines have little to do with what "done" looks like. Pork won't kill you at 165 degrees (FDA actually just lowered that to 145), but if it's one of the cuts I mentioned above, it isn't "done" at that temp. It's done when the connective tissues are broken done such that the meat is to your desired level of tenderness. That's often well beyond 165.

You know the best part about this hobby/addiction? You get to eat your mistakes and rarely are they inedible. Welcome to the Brethren and congrats on the ribs.

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Old 06-19-2011, 08:06 AM   #5
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Thanks Brad. So, the connective tissue is what was making it tough?
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:12 AM   #6
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Bend Test-

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Old 06-19-2011, 09:33 AM   #7
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I never take the temp on ribs. Generally though, the connective tissue is breaking down around 165*, and you want to see the temp continue to climb afterward to know that it has more or less finished breaking down. The reason for the stall is the energy is going into breaking down the tissue -- it's a phase change really, solids going to liquid. The pic above is a great demo of the bend test. Again, it is subjective! Some like it more done (greater bend) and some less. Note the flaky breakage at the bend at the top of the ribs.
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:38 AM   #8
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thanks for all the replies. I'll give 'em another go real soon. Fatty's are up next.
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