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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-16-2012, 02:46 PM   #1
lhommedieu
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Default First Ribs on the UDS - critique my mods

Thanks to Steve from Bay Shore for selling me his UDS. It's working great and holds heat consistently from start to finish. Last night I did my first baby back ribs on it and they turned out great. I could only marinate with dry rub for about an hour as the ribs didn't go on until 4 pm and I wanted to eat! I kept them covered for 3 1/2 hours at 250 degrees (didn't foil) and they put on bbq sauce for the glaze. Not taking off the lid for the entire time ensured no flareups and a constant 250 degrees throughout the cook.

Ribs turned out very tasty but just a tad overdone. Still great - though I'd like them a little bit moister.

Following are some mods that I thought I'd make for the next time to ensure moister ribs. I thought I'd put on the dry rub overnight, reduce the temperature to 225, foil, and use a lighter glaze. I'd appreciate any critiques and suggestions, especially re. technique, possible too much sugar or salt, overlap of spices, etc.

BBQ’d Baby Back Ribs

Hot Rib Rub (from Backyard BBQ by Richard McPeake)
1 cup turbinado sugar
½ cup kosher salt
¼ chili powder
2 Tbsp. granulated onion
2 Tbsp. Granulated garlic
2 Tbsp. Paprika
4 tsp. black pepper
4 tsp. white pepper
3 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. allspice

Mom’s Rev’d Up Rib BBQ Sauce
1 cup catsup
½ cup water
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup vinegar
3 tbsp. Worchester sauce
2 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. mustard
¼ tsp. pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced

Glaze (from one of the threads here on BBB)

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup Mom’ Rev’d up BBQ sauce
1/4 cup apple juice
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1/8 cup bourbon

Put on Hot Rib Rub and marinate overnight. Save extra rub for later.
Step 1: Smoke at 225 for 2 hours
Step 2: Foil for 1 – 2 hours
After one hour do test: Unfoil and pick up ribs 1/2 way with tongs or glove and see how far ribs bend. If bend is at approximately 80 degrees (not quite yet done) take out from foil and go on to Step 3. Also note how far up bone the meat has curled up. Should be at least ½ inch. Tooth pick test is also helpful: toothpick should slide in and out with nothing on toothpick.
Start Glazing Ribs for approximately .5 hours. Repeat tests above and stop when bend is approximately 90 degrees.
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Unread 12-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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3.5 hours at 250 without foiling tells me they were probably under cooked, not over done. If they were chewy or tough they were under done. Lack of moisture is from the fat not breaking down and creating pig honey. What kind of thermometer are you using?

I would also not rub ribs the night before as they can get a hammy taste. 2-3 hours prior to the cook is fine.
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Unread 12-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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Pretty much what he said^^^ plus i run at or about 270 and do either a poke test with a tooth pick or the bend test. I did ribs for the first time without foiling and they turned out great!
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Unread 12-16-2012, 03:42 PM   #4
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Ribs turn out better at higher temps like 275, I've even gone up to 350 with great success I don't foil spritz spray mop or otherwise molest my meat just put them on and let them cook until the Pig honey gets to flowing about 3.5-4 hrs at 275. I will give them a quick brush with a light sauce if I think about it then shut the pit down and let the magic happen about 30-40 min, the temp will have fallen to 150 or so and it is time to eat.
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Unread 12-16-2012, 03:44 PM   #5
lhommedieu
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I was using a DigiQ II calibrated before the cook. I know what you mean by chewy or tough - but these were not. They were falling off the bone and tender - I just thought that the outside was a little dry. I think perhaps I just allowed the outside to caramelize - too much sugar in the rub, perhaps? - or maybe too much tomato or molasses in the glaze?



You know, I put the left overs in foil to heat up in the oven today and they were moister. Edit: It's not to say that they weren't good last night - they were! But I want them better the next time. I'll work on the variables given and report back. Lowering the temperature doesn't seem like part of the answer, though...

Best,

Steve
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Unread 12-16-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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Yep, it could be over-caramelization. Still seems like a short cook time at 250. Was your guru probe at grate level?
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Unread 12-16-2012, 03:52 PM   #7
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Truth be told you may be getting flare ups with that. When I cooked a small amount like a single rack I often put a heat deflector in. The second charcoal grate in there I would put on top of the charcoal basket and place a half pan on top with a little water. Glad she is cruising for you. She found a good home!!
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Unread 12-16-2012, 04:02 PM   #8
lhommedieu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scm1226 View Post
Truth be told you may be getting flare ups with that. When I cooked a small amount like a single rack I often put a heat deflector in. The second charcoal grate in there I would put on top of the charcoal basket and place a half pan on top with a little water. Glad she is cruising for you. She found a good home!!
Couldn't be happier with it! I'll try a deflector the next time as you suggest and post back.
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Unread 12-16-2012, 04:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teamfour View Post
Yep, it could be over-caramelization. Still seems like a short cook time at 250. Was your guru probe at grate level?
At the grate level with a clip on. Probe was calibrated using boiling water prior to the cook.

I'll think I'll knock back the sugar levels in the rub and glaze the next time and see if that makes a difference. It could also be that, for the first 10 minutes of the cook I had a flare-up that went up to 308. That might have caramelized the sugar in the rub and I'll just have to be more careful next time. Edit: closed off the intake, disconnected the fan and it climbed back down - but it could explain it as well.

Let's say that prior to putting on the meat, my UDS was holding at the temperature that I want and then I lift off the cover and the temperature goes down, right? How do you guys build the temperature back up without using the fan? I found it helpful to close the top vents down to 1/4.

And what to do in case of a flare up? Turn off the fan, close off the intake, and lift off the cover to release the heat?
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Last edited by lhommedieu; 12-16-2012 at 04:26 PM..
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Unread 12-16-2012, 08:40 PM   #10
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You lift off the cover it adds air to the fire, increasing temp.

308 for a few minutes should never cause problems with ribs. cooking at 225 will cause more problems.. dry meat and not enough fat/connective tissue rendered out. Try shooting for 275-300 cooking temps, and you'll be happy with the result. If you want a little more smoke flavor you could go first hour at 250ish, then bump it up to 275-300

Just remember, they'll cook up faster when cooking at hotter temps. The whole 3 2 1 thing goes out the window. I prefer cooking ribs straight up naked, no foil, no spritz, glaze, nothing. just power through and enjoy the flavor of the ribs with no extra jumping through hoops. If you must foil, try something like 2-1-.5, but even 1 hour in foil at higher temps will tend to overcook them.
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Unread 12-17-2012, 01:58 PM   #11
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When you open the lid, heat escapes so the temp will drop. You have also just let a lot of fresh oxygen into the cook chamber. This will feed your fire & cause the temp to spike. Try closing down all intakes including the guru about 10 mins before you open the lid. This will burn off most of the oxygen in the chamber. it won't be long enough to snuff your fire. Open the lid, work quickly & close it back as soon as possible. You will still get the drop & then spike, but it should not spike as high. When you see the spike begin to fall, open the vents back to where they were set beforehand.
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