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Old 02-15-2013, 08:46 AM   #1
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Join Date: 11-11-10
Location: Guilford, N.Y.
Default help with St loius ribs

I am cooking 4 racks this afternoon. I cook on a RF stick burner usually around 250*F. Lately I have been batteling the ribs and not sure why. Here is my process:
1.) trim the ribs and rub them the night before the cook
2.) fire up the RF untill it hits 250 with thw clear blue
3.) ribs usually from the fridge straight to the smoker
4.) 3-2-1 method 3 in the smoke, 2 in foil wrap with honey and brown sugar and 1 hr back in the smoke unwrapped. I usually sauce at this point and go back in to get the glaze set.

Two problems have been consistant the glaze does not set as well as I would like it to and the meat does not pull in from the end of the bones. Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:34 AM   #2
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Join Date: 07-04-09
Location: Jonesboro,Tx

Here's my process, fire the pit bring it to 300....while the pit is coming to temp I do my prep. Trim off the little burnable bits. and shake on a light see through coat of rub. Pit at 300 drop on the bones slam the lid when I hear the sizzle slow just a wee bit (about 3 hrs), the pig honey will be flowing at this point, I do a bend test If they pass. I'll either sauce or I though on some Gunpowder close the door shut the dampers and come back in 30 min. Done!
If the glaze aint setting the ribs haven't rendered fully, moisture is still oozing to the surface from the inside. If they aint bite through the ribs haven't rendered fully. I would check my thermo it sounds to me like your are not cooking hot enough. Are you measuring the pit temp on the door or the grate. 250 on the door is not going to be 250 deg on the grate.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:38 AM   #3
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I would think that St. Louis trimmed spares would be mush after 3-2-1 at 250. I usually cook spares at 270-ish and they go for 2.5-1.5-30. I try to get racks that are between 2.5 and 3 lbs after trimming.

I would double check your thermometer to make sure that you are cooking at the temp that you think you are.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:55 AM   #4
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Agree with Ron. 6 hours at 250 with 2 of those in foil should completely destroy a rack of spares. Double check your cooking temps and be sure you check the grate temp. Maybe consider cooking with out foil or revise the 321 methods to a 2-1-1 or 2-.5-1.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:24 AM   #5
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I trim and rub St. Louies right before I cook them.
I cook them at 275F, unfoiled, for about 2 1/2 hours, then foiled for about another 1 1/2 hours or until toothpick tender.
I then slice them up, pour the liquid from the foil over them, sprinkle on a little bit more rub, and serve.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:53 AM   #6
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Join Date: 02-07-13
Location: Miami

I cook it on 220-240 with my Spicewine cooker. Than put the rub on a night before just like you. Take out the meat like 2 hour in advance to get to room temperature. Will cut done on the cooking time. I am using Tuffy Stone's competition dry rub recipe what is freely available on line.

½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup sweet paprika
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. cayenne
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
¼ cup canola oil
2 racks St. Louis-cut pork spareribs (about 3 lb. each)

The only thing you shold be watching how much Cayenne pepper you mix in , his mix can be "hot" for some people so i recommend it to cut the heat it in half. Before the rub goes on it you need to coat it with mustard. Mustard is the bounding agent. Use a regular brush for that.Generously put the powder on it afterward.The rub got plenty of brown sugar, so you don't need to do anything beside cooking. When you got the desired color should be like 3-4 hours you can wrap it with foil so it wont dry out. The wood chunks only needs in the first 2 hours. Use only 4 pieces like the size of your fist. After that it not much use for it. It can make the meet taste bitter.I use cherry or apple. I got a water pan so i don't have this issue. If you can put some kind of pan, like the one for meat loafs full of water it helps with the moisture. Otherwise spraying with apple juice time to time but personally i think the water pan is a better option. If you need to refill just add "hot water". Timing always depends on the temperatures you go with it it hard to say.I say i would watch it after 4-5 hours. When its really tender you are done. Cut and taste.My ribs are incredible even with out sauce. But can be add in for an even better taste.
3 cups ketchup
1 cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup distilled white vinegar
2 tbsp. molasse
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ cup honey
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
½ cup apple juice
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup light brown sugar
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:36 PM   #7
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Location: martinsville, indiana

I rub about 1-2 hr before I put them in the smoker. I do 275 until I have a good color. Usually about 2 hr. Wrap until bones start to pull back. The ribs will be pretty tender by then. I stick them back in smoker sauced for about 1/2 hr or so. Sometimes the ribs go straight to a grill from the foil. It depends what kind of flavor profile you want.( A little char on them changes that)
If you heavy rub ribs to early you pull out the moisture. Salt is the enemy.
I have used a very light rub about 8-10 hours before at times. Then shake more rub on before they go on smoker.
I like doing ribs at this 275 temp, seams to produce more moist rib.
This is my way but, not the only way.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:40 PM   #8
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Join Date: 08-01-12
Location: Shrewsbury, MA

I would also agree with Ron- 250 3:2:1 would be over done fall over the bone (which is how I like them). But for comps or cooking for bite through I do 3: 1.5 : 1 or less to let the glaze set. Might want to get a remote probe and check the temp at the grate area you are cooking the ribs
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:18 AM   #9
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Location: Guilford, N.Y.

Thanks all for the great advice. I am not sure what happened but my door thermo somehow lost calibration. I was about 50 degrees hotter at the door so the grate was more in the 200*F range. Never had this problem before....usually is a 20* differential and I cook accordingly i.e 270=250. It all worked out fine. ribs were great, sorry no pRoN (:
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