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Old 03-20-2013, 07:24 PM   #1
gmag
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Default Competition Ribs

My ribs keep turning out really dark. The rub I use has a lot of sugar in it so I am assuming that is the reason. I was wondering if I should use a rub without sugar in it first and add the sweeter rub later? When should I be adding the sugar-based rub in the cooking process?
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:37 PM   #2
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Ribs can also turn dark from using too much wood or from dirty smoke. Do they taste over smoked?
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:38 PM   #3
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Wood can also cause them to turn dark. Cherry can put a dark color on them for example. Higher temps for too long can darken meat too. We probably need to know more of how you cook.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:43 PM   #4
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I cook at 225 degrees and I use peach & pecan woods. They dont taste over-smoked. I usually cook the spares in a 3-2-1 method.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:49 PM   #5
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What kind of sugar matters too. Brown sugar will darken more and faster than turbinado.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmag View Post
I usually cook the spares in a 3-2-1 method.
3-2-1 is just a guideline. Try less of the 3!
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:24 AM   #7
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I use a whole layer of brown or turbinoado right from the start, whenmine go too dark it was the wood...
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:29 AM   #8
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should be ok at that temp and time. wood could do it. try a batch without chunks on your timeline and see what happens
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:04 AM   #9
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I'm not sure why, but my best 2 Rib finishes, a 1st and a 3rd were with dark ribs. I joked about the 3rd place after turn in and told the team net to me that if I won in Ribs, it was because of bad judges...go figure.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:17 AM   #10
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We've done well with dark ribs too, when we least expected it. Who the hell knows, on any given day? But I agree, I personally love a lighter, flawless finish.

Really, the best thing you can do for your cook process is to isolate and test different elements. Cook the ribs open until you reach a desired color instead of by time, then wrap. Cook racks side-by-side, one with your regular rub, one with a lower-sugar rub, all other things being the same; then replicate that test using a different wood. Every time you isolate one element, replicate the test to confirm what you think you learned from it.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Competition Ribs

The common thought is that sugar is what turns bark a darker color. I think this can be true at high temps, but there is a rub that I use sometimes that has almost no sugar in it. I have cooked it right next to Plowboys Yardbird before, and it always ends up darker. I think that some of the spices are to blame, but since I don't know what all is in this other rub, then I don't know which spices it would be.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:08 PM   #12
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There's a difference between dark, burned (caramelized) meat and dark, un-burned.

Are they too dark because of burning?
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:11 PM   #13
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Lots of all of the above can darken ribs. Honestly, the lower the cooking temperature (to a degree) the less clean burning the fire tends to be (meaning, the more unclean the smoke, and the darker the meat gets). Every smoker and type are different, add in your own wood purchase and volumes of wood and you have your unique situation... Cooking under 250 its unlikely that the sugars are burning, but they will darken a little as they're cooked. Less time cooking (by using higher temps) will shorten the amount of smoke. Foil can/could be used to reduce the smoke. Higher cook temps, if the fire is cleaner burning and not smothered, will tend to keep you in a sweet-blue-smoke sweet spot and lighten the color on the ribs.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmag View Post
I cook at 225 degrees and I use peach & pecan woods. They dont taste over-smoked. I usually cook the spares in a 3-2-1 method.
Our cook is similar to yours with the woods and temps. We also have a fair amount of brown sugar in our rub and I have found that "3" is way too long. We go on color for moving to the foil; once we get the color we like then we foil and adjust our foil time based on where we're at with temperature and where we need to be before we sauce.
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Old 03-21-2013, 03:13 PM   #15
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I add all my sweet towards the end of the cook, whether I'm wrapping or not.
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