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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 08-06-2013, 11:56 AM   #1
Damn True
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Default Chasing John Mueller - beef ribs pr0n

Let me preface this by saying that I in no way, shape or form am comparing myself or my cooking to Mr. Mueller. I live in California, we have minimal BBQ heritage to draw on. I'm self taught by way of reading and viewing online material regarding BBQ. In the course of doing so, I stumbled on the legend that is Mr Muellers beef ribs and became very interested in trying to make them. This post outlines my exploration toward that.

The POV here is that of a novice speaking to those with even LESS experience so it may seem a bit elementary to some of you....so here goes.

As I've become more interested in BBQ I find myself seeking the unique. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and truly good BBQ is somewhere between rare and non-existent. Even excluding the rubbish served by the National chain restaurants most of what one does find trends toward the Kansas City style. The sweet/spicy, sticky, tomato & molasses based sauce is what most people associate with "BBQ" hence that is what most purveyors produce...especially in an area such as this where BBQ is scarce.



I tend to prefer Carolina style or my own Caribbean spice profile for pork and Texas style for beef. Until recently, my experiments with beef have all been with Brisket and I was avoiding what Ive really been after - beef ribs - because I'd yet to experience good ones to try to emulate. By good ones, I mean John Muellers.

It sounds silly, but they are the stuff of legend in BBQ circles. "Nobody does beef ribs like John Mueller" has been heard nearly as many times as "Yellow Rose of Texas". But I live in California, not Texas and I'd never had them nor could I justify time off and travel expenses to Texas to eat some ribs so I committed to suss them out on my own.

Researching reviews, video and the BBQ blogosphere guided me to a collection of descriptions of the flavor profile and aided me in assembling a framework from which to start my experimentation. There is a massive gap between that which is simple and that which is easy. Mueller's ribs are simple in that the rub contains very few ingredients (two by what I've been able to determine) and they are smoked to achieve the appropriate texture. But, achieving the right balance in the rub and getting the cooking spot-on are far from easy.



Read more here if you like: http://thedamntrueexperiment.blogspo...n-mueller.html

I've still got some work to do on them, but for a first attempt....not bad.


Last edited by Damn True; 08-06-2013 at 12:59 PM..
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Unread 08-06-2013, 02:18 PM   #2
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One more picture....just because I love the way the smoke looks in the background.

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Unread 08-06-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
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That's some damn fine looking beef right there. It seems you must have done several things right!
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Unread 08-06-2013, 02:30 PM   #4
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Looks great. My wife (transplanted Texan) has been bugging me for beef ribs for sometime now. Hope mine come out as good as yours look.
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Unread 08-06-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for sharing.... Interesting link
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Unread 08-06-2013, 04:28 PM   #6
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Unread 08-06-2013, 04:40 PM   #7
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I love beef ribs and those look like good ones. I'd love to have a bite or two and possibly a rib or two.
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Unread 08-06-2013, 04:41 PM   #8
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Really good looking ribs there. I'd love to try some beef ribs but, everywhere I find them it seems like the meat has been scraped down to the bown and in between the bones as well. Any suggestions on where to find good beef ribs?
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Unread 08-06-2013, 04:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sknabnoj View Post
Really good looking ribs there. I'd love to try some beef ribs but, everywhere I find them it seems like the meat has been scraped down to the bown and in between the bones as well. Any suggestions on where to find good beef ribs?
My butcher (Dittmers Meats in Mountain View) brought out a cryo bag the size of my door mat. He took the slab (seriously Fred Flintstone looking) to the band saw and brought me those gems. IMO you won't find this kind of thing at the normal chain grocery store. You have to find a real butcher. Hopefully someone else in the SLC area can point you in the direction of one. Might be worth starting a thread if you don't see a suitable response in this thread before it drops off the page.
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Unread 08-06-2013, 04:49 PM   #10
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Nicely done, those look good to me.

One of the truly sad things, is that there was a BBQ tradition in the East Bay of California, that focused on flavors primarily based on Oklahoma and Texas. Those places got away from what they originally did.
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Unread 08-06-2013, 04:53 PM   #11
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Nicely done, those look good to me.

One of the truly sad things, is that there was a BBQ tradition in the East Bay of California, that focused on flavors primarily based on Oklahoma and Texas. Those places got away from what they originally did.
South Bay kid. I do recall there being a number of soul-food places my step dad used to take me to now and then in/around Hayward.


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Unread 08-06-2013, 05:22 PM   #12
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The stretch from Vallejo, CA to Hayward, CA had a true BBQ tradition, in the sense that from the 1940's through the 1960's many men who came to the San Francisco Bay Area to work in the shipyards, or in the Navy and Army, came from Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas. Many of these men brought families and settled in the area. BBQ shops and soul food places sprung up, with two distinct styles, that were pretty well demarcated by whether the owner was White or Black. Both styles were terrific though. It isn't California BBQ, but, neither was it Oklahoma or Texas BBQ. It became local, over several decades.

I will say, that both had certain things in common, one was a reliance on hickory and oak, which would never be Californian, as we have no native hickory here. The other was that it was primarily seasoned with black pepper and seasoned salt. Flavors I can distinctly remember were celery seed, garlic, onion, black pepper and salt. I don't suspect that most Texas or Oklahoma places vary all that much from that. And never chili powder.
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Unread 08-06-2013, 05:24 PM   #13
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Those things look amazing. Question though, cause I've never cooked beef ribs. What kind of temp do you take them to? Is it similar to say, brisket? Or is there a texture thing you go for like with pork ribs? Bend test? Etc... Thanks!
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Unread 08-06-2013, 05:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
The stretch from Vallejo, CA to Hayward, CA had a true BBQ tradition, in the sense that from the 1940's through the 1960's many men who came to the San Francisco Bay Area to work in the shipyards, or in the Navy and Army, came from Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas. Many of these men brought families and settled in the area. BBQ shops and soul food places sprung up, with two distinct styles, that were pretty well demarcated by whether the owner was White or Black. Both styles were terrific though. It isn't California BBQ, but, neither was it Oklahoma or Texas BBQ. It became local, over several decades.

I will say, that both had certain things in common, one was a reliance on hickory and oak, which would never be Californian, as we have no native hickory here. The other was that it was primarily seasoned with black pepper and seasoned salt. Flavors I can distinctly remember were celery seed, garlic, onion, black pepper and salt. I don't suspect that most Texas or Oklahoma places vary all that much from that. And never chili powder.
I wonder if the Kinder family is connected to that migration path?
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Unread 08-06-2013, 05:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Those things look amazing. Question though, cause I've never cooked beef ribs. What kind of temp do you take them to? Is it similar to say, brisket? Or is there a texture thing you go for like with pork ribs? Bend test? Etc... Thanks!
They varied a bit in terms of bone mass so they weren't coming to temp together. When the coolest of them hit ~190 I took them all off the smoker and put them in a foiled pan in my oven which was set at 205. Left them in the oven for another hour to stabilize.
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