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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 01-18-2010, 06:20 PM   #1
SirPorkaLot
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Exclamation Rib Help needed!

I consider myself a better than average BBQ cook, and when it comes to large chunks of meat (pork shoulder, brisket, top round, rib roast, etc..) and even poultry I really enjoy my product, as does others.

Now to my nemesis - Pork Ribs.
I have tried loin backs (baby backs) spares (st. louis cut, and full rib).
I have cooked them on an offset low & slow @ ~ 225, and hot & fast on the kettle @ ~325.

i have foiled, not foiled, done the 3-2-1, and while my ribs turn out OK.. they are not Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious...fantastic, wondefrul, or any other adjective you want to use, they are just ...OK.

The hot & fast never developed the nice smokiness I have come to enjoy from the low & slow.
The low & slow never seems to get quite tender enough without getting mushy.
I am not trying to achieve "fall off the bone", just a nice competition grade rib, with a nice clean bite& a good smokiness.

What do you do?
Hot & fast? Low & Slow?
temps? time?
what else could I be missing?
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Unread 01-18-2010, 06:33 PM   #2
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I do low & slow, but at 235-240 instead of 225. At the lower temps, I never seemed to get the internal fat to break down enough. I also like the 3-2-1 method for spares, but they can get too mushy. This last time, I did 3-1.5-1.5 on a rack of spares & 2-1.5-1.5 on a rack of BBs. On the last stage, I let the ribs cook about 45 mins before I applied the sauce. Had great texture with just enough tug to get a single bite imprint.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 06:41 PM   #3
motley que
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Cook em on a drum. They are rib machines
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Unread 01-18-2010, 06:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motley que View Post
Cook em on a drum. They are rib machines
That may be the answer for sure. Just haven't gotten around to building one yet. I wonder what it is about drums that make them so good on ribs?


How about those of you that cook great ribs in an offset or kettle?
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Unread 01-18-2010, 06:50 PM   #5
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Rub 'em, mop 'em after 2 hours, after 3 hours, then pull 'em when they're done. Somewhere around 250-260 dome temp on my WSM.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 06:55 PM   #6
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I'm beginning to see a pattern..lol

A drum & a WSM both work in basically the same manner, with a diffused heat source under the ribs, as opposed to an offset which is 100% indirect heat and a kettle which I also cook the ribs with indirect heat (just hotter)

Is is really a symptom of the wrong tool for the job?
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Unread 01-18-2010, 06:56 PM   #7
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Seems you are doing everything right, but here's what I do

I do my ribs st. louis cut, with a generous rub of 17th street Magic Dust.

I use my UDS with an empty roasting pan between the coals and the ribs.

I run the drum 225-245, trying to stay as close to 225 as possible.

I do a 3-1-1 (3hrs bone side down, 1hr in foil, 1hr finish)

During the first 3hrs, I spray apple juice on the top surface every 30 minutes.

In the foil I put apple juice, and cover the ribs with brown sugar and butter.

Last hour I typically sauce half the ribs.

They come out of the drum, get cut, and right on the plate.


Try it, let me know what you think.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 07:12 PM   #8
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Here is what I do.

1. Trim ribs, remove tips and flap. I also separate the ribs into long and short bones. This gives me two sections of rib racks, tips and flap. I grind flap later for chorizo. The tips and racks get rubbed with whatever rub I am using. I let them sit on racks while I fire up kettle.

2. Fire up kettle, I also set up kettle with a charcoal holder on one side, fill it with 2/3 lump and one or two small chunks of wood. I leave enough room to allow another 1/3 of holder of charcoal to fit in. I normally use lump. Once the small amount is lit, I pour it into the holder. Meanwhile, I have placed two or three cans of water between the holder and the aluminum drip pan I have added as well.

3. Let kettle temp settle to around 230 to 250. Of late, I am preferring the look and color I get at 230F. Usually my top vent is wide open, bottom vents on the One-Touch system are barely open

4. Put on ribs, flat or racks, doesn't seem to matter, put tips between fire and ribs.

5. Let it go until I am able to poke a skewer into the meat of the ribs. Then I remove and eat, or glaze with sauce if I am cooking for others. I do not foil, spray or mess with them. Generally I expect the cooking part to be 4 hours, it often ends up somewhere close to that.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 07:19 PM   #9
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MY rig is an old fridge, so basically it like a big insulated WSM, I shoot for 250, apple juice in the pan under the ribs, rub'em, mop'em after three hours, then every hour until done (4-5 normally). I put 'em in bone side down and leave'em I don't bother with foil anymore because I haven't notice a difference (maybe its the pan of juice and mopping). I use apple, maple or hickory normally and have gotten great results. My neighbors love my ribs and so do the family.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 07:33 PM   #10
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Brine Brine Brine! The Rub Co. or Plowboys or Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust as a base rub. Let them ride at 225 to 250 - after 3 hrs, apply second layer of flavor 30 minutes later apply the 3rd layer of flavor. Pull off when the rack bends nicely but doesn't break between ribs. I keep changing smoke woods until I get the smoke ring I want - I like a nice reddish brown finished product.



Anyway - This is just my .02 - but don't forget to brine!
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:03 PM   #11
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I don't know to many peopke who brine.in my drum there is no sort of pan or anything else protecting the from the heat. Usually takes 4 hrs for babybacks. In my chargriller o cooked them for about 5 hours with a water filled pan by the hole connecting the chamber to the firebox. Either way they rocked
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:09 PM   #12
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Little suspicious of the brining for ribs.... would love to hear more about that since I've never considered it, but always open to something new.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OakPit View Post
Brine Brine Brine!

Anyway - This is just my .02 - but don't forget to brine!
Quote:
Originally Posted by motley que View Post
I don't know to many peopke who brine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdb25 View Post
Little suspicious of the brining for ribs.... would love to hear more about that since I've never considered it, but always open to something new.
I always brine my poultry, have never brined my ribs, but at this point I am open to all suggestions, so I may try it.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:22 PM   #14
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I have always used the 3-2-1 method for my ribs. I use a homemade offset that is 17 in diam. I usually run 225-250 deg. Skin the ribs and trim excess fat and the flap and place bone side down. I use a mustard rub first and then a dry rub. When I wrap in foil I cover with butter and brown sugar. The last hour I cook for about 45 min and then sauce. The biggest problem I have is consistency. But last July I got a call in ribs at North Iowa Up in Smoke BBQ Bash I placed 3rd and had a tie score with Smoking Triggers who got 4th. Got lucky, but that is how I do it.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBrad View Post
I have always used the 3-2-1 method for my ribs. I use a homemade offset that is 17 in diam. I usually run 225-250 deg. Skin the ribs and trim excess fat and the flap and place bone side down. I use a mustard rub first and then a dry rub. When I wrap in foil I cover with butter and brown sugar. The last hour I cook for about 45 min and then sauce. The biggest problem I have is consistency. But last July I got a call in ribs at North Iowa Up in Smoke BBQ Bash I placed 3rd and had a tie score with Smoking Triggers who got 4th. Got lucky, but that is how I do it.
Consistency is a battle i fight as well.
Sounds like I am running a bit on the cool side, as I try to keep it around 225, and the consensus seems to be closer to 250.
I use a mustard slather and a dry rub as well.

Thanks for the tips!
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