The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS.


Forum Portal Recipes Smoke Signals Magazine Welocme Merchandise Associations Purchase Subscription Brethren Banners
Go Back   The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS. > Discussion Area > Q-talk

Notices

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.


Reply
Thread Tools
Unread 09-20-2010, 10:28 AM   #1
Southern Home Boy
is One Chatty Farker
 
Southern Home Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-14-10
Location: St. Louis, MO
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default RIBS: Foil vs. non-foil experiment

So, my local Costco had Spares on sale for $1.79 lb this weekend. Figured I couldn't pass that up and with a competition looming next weekend, I thought I'd try something a little different.

I always foil my ribs for at least an hour during the cook, but this time, I decided to see what the difference really was between foiled and non-foiled ribs.

I bought one cryovac of two slabs of Spares, trimmed them down to a St. Louis cut and rubbed 'em with my rub blend. I covered 'em with plastic wrap on a 1/2 sheet pan and stuck 'em in the fridge for two hours.

When they were about ready, I got the UDS up to temp using the last 3# of regular Kingsford I had laying around and a couple of hickory chunks. While the drum was getting up to temp, I pulled the slabs and let them come up to close to room temp and then dusted one more time with the rub.

Onto the drum at ~235-240 degrees.

Both smoked unfoiled for 3.5 hours and looked similar. At that point I foiled one slab and left the other alone. Cooked for another hour and unfoiled the second slab. At this point, they were radically different. The unfoiled slab had a nice mahogany bark with beautiful bits of spices spread over the outer layer. The foiled slab looked grey and slightly "sickly". However, as I mentioned, I've been foiling ribs for a long time and knew that wouldn't last long. Another 45 minutes to firm up and color up with a third and final dusting of rub.

I also added a second variable into the mix: I glazed the foiled slab the last 10 minutes on the smoker and left the unfoiled slab sans sauce.

I didn't start snapping pics untill I was about ready to pull them off the drum.

Here's what they looked like at that point:
Top slab is unfoiled, bottom slab has glaze and was foiled:


Next I pulled 'em to the cutting board and let them sit for about 10 minutes:


Then, I sliced 'em up and chose a couple of bones I thought were most representative of the two different slabs. The one thing I noticed the most difference in was how the foiled ribs seemed to pull up the bones more than the unfoiled slab and seemed a little more "plump". Both were quite moist and had a good smoke ring though:


Finally, the Bite test:

Both ribs came away cleanly from the bone, but the foiled ribs were slightly more "stringy" in the meat than the unfoiled ones. Both were moist and had a very similar flavor, though the glaze definitely had an impact I liked.

In the end, the test was inconclusive for me. As for the comp. next weekend, I'll stick with my Texas Crutch, but I may play without foil for a while at home.

Thanks for lookin'.
__________________
Pro Q Frontier, UDS (Little Red), "Turtle Drum" UDS, CG Gasser KCBS CBJ#61160
Southern Home Boy is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from: --->
Unread 09-20-2010, 10:37 AM   #2
Harbormaster
Quintessential Chatty Farker
 
Harbormaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: 07-14-06
Location: Wyocena, WI
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Nice experiment and documentation.
I personally never foil ribs. Not saying it's wrong, I just prefer not to use it.

Would really like to take a bite of one of yours right now!
__________________
Clark
My Boys: Joseph (EI); Andrew (EE); Daniel (EE)
My Toys: 10 WSMs (B, C, DH, DA, EZ, DZ, EO, DU, DR, EE/DU mutt); Brinkman Cimmaron; Chuckwagon Cooker; 4 22.5" Bar-B-Q-Kettles; 2 18.5" Bar-B-Q-Kettle; 1 Red OTS (H); 3 WGAs (EZ, DE, N); 3 SJPs (DT, DR, DR); 2 Smokey Joes (A, K); Genesis Silver C (DU).
"For when democracy becomes tyranny, those of us with rifles still get to vote"
Harbormaster is online now   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-20-2010, 11:07 AM   #3
barbefunkoramaque
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 11-11-07
Location: Gone
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Only one problem with the experiement. the temp and even process of a non-foil/foiled product is entirely different to get the best results.

Would I NOT use foil if I smoked at 225? Hell no! I'd use every trick in the book.

Would I smoke with green wood low ans slow? Hell no, but do people smoke using green wood effectively at higher temps or with foil (to reduce exposure)? Hell yeah!

Do I trim at 225? Do trim at 350? Do I go fat down on a kettle" How about on a roller? How about on a smoker with a static diverter plate?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Home Boy View Post
So, my local Costco had Spares on sale for $1.79 lb this weekend. Figured I couldn't pass that up and with a competition looming next weekend, I thought I'd try something a little different.

I always foil my ribs for at least an hour during the cook, but this time, I decided to see what the difference really was between foiled and non-foiled ribs.

I bought one cryovac of two slabs of Spares, trimmed them down to a St. Louis cut and rubbed 'em with my rub blend. I covered 'em with plastic wrap on a 1/2 sheet pan and stuck 'em in the fridge for two hours.

When they were about ready, I got the UDS up to temp using the last 3# of regular Kingsford I had laying around and a couple of hickory chunks. While the drum was getting up to temp, I pulled the slabs and let them come up to close to room temp and then dusted one more time with the rub.

Onto the drum at ~235-240 degrees.

Both smoked unfoiled for 3.5 hours and looked similar. At that point I foiled one slab and left the other alone. Cooked for another hour and unfoiled the second slab. At this point, they were radically different. The unfoiled slab had a nice mahogany bark with beautiful bits of spices spread over the outer layer. The foiled slab looked grey and slightly "sickly". However, as I mentioned, I've been foiling ribs for a long time and knew that wouldn't last long. Another 45 minutes to firm up and color up with a third and final dusting of rub.

I also added a second variable into the mix: I glazed the foiled slab the last 10 minutes on the smoker and left the unfoiled slab sans sauce.

I didn't start snapping pics untill I was about ready to pull them off the drum.

Here's what they looked like at that point:
Top slab is unfoiled, bottom slab has glaze and was foiled:


Next I pulled 'em to the cutting board and let them sit for about 10 minutes:


Then, I sliced 'em up and chose a couple of bones I thought were most representative of the two different slabs. The one thing I noticed the most difference in was how the foiled ribs seemed to pull up the bones more than the unfoiled slab and seemed a little more "plump". Both were quite moist and had a good smoke ring though:


Finally, the Bite test:

Both ribs came away cleanly from the bone, but the foiled ribs were slightly more "stringy" in the meat than the unfoiled ones. Both were moist and had a very similar flavor, though the glaze definitely had an impact I liked.

In the end, the test was inconclusive for me. As for the comp. next weekend, I'll stick with my Texas Crutch, but I may play without foil for a while at home.

Thanks for lookin'.
__________________
Popdaddy is Dead - 1933-2011 - Pitmaster T is a free agent
barbefunkoramaque is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-20-2010, 11:19 AM   #4
Southern Home Boy
is One Chatty Farker
 
Southern Home Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-14-10
Location: St. Louis, MO
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by barbefunkoramaque View Post
Only one problem with the experiement. the temp and even process of a non-foil/foiled product is entirely different to get the best results.

Would I NOT use foil if I smoked at 225? Hell no! I'd use every trick in the book.

Would I smoke with green wood low ans slow? Hell no, but do people smoke using green wood effectively at higher temps or with foil (to reduce exposure)? Hell yeah!

Do I trim at 225? Do trim at 350? Do I go fat down on a kettle" How about on a roller? How about on a smoker with a static diverter plate?
So, what do you do differently for foiled vs. non-foiled ribs? Help me out? What am I missing?
__________________
Pro Q Frontier, UDS (Little Red), "Turtle Drum" UDS, CG Gasser KCBS CBJ#61160
Southern Home Boy is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-20-2010, 12:29 PM   #5
murk20
Got rid of the matchlight.
 
Join Date: 09-14-10
Location: Phoenix, az
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

I'm trying my damnest to cook good ribs without foiling. Nice post.
murk20 is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-20-2010, 04:44 PM   #6
stl-rich
Full Fledged Farker

 
stl-rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: 07-10-10
Location: saint louis, MO
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

First time I made ribs I just cooked them in Smokey the WSM at about 250F - they were good.

Since I believe in the KISS, I never added the foiling step - and SHB seems to show that foiling isn't necessary. Gonna get some spares from Dierbergs cook them Memphis Style on Walter the WBS and see how they compare to Pappy's.
__________________
Red mini-WSM, Red 18" OTG & 22" MasterTouch Weber Kettles, 18" WSM, Performer, Red Akorn King Griller
stl-rich is online now   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-20-2010, 09:54 PM   #7
qnbiker
is one Smokin' Farker
 
Join Date: 05-05-10
Location: Marietta, GA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

They both look great and I'm sure both were tasty. I suggest testing without any other variables (the sauce). As soon as you added the sauce, it ceased to be a comparison between foiled and not-foiled ribs. You compete so obviously you know what you're doing. I would be interested in knowing what you thought about the difference when foil was the only variable - I'm always eager to learn!
__________________
A bunch of Webers
qnbiker is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-20-2010, 09:58 PM   #8
Boshizzle
somebody shut me the fark up.

 
Join Date: 01-26-10
Location: Virginia
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Personally, I prefer ribs that haven't been foiled. However, most competition cooks use foil. I think it's because foiling makes the cook more predictable. To me, the only advantage of foil is the fact that it speeds up the cook. That's about it. It makes things a little more predictable, and that's important in competitions.

But, at home, my goal is no foil at a low enough temp/sugar content to prevent a stringy outside. When I get that part right, no foil ribs are heaven.
__________________
[COLOR=royalblue]Jambo Pit - UDS - Lang 60 (Sold)[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]18.5" & 22.5" Weber Kettles - Smokey Joe and Mini-WSM - [/COLOR][COLOR=royalblue]Bubba Keg - [/COLOR][COLOR=royalblue]#2 La Caja China[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]Chargriller Outlaw[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]Impeccably Accurate BLACK & RED Thermapens[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]KCBS CBJ[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]Operation BBQ Relief Founding Member[/COLOR]
[COLOR=blue]I am Obsessive Compulsive about BBQ. Google it.[/COLOR]
Boshizzle is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-20-2010, 10:16 PM   #9
Three porks
Full Fledged Farker
 
Join Date: 01-19-10
Location: Champaign, IL
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Without the foil, what holds the parkay, brown sugar and honey on the ribs?
Three porks is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-20-2010, 10:22 PM   #10
Boshizzle
somebody shut me the fark up.

 
Join Date: 01-26-10
Location: Virginia
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Not to mention the Williams Rib Tickler.
__________________
[COLOR=royalblue]Jambo Pit - UDS - Lang 60 (Sold)[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]18.5" & 22.5" Weber Kettles - Smokey Joe and Mini-WSM - [/COLOR][COLOR=royalblue]Bubba Keg - [/COLOR][COLOR=royalblue]#2 La Caja China[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]Chargriller Outlaw[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]Impeccably Accurate BLACK & RED Thermapens[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]KCBS CBJ[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]Operation BBQ Relief Founding Member[/COLOR]
[COLOR=blue]I am Obsessive Compulsive about BBQ. Google it.[/COLOR]
Boshizzle is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-21-2010, 08:11 AM   #11
btcg
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 02-28-10
Location: North Potomac, MD
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

SHB,

There are generally 2 reasons to foil:

1- You are not getting high enough heat to cook and need to augment (like putting a lid on a pan) - and/or - to speed up the cooking process.

2- The outside of your meat is becoming overdone.

IMHO- there is no "one way" to cook ribs. Yours look great, and I'd ask for seconds.

One thing: you mentioned a final addition of rub. I don't do that. I'll rub initially, but not again. Just goes to show that there are a lot of methods that will turn out good Q.

Do the experiment again and report back: it was interesting.
__________________
[FONT=Fixedsys]CAPITAL PITMASTERS-THE FIRST FAMILY OF BBQ[/FONT]

[FONT=Courier New][I]Proud Graduate of:[/I][/FONT]

[I][FONT=Courier New][B]Jack's Old South BBQ Cooking School[/B][/FONT][/I]
[I][FONT=Courier New][B]Johnny Trigg & Rod Gray BBQ Cooking School[/B][/FONT][/I]
[I][FONT=Courier New][B]Paul Kirk BBQ Cooking School[/B][/FONT][/I]
btcg is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-21-2010, 08:32 AM   #12
Johnny_Crunch
Babbling Farker

 
Johnny_Crunch's Avatar
 
Join Date: 04-03-10
Location: Cypress TX
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Thanks for the comparison, always good information.
__________________
J Crunch
Johnny_Crunch is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-21-2010, 10:00 AM   #13
Dave Russell
is One Chatty Farker
 
Join Date: 01-06-10
Location: Lebanon, Tennessee
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

You did what I'm prone to do: take bbq a little too seriously (in my wife's eyes) but then go and add a third variable, the sauce. I say it's the "third" variable since the two different slabs is a variable.

I'd suggest if you regularly sauce, then sauce both, and why not try cutting the slabs in half and cook all four halves with the two methods, foil or not. Just make sure each respective end is done differently. It might be a tad more conclusive, at least.
Dave Russell is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-21-2010, 10:08 AM   #14
Wampus
somebody shut me the fark up.

 
Wampus's Avatar
 
Join Date: 06-05-09
Location: Mooresville, IN
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Good post. Nice documentation. Lots of information.

I've done ribs both ways. I prefer non-foiled, but that's just me.
Do what you like. That's what counts.


Unless you're competing........then you have to do what the JUDGES want.
__________________
SSUDS
18.5", 22.5" OTS
Weber Performer
Large BGE (chambersuac's)
Onyx Oven
The Fiery Furnace (chambersuac's)
Big JT's Smokin' BBQ Competition Team
Wampus is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 09-21-2010, 12:33 PM   #15
EatRBBQ
Full Fledged Farker
 
EatRBBQ's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-20-10
Location: Rockford, IL
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

IMHO Foil vs not foil - somewhat depends on the Smoker you're using.

When I cook on my MeadowCreek TS250 I don't really find a need to foil. I can regulate temp and moisture just fine to not need foiling for anything.

When I cook on my UDS smokers I tend to foil because I don't use a diffuser and if I cook completely unfoiled my ribs can dry out and/or get a touch crunchy.
__________________
Rich (eatrbbq.com) Weber, Chargriller, assorted UDS
EatRBBQ is offline   Reply With Quote


Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Decision time in next 20 min.-BB Ribs Foil/No Foil??? humdogj Q-talk 18 08-28-2011 09:32 PM
Kansas City style ribs, no foil verses foil test Savannahsmoker Q-talk 21 06-15-2010 07:56 PM
Baby Back Experiment - Foil vs. No Foil Boshizzle Q-talk 14 06-03-2010 12:24 AM
FEC foil experiment (pron) monty3777 Q-talk 20 05-29-2010 03:39 PM
Ribs: to foil or not to foil? MountainMan Q-talk 81 04-05-2008 02:40 PM

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Loading



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.6.0 Beta 4 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2003 -2012 © BBQ-Brethren Inc. All rights reserved. All Content and Flaming Pig Logo are registered and protected under U.S and International Copyright and Trademarks. Content Within this Website Is Property of BBQ Brethren Inc. Reproduction or alteration is strictly prohibited.
no new posts