Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Pork Ribs -- Baby Back and Spare


tommy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Trimmed the ribs and got them into the brine (following Ron's 2/3 c salt to 1 gal water, with about 1/3 c sugar and 20 peppercorns tossed in for good measure). I then came up with a rub that is Klink-esque both in ingredients but also in method: I went to my cupboard and took it from there. It's a hotter, jerk-ier version of Klink's:

  • 1 T salt (brined, remember)
    2 T black pepper
    1 T roasted Thai chile, ground
    1 T dried garlic
    1 T dried onion
    1 T sumac
    2 T turbinado sugar
    1 t sweet paprika
    1 t cumin
    1 t cinnamon
    1 t allspice

Feedback on this rub late Monday. I suspect that the sumac is an important ingredient; that pucker helps with both heat and sweet.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, Chris, I am awaiting a report on the verdict of the rub. I've found that the sumac is key in a rub. And, trusting that should it be worthy, it will be in RecipeGullet!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will do. A question for the vets. Does anyone finish the ribs off on a hot grill? I admit to being tempted to do this. Discuss.

I do indeed throw them on the grill for a bit when they come off the smoker. It gives them a bit of a char. This is also the point I would apply sauce, if using.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will do. A question for the vets. Does anyone finish the ribs off on a hot grill? I admit to being tempted to do this. Discuss.

I like to finish my ribs over direct heat. I use this opportunity to sauce them. I sauce them and sear them over direct heat for about 30-40 seconds per side. This gives them a nice char.

Blessed are those who engage in lively conversation with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called, "Dentists." (anonymous)

Life is too short for bad Caesar Salad. (Me)

Why would you poison yourself by eating a non-organic apple? (HL)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I, on the other hand, do not. I leave them on the smoker and baste them with sauce for the last 15 minutes or so.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not finish my ribs over heat, but then again, I'm usually doing a million other things, and I'd just as soon not charcoal or cardboard the succulent goodness.

But, the last couple of posts here have raised a point -- saucing on the grill. No way, no how in my book, but then again, that's another topic!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will do. A question for the vets. Does anyone finish the ribs off on a hot grill? I admit to being tempted to do this. Discuss.

Yes! This is a great plan. Check out my article on saucing strategies at http://amazingribs.com/technique/saucing_strategies.html

Remember: No rules in the bedroom or kitchen,

Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn

http://amazingribs.com - The Zen of Ribs

http://amazingribs.com/smoke_signals_newsletter - "Smoke Signals" BBQ Newsletter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will do. A question for the vets. Does anyone finish the ribs off on a hot grill? I admit to being tempted to do this. Discuss.

Yes! This is a great plan. Check out my article on saucing strategies at http://amazingribs.com/technique/saucing_strategies.html

I was going to write a lengthy post about how terrific your website is Meathead, but there really is no need to - anyone interested in ribs (or other types of barbecue for that matter) who has been searching for a large knowledge base of information that is actually presented well (unlike 98% of other BBQ sites), visit the aforementioned site... you won't be disappointed.

P.s. thank you Mr Goldwyn for pointing me to your site - it is rare to find someone willing to share BBQ secrets. Also, the fact that I live in Australia and as far as I can tell, there are NO american style cue restaurants/shops here, it is up to me to recreate it myself at home. Without local experts it is quite difficult relying solely on books and internet advice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris, I'm smoking ribs today. What did you end up doing about a finish on the grill for a quick char? If you did, how was it? Did it add to the finished product?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A quick update on the weekend ribs, which turned out very well. I'm not sure how long they were in the Bradley, but it was certainly over 7 hours. The first few were at a pretty low temp, and once the ribs had reached 140F I bumped up the heat to 200F. All the while I was spritzing with a 1:1 cider vinegar:apple juice blend.

When they were on that toothy/falling-off-the-bone point, I pulled them out. I then fired up my Weber with hardwood charcoal to very, very hot and seared them very briefly (maybe two minutes per side). I didn't sauce them on the grill -- I think that's heresy -- but did serve them with =Mark's SC BBQ sauce.

My one complaint was that the ribs were lacking a bit of the fat I'd have preferred. Everyone else, however, loved that they weren't as fatty. Go figure.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A quick update on the weekend ribs, which turned out very well. I'm not sure how long they were in the Bradley, but it was certainly over 7 hours. The first few were at a pretty low temp, and once the ribs had reached 140F I bumped up the heat to 200F. All the while I was spritzing with a 1:1 cider vinegar:apple juice blend.

How do you like your Bradley? Do the pucks ever stick? How does the output compare to other smokers if you've owned others?

Some thoughts: Seven hours seems long. None of the great competition chefs cook that long. For St. Louis cut, I recommend 4.5 to 5 hours at 225.

On the other hand, most competitors do some spritzing. A few are using liquid margarine during the cook. On the other hand, I recommend just keeping the door closed. Opening it just lets out heat, smoke, and moisture, and when you close it everything takes a while to get back in equilibrium. I wonder if spritzing just replaces the water that escapes when you open the door? Chris Lilly of Big Bog Gibson's, one of the best competitos on the circuit says "If you're lookin, you ain't cookin."

Remember: No rules in the bedroom or kitchen,

Craig "Meathead" Goldwyn

http://amazingribs.com - The Zen of Ribs

http://amazingribs.com/smoke_signals_newsletter - "Smoke Signals" BBQ Newsletter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As someone less carnivorous without an outdoor grill or smoker, I just want to say that this thread proved nonetheless valuable to read, especially in nudging me to try out something in mind: using some of the underused sumac in my freezer as a spice rub. Thank you.

I combined it with a little pimenton, afraid the Spanish powder would overwhelm, and just a little bit of Turbinado sugar, S & P. No brining. Let this sit in fridge for 2 1/2 days before putting it in a slow oven for hours and finishing it off at 500 F as per Bittman's advice, too. No sauce first time around since I like things simple.

The thing about the mixture: I think some of the methods of starting with wet, doing the rub and then adding something wet after would have enhanced the tang of the sumac, i.e. with citrus or vinegar. Perhaps the pimenton interferred though the spice didn't strike me as strong.

I made sure there was leftover meat since I plan to mix up just a little BBQ sauce with pomengranate molasses (also underused) and lemon. I have some spongey Italian-American bread in the freezer and plan to assemble Soul on a Roll since there's also leftover coleslaw to stuff into a sandwich.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the feedback, Meathead.

How do you like your Bradley? Do the pucks ever stick? How does the output compare to other smokers if you've owned others?

I've only ever smoked with an old Weber, which I never mastered, and I really like the Bradley a lot. No puck sticking.

Some thoughts: Seven hours seems long. None of the great competition chefs cook that long. For St. Louis cut, I recommend 4.5 to 5 hours at 225.

I went with a bacon approach, with which I'm more familiar. Though it's hard to control the Bradley's temperature with much precision, I started the first few hours around 100-150F until the meat got up to 140F, then I went to the 200F with the smoker turned off (no effect, of course) until they were where I wanted 'em.

I recommend just keeping the door closed. Opening it just lets out heat, smoke, and moisture, and when you close it everything takes a while to get back in equilibrium. I wonder if spritzing just replaces the water that escapes when you open the door? Chris Lilly of Big Bog Gibson's, one of the best competitos on the circuit says "If you're lookin, you ain't cookin."

It's a good point -- and I can't really say that the spritzing added too much.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you folks say about the "texas crutch" method of cooking ribs?

It seems that all the big name competition chefs cook ribs in roughly the following way:

1.) Brine em for an hour

2.) Rub them and leave them wrapped in clingfilm overnight

3.) Put them in a 225-250 smoker for 3 hours

4.) Remove and put in a foil pouch, pour over apple juice and seal tight

5.) Return to cooker for about 1 hour

6.) Remove from foil, return to cooker for 1 hour, brushing with BBQ sauce in the last 30 minutes.

?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I certainly don't want to suggest I'm some ribs expert, but 2. doesn't make sense to me, given what I've learned about smoking. In order to create the pellicle (the dried surface of meat that soaks up the smoke best) you wouldn't want to wrap them overnight but rather let them air out in the fridge. Or am I missing something?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you folks say about the "texas crutch" method of cooking ribs?

It seems that all the big name competition chefs cook ribs in roughly the following way:

1.) Brine em for an hour

2.) Rub them and leave them wrapped in clingfilm overnight

3.) Put them in a 225-250 smoker for 3 hours

4.) Remove and put in a foil pouch, pour over apple juice and seal tight

5.) Return to cooker for about 1 hour

6.) Remove from foil, return to cooker for 1 hour, brushing with BBQ sauce in the last 30 minutes.

?

I've competed in several KCBS BBQ contests. Our team follows steps 3-6 to some degree. This seems to be what the other competitors are doing too.

I believe that some brine but most don't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi folks,

I was going to start a new thread discussing my results, but I figured I may as well add it in here as a sort of central repository for all rib related goodness.

Basically, I have never owned a smoker, but have just purchased one which is currently being shipped to me from the US (I live in Australia). I purchased a Weber Smokey Mountain primarily due to the fact that the virtualweberbullet.com is such a great site, there is a great support community for this smoker, and also a lot of barbecuers seem to use them. I won't go into depth as to why I didn't get a Big Green Egg (Komodo) or an offset style smoker (not readily available here in AU).

Anyways, the smoker is on it's way, so I thought I would prepare myself by getting my rub and sauce and general rib-maintenance technique down (everything but the actual smoking).

To start off, I bought this slab of ribs, which here are just called "Pork Ribs":

gallery_22943_4728_611537.jpg

gallery_22943_4728_428601.jpg

gallery_22943_4728_672364.jpg

gallery_22943_4728_417262.jpg

I then proceeded as follows:

0.) Trim excess fat (only extremely excess, they were still pretty fatty) and remove membrane

1.) Brined for one hour in a "light" brine

2.) Rinsed off brine and patted dry

3.) Rubbed liberally with rub.

4.) Covered in cling film and refrigerated overnight

5.) Pre-heated oven to 225F on fan forced mode and put in a tray of boiling water in the bottom of the oven

6.) Put ribs in standing up:

gallery_22943_4728_754405.jpg

7.) Cooked them at 225F for 3 hours at which stage they looked like this:

gallery_22943_4728_1214.jpg

gallery_22943_4728_650822.jpg

8.) Put into foil and poured over apple juice:

gallery_22943_4728_216535.jpg

9.) Put into oven for 45 minutes.

10.) Took out and sauced:

gallery_22943_4728_322000.jpg

11.) Put into oven for another hour, then removed:

gallery_22943_4728_200011.jpg

gallery_22943_4728_36897.jpg

OK, So that is what happened... now I have a few questions for those who are knowledgeable on the subject :-)

1.) My slab of ribs (even before trimming or doing any other prep work or cooking) don't look nearly as thick as these "Spare ribs" (photo from Virtualweberbullet.com): spare13.jpg

What's up with that?

2.) As you can see in the end, there wasn't a lot of meat... and if I had taken a photo of a single rib that I had cut when finished cooking, and layed it down sideways, it sure as hell wouldn't be thick enough to be able to show a smoke ring (if I were smoking that is).

3.) The meat is seriously pulling away from the bones as you can see... overcooked? They weren't mushy but not chewy either.

4.) Seeing as a smoker operates extremely similar to how I cooked them (indirect heat, hot air circulating, moisture from water pan), why would mine be so different to a set of smoked ribs when it is common to smoke spare ribs for 5-6 hours at 225?

Thanks in advance everyone!

p.s. they tasted great, even if there wasn't a lot of meat - had the slab all to myself :-). However I still want to improve them so they look intact and not all gnarled and scary at the end!

Edited by infernooo (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, infernoo, I'm impressed with your makeshift smoker.

But, as to the meatiness of the ribs. Perhaps they cut them differently in AU than they do in the US?

Or, perhaps these are just from way bigger cows that have bigger baby backs?

Oh, and your ribs did not look as fatty as the ones I see here -- and I'm not just talking about the fat cap. Hmmm. I'm puzzled, too.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, while I'm still waiting for my Weber smoker to get here, I have been tinkering around more with my oven-bbq-ribs technique and have had some good results.

I have found the following works much better than the method reported before:

1.) Trim excess fat (only extremely excess, they were still pretty fatty) and remove membrane

2.) Rubbed liberally with rub.

3.) Covered in cling film and refrigerated overnight (did this just because I was having them the day after I bought the ribs)

4.) Pre-heated oven to 225F on conventional oven setting (not fan forced)

5.) Cooked them at 225F for 3 hours on CONVENTIONAL oven setting - NOT FAN FORCED

6.) Removed, brushed with sauce, put back in oven at about 250F and left for 30 mins, turning up the heat with the broiler right at the end to caramelise the sauce slightly and get the crispy edges.

Edited by infernooo (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4.) Pre-heated oven to 225F on conventional oven setting (not fan forced)

5.) Cooked them at 225F for 3 hours on CONVENTIONAL oven setting - NOT FAN FORCED

Ahhhhh ... herein lies atg least part of the answer. I re-read your firts post, and realized you used CONVECTION (fan driven) mode. Typically when you use a convection oven you would reduce the temperature and cooking time to get the same results as you would with RADIANT (what you call "conventional:) cooking.

It's tough to tell without actually tasting them, but it looks like you overcooked the ribs the first time. I'd be interested to see how they'd turn out in convection mode, set at about 200F and cooked for 4 or 5 hours. I find convection works well with roasts so I wonder if it would work with ribs.

Hmmmm

A.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking convection would be the way to go as smokers are basically convection ovens with smoke circulating around them... but I think you are right... it may have just been too hot (even though I kept it at 230-250F using a thermometer)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...