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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2009, 12:13 pm 
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Ack! Double postville again. I tried to delete one and I deleted both at the same time. I very carefully clicked only once on the second entry and got two again. :doh:

Let's see what happens with this one.

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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2009, 12:18 pm 
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:o

OK... this is weird. The last one created a double post for Neil in between my posts. How is that possible? And now, no double post on the next entry. I'm confused. :-?

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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: April 4th, 2009, 1:26 pm 
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Here are also some helpful hints / ways to cheat on a gas grill instead of spending a ton on new smoking equipment. Keep in mind I do not claim this to be real BBQ.

Don't buy the smoking box for wood chips. Simple Tin Foil wrapped wood chips will do. Just poke small holes in the foil. I personally do not like too much smoke. Quarter inch ring of pink will do for my tastes on most meats. I bought the smoking box, used it once and never used it again because I could not control how much smoke came out and it was a pain to clean.

If you are going to wrap the ribs in tin foil to tenderize try the following proceedure.

1.) Smoke the meat first with Membrane removed. Wrap the water soaked chips in tinfoil as above. Put the tinfoil bundle on low on one side of the gas grill (without the meat) until smoke starts flowing. Place meat on other side of BBQ with no direct heat. Keep the grill temperature as low as possible. (Assuming you can control both sides of grill separately. Keep the side with the meat turned off). Smoking for about 30 minutes is fine for my taste, but make sure temperature is low so you are not "grilling" the meat. All BBQ's are different so timing varies (usually about 2 beers)

2.) Add your rub to the meat omitting all sugar ingrediants. Wrap with tinfoil and steam. The steaming process after smoking the ribs and rub mixture (spices) actually infuse nicely into the ribs. Go very light on the spice/rub or you will not get the meat flavour.

3.) Mix brown sugar or whatever other sugars you are using (experiment with others like maple sugars) in the remaining rub. Cover ribs again with mixture and grill just a little bit more. Do over grill or it will dry out your ribs.

I personally do not like too much smoke and too much rub. Depending on my mood I will make a BBQ sauce to go with it but it is not needed.

I also do this method camping using a small cheap covered charcoal BBQ for the smoking and the campfire for the steaming and grilling. Make sure you are using hardwood for your bon fire. People laugh at how long the process takes until they try a rib (especially the camping method). This is usually either a 6 beer process or one bottle of red wine process depending on what you like to drink. In canada many people time BBq / grilling using the booze model.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: April 4th, 2009, 2:00 pm 
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hobbes wrote:
People laugh at how long the process takes until they try a rib (especially the camping method). This is usually either a 6 beer process or one bottle of red wine process depending on what you like to drink.


Wow, so you've got the whole process down to under an hour, eh?

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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: April 4th, 2009, 6:06 pm 
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He's not talkin' about American beer, eh.

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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: October 15th, 2009, 1:52 pm 
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Based on a careful reading of this thread I came up with this:

I took a test rack of pork ribs (fairly thin from front to back) and applied the rub, one half with brown sugar, one half without. I pressed the rub in pretty good with the heel of my hand.

I put the ribs on a rack (the kind you put cookies on to cool) over a baking shhet and put them in an oven whose thermostat was set to 250.

After 3 hours they were perfect but I kept them in for about 5 and they were still OK but fairly dried out.

This weekend I will be doing ribs for 8 people.

No beer was consumed during this experiment.

Any comments?


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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: October 15th, 2009, 6:18 pm 
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Not enough beer...

OK, seriously, did you have any sort of water pan in the oven?

Did you have a thermometer in the oven? If the ovens thermostat is off, even a bit, 250 becomes 275-300, and that's not good for ribs. They really need the slow and low temps to break down all the connective tissue. If you can get the oven a little under 250, so much the better, 220 would be ideal.

Hope that helps,

Thanks,

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: October 15th, 2009, 8:05 pm 
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Simple fix for the dried out ribs in the oven; spray them with apple juice (or beer, or a combination) several times during the cook.

Perhaps I can help a bit by asking if we are talking about side (spare) ribs or back ribs? Spares, St Louis trimmed will go about 3 - 3 1/2 lb a rack. Backs will go maybe 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 lb. Spares are full of connective tissue that needs a long time to break down at low temps. Backs are tender from the get-go and don't need as much TLC.
I do backs on the gas grill indirect with a smoker box filled with DRY chips over the lit side and the ribs on the unlit side. Put the chips on at the same time as the ribs. When the chips burn out, don't worry, the ribs only take on smoke flavour during the early stages of the cook anyway. Cook for 2 hours without even looking at them! Then turn, spray with apple juice, turn and spray again for another hour or so. When the meat pulls back from the ends of the bones about 1/2" or so, they are ready. If you want to sauce them, do that just during the last 15 min of the cook and cook the sauce only enough to set it. You can cook backs up to 275 or 300º if you are in a hurry. They are tender enough to stand the heat.
Spares will take longer, 4 - 6 hours depending on size. Careful with the temps; keep them low, 220 - 240º. Again, do the smoker box with dry chips and the ribs on the unlit side same as for backs. Cook for 3 hours without looking then turn, spray and turn again till the meat pulls back from the ends of the bones.
Some like to wrap with foil for the last hour or so of cooking; I always considered this a waste of time and foil. Spraying always did the job for me and is a lot easier to do.

A couple of comments;
Soaking chips will give a bitter taste.
There isn't enough sugar in most rubs to worry about burning.
There is enough sugar and tomato in most sauces to be concerned about. Use sauce only at the very end of the cook and watch it closely!
The comments on charcoal are right on the money. Use lump and move it to one side of the grill - cook on the other side. Add wood chunks to the charcoal at the same time you put the meat on.
Good ribs are to die for!

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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 5:26 am 
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Thanks Pete!

These were back ribs.

I will do some in the BBQ with the chips and some in the oven (with a thermometer) and will spray them from time to time. (This won't undermine the rub's purpose by wetting it through?)

Will also try using some beer on the chef. (well, not on the chef).

I was thinking of serving the sauce on the side and letting people dip.


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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 7:47 am 
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and talking about long cooking times I have a problem in the dead of winter. I can only grill steaks, pork and chicken pieces in the winter.
I can't get the heat up for (one burner) indirect heat cooking - no roasts, no turkeys, no ribs which are my favorites.

Has anybody tried a blanket of something over the hood. Just the hood, not anything below the lid that would interfere with air flow?

Any ideas, any suggestions?

thanks Ted

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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 9:01 am 
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hikerneil wrote:
... and will spray them from time to time. (This won't undermine the rub's purpose by wetting it through?)


Not at all. Many Memphis rib places use a mop to baste the surface with during smoking, even on "dry rub" ribs. A mop is often just the basic rub with water added. I prefer them to be just a shade on the dry side, so I just put a shallow pan full of water in the cooker. And I use massive amounts of rub and allow it to cake on. The sugar in the rub melds with the fats and juices and eventually forms a thick crust that seals the juices in.

I've only done St. Louis style ribs, not back ribs. You may be cooking them longer than you need to. With the spare ribs, part of the allure of them is that they get smoked very deeply during the long process, creating a deep pink color that is both tasty and very appetizing looking. Plus, all that connective tissue breaks down and becomes a delightfully smooth and delicious gelatinous goo that makes the meat slide down the gullet just right.

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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 9:17 am 
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hikerneil wrote:
Thanks Pete!


I was thinking of serving the sauce on the side and letting people dip.



Sauce on the side is my preferred serving. I like dry (on the outside) ribs; just the flavour from the rub and the baste.

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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 9:20 am 
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Ted wrote:
and talking about long cooking times I have a problem in the dead of winter. I can only grill steaks, pork and chicken pieces in the winter.
I can't get the heat up for (one burner) indirect heat cooking - no roasts, no turkeys, no ribs which are my favorites.

Has anybody tried a blanket of something over the hood. Just the hood, not anything below the lid that would interfere with air flow?

Any ideas, any suggestions?

thanks Ted


Ted, I use an old quilt to cover the BBQ in winter. Rig up a wind break as well if you can; wind is worse than cold for chilling a BBQ.

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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 9:39 am 
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A fellow by the name of Mike Scrutchfield won the "Best Ribs in the Universe" title at the 1993 American Royal BBQ competition with this rub .....

1 cup white sugar
1 cup non-iodized table salt
1/2 cup dried brown sugar
5 Tbsp chili powder
3 Tbsp fresh ground cumin
4 tsp MSG (I omit this ingredient)
4 tsp cayenne
4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 tsp granulated garlic
4 tsp granulated onion

Mike used the larger US back ribs 1 3/4 - 2 lb per rack and cooked a little longer. 3 hours at 225 then turn, baste and raise the temp to 275 to finish. Start cooking bone side down always.

You will find these larger US ribs on sale from time to time in the supermarkets, usually in the spring. Canadian ribs tend to be smaller; Canadian hogs are leaner than US by a whole lot! Our ribs are usually in the 1 1/2 lb or less range.

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 Post subject: Re: Best ribs?
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 10:39 am 
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Hey this is what I do, and it does the trick every time. The key idea is the braising liquid and turning it into a sauce...makes my mouth water just thinking about it. It's not BBQ...but it's damn good and super easy. I think it would be impossible for these to turn out dry.

Neil, if you are preparing ribs for a huge number of people and you have the time. Maybe do two styles...and see which turns out better.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alto ... index.html

Ingredients
2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs
Dry Rub:
8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Braising Liquid:
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Directions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency. Brush the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.

*This recipe makes several batches of dry rub. If more rub is needed, it can be extended by any amount, as long as the ratio of 8:3:1:1 remains the same.


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