Baby Back Ribs attempt with new found knowledge

Discussion in 'Pork' started by hfactor, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. After a few failed attempts, I decided to smoke some test ribs yesterday.   Here’s the process:

    Brined ribs for 20 hours in a solution consisting of

    2 cups
    2 Tsp
    1 Tsp
    1 Tsp
    1 tsp
    1/2 Tsp

    apple juice or cider
    non-iodized salt
    chopped garlic
    chili powder
    white pepper
    cayenne pepper


    Pulled ribs from brine, dried, and applied the following rub: paprika, garlic and onion powder, brown sugar, chili powder, salt, black and cayenne pepper, marinated for 4 hours.

    Brought ribs to room temperature, placed apple wood chunk(s) on smoker, two small chunks… set smoker to 230 degrees... smoked using the 2/1/2 method.... water bowl contained a mixture of apple juice, beer, and water, used apple juice during the "1" portion of the process.  Applied Tony Roma's BBQ sauce at the beginning of the last cooking phase..


    Pulled ribs, and let rest for 20 minutes.  Ribs were very tender, flavorful, yet a tad smoky for my liking, this might have been due to the fact that one of the wood chunks burned too quickly and was somewhat smoky.   The other wood chunk was smoldering, and smoking nicely. I only smoked at the beggining of the smoking....

    Conclusion:   Try a different rub on ribs, seemed like rub overwhelmed the flavor of the ribs.   Place wood chunks so that one end lights and burns slowly.

    Comments please...

  2. thunderdome

    thunderdome Master of the Pit

    I think you did everything right. They look great by the way. I dont like a lot of smoke to hit the ribs after I've sauced them because the sauce just sucks it up like a sponge.

    Nice work though
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The ribs sure look good from here!
  4. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As to the final flavor, it is really a matter of personal preference.  Also, the combination of the seasoned brine and the rub might have pushed you over the top.  Keep experimenting and you will find that magic combo!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  5. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Look Good to Me...
  6. Thanks for all the encouraging comments; ribs were much more tame today.   The brine, rub combo might have been too much…

    I think next time I’ll stick with a rub of salt/pepper, garlic, maybe finish it off with a mixture of BBQ sauce and honey…
    But one thing I’ve learned, this is a trial and error operation, there’s no magic recipe for success, you just gota give it a go…
  7. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like to smoke with a rub only.

    When the ribs are done, I'll slop some bbq sauce on them and a couple minutes on the BBQ.  This firms them up.

    Just another example of a variation of the 3-2-1 method

  8. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Other than wasting the beer and apple juice in the water pan, looks good to me.
  9. The liquid in the water pan helps with temperature control.  This is a cheap, electric smoker....I've seen with smoking fish, the added moisture seems to help, not sure if I can say the same with pork....
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I do that too, but I have to agree with Flash.

    When I first started smoking Ribs & Salmon, I used to put Apple Juice in my water pan. I tried beer too. Then I tried plain water.

    I saw no difference, so if & when I put liquid in my water pan, it has been water ever since. IMO

  11. I thought he was recommending no liquid.... I'll stick to water....
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah, I knew what he meant right away, because like you I learned that after a few smokes.

    Nobody told me, but I started thinking, "I don't taste any apple juice flavor, or beer flavor!!!"

    Then I decided, beer or apple juice might be good in a brine, but it only evaporates plain old water.

    I think I already learned about 5% of what there is to be learned, maybe.   [​IMG]

  13. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The ribs look great,

    perfect pullback.

    As for the taste, it's something you'll have to experiment with until you get the flavor you want.

    The ribs do look great.

    Thanks for sharing[​IMG]
  14. Hey 700,

    Thanks for your input.  Yes I'm trying different rubs, temps, and brines.... I'm getting the basic idea, less wood for smoking is best.....longer cook times is best.  With all the help from various posters, I'm trying all the ideas with test up, tri-tip......

  15. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Bearcarver had my back. [​IMG]

     No, best to have some water, it does add some moisture, although very little. You can also use Playbox sand, although I use it more in colder weather. It allows for higher and more constant temps that water does.
  16. What about a brick(s) wrapped in foil?
  17. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     Sure, that could work. I have a friend that uses lava rock.
  18. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Ribs look great, I also concur with just water. [​IMG]
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I got 4 fire bricks awhile back, and wrapped them in foil, like little Christmas presents!!

    I was all excited---This is gonna be great.

    Then I found out how hard the smoker has to work to heat up those Ice cold bricks (Winter time).

    I'm not into playing games, like heating them up in the stove first, and then handling hot bricks, so I put one on top of my smoker cover, to keep it from blowing off, and I use the others to set hot things on & to keep foil pans from ending up in the woods.

    I like using water, because I can Nuke it first, in only a few minutes.

  20. You'd think that bricks would hold heat much better than water, plus if you are smoking for hours, I'd imagine that bricks would heat up relatively quickly.... with a cheap electric smoker (Meco), retaining heat in the unit it paramount...

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