Foiling vs. Non-Foiling for Spares

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jaye220, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. jaye220

    jaye220 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Hey all-

    Been gone a while but finally got a chance to throw some spares on the Big Block. I apologize for no Q-View as my wife was out with the camera. That said, here's what I did:

    - 2 racks of spares I trimmed STL style. I used Jeff's rub on both but cooked one 3-2-1 style and one unfoiled. Used a combo of hickory chunks and some oak from wine barrels from a local winery. The 3-2-1 ribs literally fell off the bone (actually a couple bones slipped right out when I picked them up, which is not really what I was looking for although that seems to be what my guests wanted) but the foiling seemed to dilute the flavor a bit. The unfoiled ribs were perfect, IMO...really tasty, perfect amount of tug from the bone, etc.

    Now, here's my question: being that most guests seemed to prefer the foiled ribs' texture, does anybody have any ideas how to make them taste more like the unfoiled ribs, e.g. more rub/smoke flavor? I'd love any tips that you might have. Thanks in advance.
  2. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What did you smoke them on?
  3. I would have to say cut back on the foiling and or add onto the end. maybe use a 3-1.5-1 or even a 3-1-1 just keep an eye on the last phase.
    It usually dries out the ribs the longer they are left after the braising phase. Thats my experience anyways
  4. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    jaye, when I first started out doing ribs, I did the 3-2-1 method and variations of it 3-2-.30 3-1 1/2-1 1/2. Anymore I just skip the foiling thing altogether as I prefer a bit of 'tug' and a clean break away. When folks ask why I don't do them 'fall off the bone' anymore I just tell them that 'fall off the bone' means they are over cooked. [​IMG] I guess they aren't too upset about it, cuz they manage to make my ribs disappear.
  5. mr mac

    mr mac Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I like to toss them on the grill and sear them just before serving. It's also a great time to add any glaze you might want. That process seems to get that smokey taste and feel back in there versus the 'braised' texture.
  6. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    not a fan of foiled f.o.b. ribs.
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I found a nice middle ground that a lot of people like is to cook them completely unfoiled. Then foil them and put them in the cooler for 1 hr. You get a great bark, good flavor, a little tug, but the bark is softened just a little bit so they aren't to "chewey" (as my wife puts it [​IMG]).

    Also found if you sauce them right before you put them in the foil will also help to moisten them up even more... just depends on your preferance.
  8. triplebq

    triplebq Smoking Fanatic

    Look I cook ribs backwards from everybody . I prep them , rub them and foil them . I cook them in foil 1st for two hours , then I put them back on the smoker with the foil opened on top about 1.5 inches and smoke them 1hr then hit them with honey , butter and brown sugar and let them cook for thirty minutes . This hits the meat with smoke and that 1st bite you get the fresh smoke and zap from the fixins . Practice is all I can tell ya
    . I promise you everyone here will tell you I am cooking them backwards but sometimes you have go outside the box for your answers . I have done these many times like this .
  9. jaye220

    jaye220 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for all of the opinions. I greatly prefer the non-foiled ribs myself but you gotta do the crowd-pleaser thing sometimes, I guess. I'll get a Q-View up there next time and let you all know what happens.
  10. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm kinda with Dutch on this one If you have a fall off the bone then you are over cooked. When you see the 3-2-1 it's just a good ballpark numbers and you can change it any way you want. After all your eating them and I like my ribs with alittle pull to them but I don't want to fight them off the bones either. I personally use a 3-11/2- 45 with my ribs.
  11. wmarkw

    wmarkw Smoking Fanatic

    Try doing the unfoiled ribs for 7-7.5 hours. I find that these are close to fall off the bone and I think your guests will be pleased. Just keep on experimenting.

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