My first decent rack of side ribs!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by farnsworth, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. farnsworth

    farnsworth Fire Starter

    Its Confession time...I have sinned against the gods of BBQ and have repented and atoned! My regular practice in cooking side ribs was to simmer them on the stove until a nice even grey (I'm pausing typing now to let the shocked cries of outrage die down), then grill until dry and cover up with sauce. I was young, I didn't know any better, I was wrong...

    Worse than that, thinking that it was some tough job to do by hand, I'd get the butcher to cut the ribs a couple of times on the band saw, producing pretty much randomly sized fragments.

    And then I found the light![​IMG] and started to read up on how to trim the ribs, strip the membrane, make a nice rub, and smoke them to make them tender and tasty instead of bleached-of-life pieces of rubber.

    OK, after that preamble, I bought a MES last month and have recorded the prep of a nice Saturday dinner.

    I trimmed back the ribs, removed the membrane and separated the riblets then split to fit my MES rack:

    Coated them with the Ranch House rib rub recipe from "Weber's Charcoal Grilling - the art of cooking with live fire" cookbook:
    2 tablespoons Lawry’s® Seasoned Salt
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon pure chile powder
    1 tablespoon sweet paprika
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning
    ¼ cup yellow mustard

    Used the mustard to coat the ribs first, the added to rub mix. Left them to rest after rubbing in the cold cellar overnight (at 34°F - it's cold down there!). Added a good sprinkle of brown sugar on top of the rub about an hour before putting them into the smoker (and touched up a few areas without enough rub to keep them happy):

    And set out for the 3-2-1 smoke I'd read about here! Preheated the MES smoker to 240°F for an hour before putting the ribs in. Added a small chunk of sugar maple and some apple wood chips a few at a time as it smoked. Basted at 2 hours with a mix of apple juice and cider vinegar. Pulled at 3 hours to wrap:

    So far so good...I'll have to add the rest of the story later on when I get the rest of the photos ready!

  2. bbq lover

    bbq lover Fire Starter

    good looking ribs so far add a bit of juice to the mix when you wrap .. and you will be happy [​IMG]
  3. daveafguy

    daveafguy Newbie

    I have a smoker like this one at the link.
    My question to the group is I use the oak wood thats from the trees around my house. Sometimes I use the real big thick pieces and others, decently thick thin pieces. Sometimes I get a heavy smoke taste and other times its just enough to tell its been smoked. What's the best thickness and ratio I should use when smoking meat? Thanks.
    Dave in Safety Harbor fl
  4. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks real good!! [​IMG]

  5. darrin

    darrin Meat Mopper

    Nice job! [​IMG]
  6. bigbaldbbq

    bigbaldbbq Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Good looking ribs!!
  7. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but it may help you out...

    Are you using pieces of wood that have been properly aged? You won't want to use any wood that hasn't been cut and stacked and sitting around curing for at least 6 months. Do not use fresh cut wood for smoking meat...

    That said, a few fist-size chunks is plenty for most of MY smokes. If I'm doing a brisket or a fat butt for pulling, then I might double that, but for ribs and poultry (most of my smokes) I stick with just a fwe big chunks, or about two big handfuls worth of chips.
  8. farnsworth

    farnsworth Fire Starter

    OK, Part 2 of the story: Finishing off the those ribs and gettng ready for Saturday's dinner...

    I made a loaf of bread for dinner in the afternoon...

    I dropped the temperature in the smoker to 220°F then, put the ribs in foil wrapping and back in the smoker (yep, gave them a little apple juice before closing them up - but I could have used less than 3 hours in the first step I think) and pulled them from the foil after 2 hours:

    There were lots of drippings from the foil. I caught those in the pan, transferred to a measuring cup and chilled until I could lift off the fat. The rest of the dripping were mixed with some commercial BBQ sauce for dipping later on.

    Put the ribs back on the rack at 230°F to firm up the surface for the last hour - but meanwhile I had other things to do. The ribs were going to be the appetizer for dinner, not the whole thing. I had a pair of top sirloin steaks rubbed with evoo and some cracked pepper and coarse salt to grill up. My son wasn't waiting for the final product and jumped on the bread to keep him from starving in the last hour [​IMG]

    The steaks were going on for a quick sear and a few minutes a side, but I can never run the grill without my wife bringing me a tray of veggies that need to start grilling before the steaks go on. Roasted potatos, sweet onion, sliced eggplant with olive oil, red and green peppers, whole portabello mushrooms and sliced zuchini rounded out the meal.

    The ribs came out of the smoker just as I got ready to clear the grill, with enough grab to hold the bone but not enough that it gave you a fight to let it go,

    and the final presentation of the meal for the day.

    Everything tasted excellent.

    The improvement in the ribs so surprised my 13 year old son that he skipped everything else and ate nothing but ribs and the bread, while my wife and I enjoyed a mixed grill of ribs, veggies and fine rare steaks with a bottle of wine by the fireplace.

  9. grothe

    grothe Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Everything looks great Farns....Ya done mighty good!!!
  10. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]Great job [​IMG] Congratulations .

    Points for you !!
  11. wutang

    wutang Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Nice spread. Looks like a great meal.
  12. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hey those are some Sweeet lookin ribs. The overall meal looks great. Nice job. My wife is finally coming around to the fact that smokin meats and such is a pretty good idea. Shes old school, grill everything. I just showed her your spread here. She wants to know why we were not invited[​IMG].

    I cant wait for Spring so I can get out and smoke. Also, I see you made the bread? You know, I have tried for years to make homemade bread. I had a buddy who made the best you ever had. Took in when ever we went campin or hunting. I just cant seem to get it down. It always turns out thick and heavy. Where is a good place to start learning how to make bread.

  14. Looks greeeat, If i ate meals like that to often i'd be blowed up like a ole hoppy toad. Yum1[​IMG]
  15. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hey there, thanks for the quick reply. You know what, we bought one a few years ago. Both the wife and I used it. Although she had better results than I did. The thing we did not like about the bread machine is that the loaves were somewhat small. I really want to make bread from scratch, just like my buddy and grandmother did. The part where it all goes downhill for me is when you punch the bread down after it rises the first time, it never seems to rise like it supposed to the second time. Thanks hungryjohn, appreciate you answer.
  16. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  17. bigbaldbbq

    bigbaldbbq Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Great looking ribs!!
  18. iadubber

    iadubber Meat Mopper

    Lookin good!

    One suggestion I might make is forget the temp probe in ribs. There isn't really an accurate place to take the temp on the ribs. Just let the meat tell you when they are done. Most people start with the 3-2-1 method and adjust from there to their liking. That's 3 hours of smoke, 2 hours in foil, and 1 hour to firm up. It's a little shorter for baby backs if you ever plan to do them though, more like 3-.75-.75.

    As far as the wood goes, I don't use more than 2 fist sized chunks of wood in my rib smokes. Also, make sure they are properly seasoned chunks or splits.
  19. crewcab4x4

    crewcab4x4 Smoking Fanatic

    Great looking meal!! Very nice job!

  20. slanted88

    slanted88 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Rock On FW! Looks mighty fine to me!

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