No foil spare ribs and mac 'n cheese

Discussion in 'Pork' started by suie, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    I had such good luck not foiling my last brisket I wanted to try the same technique with ribs. Found a nice looking st. louis cut rack on sale.

    I removed the membrane, light coat of oil and some of Jeff's rub that I mixed with some cumin.

    I've been dying to make smoked mac 'n cheese. This is a half pound of noodles, in an 8x8 inch pan. The main cheeses used were cheddar and gruyere. I also mixed in some leftover cream cheese I had in the fridge (about 1/4 cup). On the top is parmesan, crumbled bacon, and some panko bread crumbs that I tossed in some melted butter. 

    The smoker is running hot today - 275-300 (hot day out), so this is about 2 hours in when I added the mac in cheese to the smoker. Already got some pull back on the bones. If I was going to foil I'd do it now, but resisting the urge. [​IMG]

    I'm going to use the bend test to decide when they're done. (pick up with tongs in the middle, look for 90 degree bend). Any other non-foilers have any tips? I was thinking it would be about a 5 hour cook, but they seem to be going fast.

    Since I won't be foiling I picked some mild wood for the smoke - pecan and apple.

    Thanks for looking!

  2. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looking great so far.. getting some good coloring on them ribs ;)
  3. smokeusum

    smokeusum Smoking Fanatic

    You're Mac & Cheese looks awesome! Love smoked M&C!

    I have had great success using a 2-2-1 method on stl ribs and non-foiling and complete disasters with 3-2-1, mainly because they were down at the "bend" point, so I think you'll be good when you hit the "bend test" mark! Keep up the qviews!
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I really like doing my ribs with out foil. If doing full racks I use the bend test. For half racks I will probe like you do with brisket.
  5. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thanks everyone who weighed in! I used the bend test and took these off just shy of 4 hours. There wasn't much pull back on the bones, so I was a bit worried they would be tough. My worry was for nothing, they were perfectly tender. So no glaze, no sauce, just the rub and porky goodness!

    I did wrap them in foil after I took them off, and let them rest for about a 1/2 hour. The bark still retained it's slight crunch and was really wonderful!

    Here's the mac and cheese, nice and creamy and subtly smoky. 

    If you like a really saucy rib, these probably aren't for you, but these were right up my alley! Thanks for looking!!
  6. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks awesome. I am trying my first non foil ribs tomorrow.

    I am going to cook at 275 also.
  7. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thanks c farmer! Good luck with yours!!
  8. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thanks both of you, the bend test was right on!! 
    smokeusum likes this.
  9. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thanks, that bark was definitely my favorite part!
  10. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nice, Suie!  Those ribs look delicious...and the mac n cheese looks outstanding!  Its something I haven't done before...I gotta change that!  Very nicely done...[​IMG]

  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Those look great! I really like mine just like that! No foil, no sauce, and SPOG! Yumm! The Mac n cheese looks fantastic too!
  12. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thanks Red!! 
    Thanks Dirtsailor!! The rub I used had a little brown sugar in it too, which I think helped with the bark. Anyway, thanks for the help!
  13. wjordan52

    wjordan52 Meat Mopper

    Great looking ribs Suie! I'd take a helping of that mac n cheese too.
  14. DAAAAAAAANG! That Mac n Cheese looks mighty  tasty. How did you make that?

    if you don't mind me asking. Did you boil the noodles first ? How long in the smoker?

    I reckon I should make some tomorrow along my first attempt at bb ribs.

     P.S. Ribs look amazing too[​IMG]
  15. suie

    suie Meat Mopper

    Thank you!! The mac n cheese recipe I used is a slightly modified version of Martha Stewart's recipe. Below is the original. This would fill a 9x13 pan. I made half the recipe. (8x8 pan) Instead of the white bread, I used Japanese bread crumbs (panko). I also used a little less milk and threw in some cream cheese. You do need to cook the noodles ahead of time, just not all the way. My package of elbows said to cook 8-10 minutes so I did 8 minutes.On top is also 6 slices of crumbled bacon. 

    Time in the smoker was two hours at about 250-275. The bread crumbs had browned by then, and it was bubbling up the sides of the pan. Not a ton of smoky flavor, but it was nice. You could probably leave it it longer, if you wanted it smokier.

    Martha Stewart's Mac 'n Cheese

    6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces

    8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish

    5 1/2 cups milk

    1/2 cup all-purpose flour

    2 teaspoons kosher salt

    1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar

    2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated pecorino Romano

    1 pound elbow macaroni

    1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

    2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

    3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.

    4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

    5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then serve.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  16. awesome, looks like I have a bit of shopping to do.

    thank you.

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