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Have You Brined Your Ribs Today? LBR's: Q-View (FINISHED!)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm wittling my way through a case of un-enhanced LBR's, and brining has proved to be a great way to add flavor and moisture to all my fresh pork. Today, I get to smoke up 3 slabs of LBR's from yesterdays prep, so, (I think) it's my first crack at brining LBR's...spares were good with a different recipe awhile back, but they were previously enhanced ribs, so not the best trial run for brined ribs.


Here Piggy-Piggy Brine and Hawg Heaven Rub are my latest weapons of mass, uh...creation for pork. I posted these in a double-butt smoke a week or so back, but, in case you missed it...



***for 2 pork butts, approx 16lbs in a 5 gallon covered bucket***

2 qts water in saucepan

1/4 cup celery salt

1 cup sea salt

4 Tbls diced dried red bell pepper

6 Tbls light brown sugar

2 Tbls rosemary

1/2 Tbls cumin

2 Tbls chili powder

2 Tbls cayenne pepper

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp thyme

1 tsp marjoram

1 tsp fennel seed

1 tsp sage

4 qts ice water (mix into brine solution after removed from heat and partially cooled)


***note: for today's ribs, I used a 1/2 batch of brine***




****for approx 16lbs of brined pork butts****

4 Tbls ground apple

4 Tbls ground red bell pepper

3 Tbls ground tart cherry

1 Tbls ground rosemary

2 tsp ground oregano

2 tsp thyme

1 Tbls onion powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground sage

1 tsp chili powder

1 Tbls spanish paprika

1.5 Tbls gound black peppercorn

1.5 Tbls garlic

note: if using for non-brined pork, add salt as desired

I cut the slabs of LBR's into 7-bone lengths on the smaller (narrower) end, and 6-bone lengths on the larger (wider) end, and fit them into a 6qt covered container. I did have to cut one of those 1/2 slabs in half again just to fit it into the container, fill the open gaps and get them submerged in was alot to fit into this size container...a 2-gallon (8qt) would have been the perfect size for 3 slabs of LBR's. I admit, I wasn't too enthused about cutting down the slabs at first, but it's just one of things you have to deal with, and although a full slab looks more impressive coming out of the smoker, it's only a perspective of the presentation. The two mystery pieces (1/4 slabs) will be revealed later after the smoke clears, as you can barely see them in the pan pre-rubbed. If you can identify them and point them out, you win a cookie...LOL!!!!


Here we are, getting ready ready for a long salty bath...side of the container:






After 20 hours in the brine...the two 1/4 slabs are already removed, rinsed and on the pan:



A good rinse and ready to apply dry rub on the meat side only...just because I wanted a heavy dose on the meat and none on the bone side, for giggles:





One 1/2 slab went into a roasting pan to tent with foil for a guest who can't tolerate smoked meats very well...loves the flavor, but suffers gut issues after eating it:




The Smoke Vault 24 is loaded @ 11:00am for a 5:30pm dinner...well, OK, it's a small load. I started @ 235* for the first 30 minutes, then, dropped back to 215*. Hmm, just checked ambient temp...warm today @ 45*, light winds, partly cloudy, 68* humidty (high for my location @ ~5,000ft elevation), 1/3 full water pan, two medium sized apple chunks for smoke. I placed the roasting pan above the ribs so it doesn't baffle the heat getting to anything above it, and also, it will recieve slightly lower temps, which I'll want being they all went into the smoker at the same time and panned/tented or foiled meats cook faster than on open grates:




I think I'll go with a 4.5-1.5-0 today for the smoked ribs (soft bark, very tender), and straight 0-6-0 for the panned ribs (no smoke, no bark, fall-apart tender). The slightly lower chamber temps will allow for longer cooking times, and 5 hours is generally sufficient for LBR's @ 225-235*, so 215* and 6 hours will be just about right on the money.


1 hour in and all is well. See ya later with the results!


Thanks for peekin' at my brined LBR's!



Edited by forluvofsmoke - 5/1/11 at 11:58am
post #2 of 13

Looks good Eric, Can't wait to see the results!

post #3 of 13

He's at it again...another interesting..delicious looking smoke Eric. I'll be waiting for the money shots.

post #4 of 13

Looks good and I bet those ribs in that pan get some smoke also. You just cant keep it out...have fun...

post #5 of 13

Another great post Eric,Keep it comin'  thumb.gif

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

4.5 hours in, and time to pan 'em up...and, who says you don't get pull-pack without foiling...huh?:






OK, I guess it's time to let the rib out of the's the 1/4 slabs...can't believe no body took a stab at that one...ha-ha! Oh, and the liquids in the pan? I didn't put that in there, the ribs did...hard to see through the steam, but there's about 1/4 cup of liquids around the outer portion of this raised-center pan grids...think the brine had something to do with this? Ah, hard to say, but it sure didn't hurt things at all:


Hmm, I have a pan all ready to go with a foil tent, it's hot, and I'm in need of just, I placed one 1/2 slab into the center, layed the steamed ribs on top (fall apart tender, btw), then, set all the remaining slabs on edge against the outside of the pan and tipped inward so they're resting on the ribs in the middle. The ribs are still at or below the top of the pan, and even if they weren't, foil it up, I say:





The smoked 1/2 slab underneath the steamed ribs will catch a bit more heat than the rest which are more loosely standing, but the ribs on top of them will act like a heat sink and slow it down just a bit. In any case, if they get more tender than the rest of the smoked ribs, it'll be a slab my wife will like her's from...she's a fall-apart rib lover.


Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post

Looks good Eric, Can't wait to see the results!

Thanks Al!

Originally Posted by raptor700 View Post

Another great post Eric,Keep it comin'  thumb.gif



Thanks brother!

Originally Posted by gotarace View Post

He's at it again...another interesting..delicious looking smoke Eric. I'll be waiting for the money shots.

LOL!!! Thanks!

Originally Posted by Roller View Post

Looks good and I bet those ribs in that pan get some smoke also. You just cant keep it out...have fun...

Thanks, yea, they may get a hint of smoke, but very light if any. I sealed it up pretty tightly.


Ah man, 90 minutes 'til dinner!






post #7 of 13

Very nice Eric, I have tried the "no foil" approach couple of times and they were great.

Yours look (spot on),

Thanks for the brine recipe,gotta give it a go!

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Finished pics (drool alert) and brined LBR review are in!


Just out of the Vault...those no-smoke rib juices are still hangin' out, helpin' make eveyrthing happy...a bit more pull-back showing, but not excessive. Looks to have worked out pretty well for a first-time use of this roasting pan:



The moment of truth:



AT 10 'oclock is one of the no-smoke ribs (oven roasted, if you will) for color comparison:



Served with the wifey's mac & cheese:







Man, that brine came through like a champ on these LBR's. I tried this several times: took nibbles off the top meat (bark/rub/smoke), then, bit into the rib from the side, all the way to the bone and tore it off...the brine spices were there every time, and had a great, mild flavor. The pork was still there, not like the brine covered it up. The rub and brine have both been great on all my pork smokes so far, and these 20-hr brined LBR's were no different.


The smoked ribs, with a 4.5-1.5-0 was really nice, with a light bark and a tender chew, very good moisture content, and, between the natural rib flavors, the brine and the rub, they're packed with flavor. Worth every minute of the 30 hours or so from the time I started the brine on the stovetop until I drew my steel over a slicing knife for plating. Oh, baby, my last 6 slabs of LBR's from that case purchase have a destiny!


I almost can't wait to fire up the smoker on my second double-butt brine next weekend...the first was only 2 days in the brine, while the second will be for a week...same brine, same rub as used on these ribs.

Thanks again, all! It's been fun, and now, I'm done!



post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by raptor700 View Post

Very nice Eric, I have tried the "no foil" approach couple of times and they were great.

Yours look (spot on),

Thanks for the brine recipe,gotta give it a go!

Thanks, hey, no-foil was how I learned to smoke spares years ago. Once I came to SMF, the variations of 3-2-1 really opened up a new horizon to ribs for me. No foil isn't for everyone, but for the purists, it's the only way. Great chew, super bark, but for many that's not what they like with their ribs. Now, a no-foiled butt for pulled pork? OMG!!!


This brine is really good stuff...just be sure to find yourself some fresh pork to try it on. If it's previously enhanced, you may not notice much of a change, as the osmosis process will require a much higher salt content in the brine to be able to overcome equilibrium. It would probably be to the point where saltiness of the ribs would be an issue. Oh, speaking of saltiness, use a no-salt rub with this brine, or the Hawg Heaven Rub itself, if you can find everything, or make a few modofications as needed for availability issues.


Good smokes, brother!



post #10 of 13


post #11 of 13

Wow, that's a lot of ribs! Looking Awesome!! I love brining. I do it with almost all my pork; plus, it's a super fun way to play with different seasonings. sounds like you've got a real winner recipe there - I'll be giving that a try soon!  Thanks for such a great post! beercheer.gif

post #12 of 13

wow.....very impressive.....great pics and great info for a student such as myself...thank you

post #13 of 13

Looking great Eric!

Nice to see some sides too!!





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