I had some leftover rub from my butt smoke (which was quite tasty, according to the family) and the wife brought home two rather massive slabs of spares (both over 5-1/4lbs) several days ago, so I just had to try this rub again today. Really, how could I go wrong, anyway?
Here's the recipe again, in case you missed that thread:
BLUEBERRY-CHERRY-RBP PORK DRY RUB
This rub is intended for low & slow cooking only, as the natural sugars in the fruits will scorch quickly with high-heat cooking.
All measures are pre-grind, except for the powdered ingredients, of course.
4 Tbsp dried whole Blueberry
3 Tbsp dried Tart Cherry
3 Tbsp dried diced Red Bell Pepper
3 Tbsp dried chopped Onion
2 Tbsp dried minced Garlic
1-1/2 Tbsp Black Peppercorn
1 Tbsp ground White Pepper
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Spanish Paprika
1 Tbsp Rosemary
2-1/2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 tsp rubbed Sage
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, then portion 1 to 1-1/2 Tbsp into your blade-type (coffee) grinder at a time. Use less if the grinder stalls/jams. Grind to near your desired particle size and place in a second container until all ingredients are ground, then repeat grinding for smaller particle size, if desired, and to aid in blending the dry rub for the best consistency.
Note: grinding the dry ingredients with the fruits will aid in preventing the fruits from forming a paste and stalling your grinder, as well as making for much easier clean-up. This is a very effective method for grinding dried fruits. The only draw-back to grinding all ingredients together is if you want larger particle sizes with certain spices but not others, although some of them could be ground separately, if desired, such as the Kosher Salt.
This particular recipe, even in the semi-arid climate of my location, tends to clump soon after blending if tumbled in the container, so a regrind may be necessary prior to application onto your pork. This is due to the sugars in the fruits and is normal. Application with a shaker container may give the easiest results. Do not compress this mixture until it is on your meat, or it will pack to a very firm consistency, making a re-grind difficult.
Yield is approx. 1-2/3 cups.
Today, I went as simple as possible on prep: no trimming or membrane removal (comes off easy after cooking, anyway)...just a quick rinse, sprinkled on the rub and went straight to the smoker, which I started up cold (76* ambient temp), heating the the smoke wood with a torch and adding pre-heated briquettes, then bumped up the burner flame to pull a 220* temp within about 15 minutes. SO, cold start-up with a heavier smoke up front, then thin blue smoke after about 30 minutes, for the duration of open grate cooking.
4.5 hours in with hickory, apple and cherry smoke, along with a dozen charcoal briquettes for even more depth of flavor, 220* start-up with wet-to-dry smoke chamber (pan went dry @ approx 3.5 hrs), and increased temps to 225-230* after 4 hours...needs more pull-back yet before going any further:
I decided to pan these ribs after I got more pull-back, just to soften the bark a little, so they're going to ride in a little steam for an hour or so before being dined upon.
6.5 hours in...bend test looked and felt about right for my liking...had a little sag, but was looking like it was going to tear open on the top bark, so called it quits on open grates and panned them up with a foil cover, no added liquids:
Lower slab, heavy end (brisket section):
Lower slab, light end:
Upper slab, heavy end (brisket section):
Upper slab, light end:
Bend test was satisfactory, so into the pan you go:
1 hour panned/tented @ ~250*, and...:
I sliced them all into 2-rib portions, except for the very largest...it gives a nice representation of the bite, tug and chew, IMHO.
This finishing method (panned/tented) is not new to me, and when cutting back on the panned time as I did today (usually 2+ hours), it does yield variations in texture with untrimmed spare ribs without going so far as having bones popping out, so it's a nice way to provide a rib everyone will like, with a light bite between the ribs and bit heavier bite near the brisket section...but that's not what I really wanted to post about, but since I was on the subject, figured why not toss it in as well.
Now, for the real reason for this post...the rub...again, a big hit, by unanimous vote. And the flavor of the rub is very similar to what I described in the pork butt thread, and was a nice way to bring the smoke and ribs home to the finish line. I was a little surprised by how well the overall flavor profile came together...very good on butts, and every bit as good on spare ribs. My next pork smoke I'm sure will include this recipe, and I'm not big on re-do's of recipes, even if they are really good, as I'm a tinkerer and I'm always looking for something new, but I want to explore this rub further. It's just so enticing, I can't resist the thought of eating it again. This is another rub I'll be making for larger gatherings in the future...that I'm quite sure.
Thanks for peekin'!!! Hope you enjoyed the ride, and can get your hands on the ingredients...PM me if you can't figure out where you can get them.
Great smokes to all, and to all a good night!!!