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First-time ribs: horrible, why? Main issue: no bark. - Page 2

post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SQWIB View Post

I still cant wrap my head around the gooey powdery statement, please clarify.



Its either gooey or powdery (dry), I cant see it being both???



 



But I feel your main problem was they were undercooked, your times seem ok so it must have been your temps were lower than you thought??



 



I don't rub the night before, and I would not suggest it but other folks do



I would ditch the mustard as well.



 



 



My rubs are low in sugar.



I mop with Worcestershire, Soy Sauce and Jack Daniels, sometimes I add a can of coke, this penetrates the meat but also has enough sugar to get a nice thin crust.



After Several hours I will start building a glaze.



 



 



Jimmies results are different than mine... if I'm reading that correctly... I don't get more of a bark with higher heat, but rather more of a char.



I will usually finish off ribs over high heat for a minute or two each side.



 



 




  • Finishing over high heat.



 



<br />



 



<br />



 



 



 



3-2-1 Fall off the bone



 



<br />



 




  • Fast and hot ribs, the best texture I have found to date! 70 minutes at 450°F



<br />



 




  • BB's @ 2-2-1   225° - 235°



<br />



 



<br />



 



 




  • way overdone but still edible.



<br />



 



Looks like you got some great advice... SO...lets see some more ribs



 



Goodluck my friend.

 




$$$$$$$$$$ SQWIB... thanks.
post #22 of 33

If I may...ribs with bark and plentiful interior moisture...I don't get that with any of the previously mentioned methods or treatments...other than low & slow.  Ribs aren't that difficult, or I would smoke them less often than I do...:

Wet-to-Dry No-Foil Smoke Chamber Method for Smoking Meats - SmokingMeatForums.com Community

 

Spares, charcoal vertical smoker, no foil, no spray/mist, no sauce...meat, rub & smoke...it just doesn't get any better, IMHO...KISS method in the third degree:

 

 

Eric

post #23 of 33
I see 2 issues. Too much rub and too little heat. Try DUSTING the ribs with rub and making sure of your smoker temps. I've had that gooey, gritty mess before when I've gone overboard on the rub and tried to do low and slow. Now I use a light dusting and smoke at 275 and I get a nice lightly crisped exterior and moist juicy meat. Keep at it and you'll get it.
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 

Thanks all. Very much appreciate the posts, photos, and article.

 

Will stop using mustard and will instead apply bark straight on. Will do so an hour before the cook rather than overnight.

 

Will stop applying so much rub and will bump up the heat.

 

Do rubs with little or no sugar still develop a bark? From a health perspective, it would be nice to use a different rub.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by forluvofsmoke View Post
 

If I may...ribs with bark and plentiful interior moisture...I don't get that with any of the previously mentioned methods or treatments...other than low & slow.  Ribs aren't that difficult, or I would smoke them less often than I do...:

Wet-to-Dry No-Foil Smoke Chamber Method for Smoking Meats - SmokingMeatForums.com Community

 

 

Eric

 

Thanks so much for writing this, Eric. I'm a bit overwhelmed by it all—I don't quite understand how to setup the water-pan correctly, with the water / pea-gravel / drip protection, etc. Your ribs look fantastic and the article has convinced me this works, I'm just not quite sure how to execute it.

 

From my understanding, when you did your ribs…

 

- 3hrs @ ??? temp w/ 1 qt water…followed by another few cups after 2 hours since water dissolved. (but then your article mentions 1/3 qt for ribs should suffice?)
- 2hrs @ 250 w/ no water.

- Done.
 

It was also mentioned that severe temperature spikes are an issue in vertical charcoal smokers (like my WSM.) Has anyone here with a WSM had experience using this method?


I don't seem to have a clear picture of this method, thus my hesitance to attempt it.

 

 

 

Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post
 

Kargov, morning....  I just did a batch of ribs....  Not enhanced..  natural...  I leave the flap meat etc. on the ribs...     Run the membrane under hot tap water for 30 seconds or so...  pull it off grabbing with paper towels for grip.....   rub with mayo or mustard or bacon grease etc. and season liberally with spices of your choice...   

Run the smoker at 160 ish with smoke and about 1/4 cup of water in the water pan... after a couple hours, dump the water and raise the smoker temp to 210 deg F... NO more water...  The initial water in the pan will keep the ribs moist....   Now with no water, the ribs will form a bark sealing the moisture inside..    Do not spritz, do not foil, keep the door closed....   In about 4 more hours check the ribs...  If the meat has pulled back from the end of the rib bones, check the doneness of the meat with the lift test...  pick up the end of the rack and the more the rack bends, the more tender the rib meat...  I usually wait until the meat has pulled back about 3/4" from the end of the bones... and the rack bends easily to a 45o  angle...    You may have to experiment with a few racks and be forced to eat your experiments, which I don't mind doing...

 

Using a water pan full of liquid, sucks the BTU's from the fire and wastes good wood and money...   1/4-1/2 cup will do exactly what you need... adding a little moisture to the Cook Chamber keeping the meat moist and reducing evaporation in the meat.....

 

If this method works for you, thank Eric, (forluvofsmoke) for turning me on to this method....  he has a couple of great tutorials explaining how and what he did, during several long smokes for a wedding for several hundred folks...

 

Dave

 

Thanks, Dave! Why does the method you've mentioned here differ so vastly from Forluvofsmoke's? In terms of water amounts, temps, lack of pea-gravel, etc. ?

post #25 of 33

 

Thanks, Dave! Why does the method you've mentioned here differ so vastly from Forluvofsmoke's? In terms of water amounts, temps, lack of pea-gravel, etc. ?

 

I use pea gravel as a thermal mass...  add a little water to it.....  I don't know if everyone uses pea gravel........  The water is the important part.....

As far as the amount of water goes.....  If you have trouble keeping your smoker temps low, add more water... gallons if you want.... that will keep the temp down as the water sucks up the Btu's from the heating device keep in the temps below 220 ish.....  My little MES 30 has an 800 watt heating element and I can totally control the temps because I have a 1500 Watt dimmer switch controlling the wattage of the element....  

Sooooooooooo a 1/4 cup of water will supply all the moisture I think I need inside the smoker to keep the humidity up where the meat will not dry out....   

Temperature.......   I like smoking meats at or below 210 so as to not drive off the moisture inside the meat....  Make sense ?????    Does to me.... 

 

Everyone does stuff different....  the philosophy of the method, and how your personally adapt it to your preferences is what is important....

 

Dave

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kargov View Post
 

Thanks all. Very much appreciate the posts, photos, and article.

 

Will stop using mustard and will instead apply bark straight on. Will do so an hour before the cook rather than overnight.

 

Will stop applying so much rub and will bump up the heat.

 

If you sauce your ribs, this can have some effect on the wet-to-dry smoke chamber benefits, so I suggest to only sauce about 20-30 minutes prior to removing from the smoker. Sauce adds moisture to the surface, and once the bark is formed will tend to soften it. If you go with a no-sauce rib as I do, you can lay the rub on quite heavy if you like...I usually do, but I also tend to use a milder rub on my ribs.

 

Do rubs with little or no sugar still develop a bark? From a health perspective, it would be nice to use a different rub.

 

I use no-sugar rubs all the time (although my fruit-based rubs couldn't be considered no-sugar, but more no-processed sugar)...moderate/low salt as well...bark is more about the meat than the rub, or at least it should be, IMHO...the rub can enhance the bark, but shouldn't be the main part of the bark. Sugar rubs will create a more caramelized bark and slightly more crisp, although when the rendered fats come to the surface, they will also aid in crisping the bark.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by forluvofsmoke View Post
 

If I may...ribs with bark and plentiful interior moisture...I don't get that with any of the previously mentioned methods or treatments...other than low & slow.  Ribs aren't that difficult, or I would smoke them less often than I do...:

Wet-to-Dry No-Foil Smoke Chamber Method for Smoking Meats - SmokingMeatForums.com Community

 

 

Eric

 

Thanks so much for writing this, Eric. I'm a bit overwhelmed by it all—I don't quite understand how to setup the water-pan correctly, with the water / pea-gravel / drip protection, etc. Your ribs look fantastic and the article has convinced me this works, I'm just not quite sure how to execute it.

 

Ah, maybe you shouldn't be so quick to thank me...just kidding!!! You're welcome. For setting it up, just think thermal mass in the pan (pea-gravel or washed sand) along with a smaller amount of water, and something above the pan to keep dripping from getting at your thermal mass (so you can keep using it over and over again).

 

From my understanding, when you did your ribs…

 

- 3hrs @ ??? temp w/ 1 qt water…followed by another few cups after 2 hours since water dissolved. (but then your article mentions 1/3 qt for ribs should suffice?)
- 2hrs @ 250 w/ no water.

- Done.
 

Keep in mind that for every smoker the water amount will be different, and can change with ambient temps, wind, and actual target chamber temps...and will also change to your personal preference once you get a good feel for how everything is working for you. I do like to smoke my ribs a bit on the low side of low & slow, generally under 225*, similar to Dave. but sometimes I run a bit hotter as well. Slower seems to render out a bit more fat, so if I want a bit leaner eating rib, slower is the way to go.

 

It was also mentioned that severe temperature spikes are an issue in vertical charcoal smokers (like my WSM.) Has anyone here with a WSM had experience using this method?


I don't seem to have a clear picture of this method, thus my hesitance to attempt it.

 

The mention of temperature spikes is a caution for those who may not have experienced a boil-off of your water in the past. Water helps to regulate temps in vertical smokers due to evaporative cooling, and when the water is gone, the temps can and do go up. When using a thermal mass plus some water, the thermal mass helps to offset the temp spike when you let the water evaporate for the dry smoke chamber stage of cooking...gives a little extra insurance against high smoke chamber temp spikes, although it won't eliminate that problem, it should help to reduce it.

 

Hope this helps you get a better perspective of how to make it come together.

 

EDIT: I should also mention, as it directly relates to cooking, that I'm located @ 5,000ft elevation...my food cooks slower at a given temp than for someone @ 1,000ft, for example, but faster than for someone @ 7,000ft. Here's how it relates to cooking:

Boiling Point / Atmospheric Pressure / Altitude

 

 

Eric


Edited by forluvofsmoke - 10/9/13 at 9:55pm
post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 

Got it...mostly. My confusion lies in how to setup the water-pan, as my other concerns I will simply adjust to as advised.

 

Do I line the inside of the water pan w/ foil? How do I separate the water from the pea gravel / sand? If it's mixed, how would I know when to add more water? Do either of you happen to have a photo on-hand?

Thanks Dave & Eric!

 

post #28 of 33

You need enough water for 2-4 hours or so.... maybe a cup... I  would set an aluminum pie tin on top of the gravel pan... cover the gravel with aluminum foil to keep it clean...

post #29 of 33
Thread Starter 

Oooh! I see. Foiled gravel in the water pan…set tin foil tin w/ water above.

 

Sorry—last question…how much gravel or sand are we talking? And…once foiled, it can be re-used over and over as long as it's clear of drippings?

 

Will attempt this next cook, thanks a bunch!

post #30 of 33

The more gravel you put inside the smoker, the more thermal mass you will have to help keep temperatures constant...    As long as you don't wear out the gravel, you can use it a long time.....    :biggrin: ......

 

Dave

post #31 of 33

kargov, here's my typical set-up in the Smoke Vault 24 gasser...not much to it at all...

 

2 layers of heavy-duty foil...the first layer will usually get punctured from the gravel, so I learned early to double-up:

 

First layer rolled-up revealing second layer:

 

Both foil layers rolled back showing gravel directly in water pan...notice some stains on the gravel from drippings leaking through the foil once upon a time. If this happens, just remove all the foil, drain any liquids, put the pan back in the smoker and crank up the heat on high to scorch and burn-off the drippings...I like to do this with the door open for good ventilation and it may help prevent the smoke form the burning drippings from coating the smoker cabinet too badly. Also, remove cooking grates when doing this to prevent residue drippings smoke from collecting on the grates:

 

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. You can use a pan above the water pan for water (this will reduce the water evaporation rate, so may not be the best choice), or resting directly on the foiled gravel (provides more water evaporation than the latter), if you wish, or use a drippings catch above the water pan with water added directly to gravel/sand (provides the highest water evaporation rate), as well. I've used all three set-ups successfully and don't really have a favorite way just yet, but the double-layer of foil is easiest for clean-up and seems to reduce the risk for drippings getting into the gravel and fouling it during the smoke. If drippings get into the gravel/sand during a smoke, it will scorch the drippings when the water has evaporated to transition from the wet to the dry smoke chamber.

 

 

Eric

post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by forluvofsmoke View Post

If I may...ribs with bark and plentiful interior moisture...I don't get that with any of the previously mentioned methods or treatments...other than low & slow.  Ribs aren't that difficult, or I would smoke them less often than I do...:

Wet-to-Dry No-Foil Smoke Chamber Method for Smoking Meats - SmokingMeatForums.com Community

 

Spares, charcoal vertical smoker, no foil, no spray/mist, no sauce...meat, rub & smoke...it just doesn't get any better, IMHO...KISS method in the third degree:

 

 

Eric


This is mt method too.,,,

Sent from my GT-P3113 using Tapatalk 4
post #33 of 33
Thread Starter 

Sorry, Eric...just seeing this today. Thanks so much, think I'm clear on this now and can't wait to try it. Much appreciated!

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