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Making some ribs this weekend...want to add a little sweet to the crust!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My wife and I have no real plans this weekend and it's been a month since I made any barbecue, so I told her I'm planning to make some ribs and pulled pork.


Now, one thing I would really like to do is add a nice caramelized crust on the ribs. Plan on getting baby backs, which I usually smoke for 2 hours, foil for 2 hours, and then do another ~1 hr on heat to firm them up. Can I add something in that last hour and still get a decent crust on there? What's recommended? I'm thinking I may forego any barbecue sauce and just use rub and/or spray. Do I just need to go heavy on brown sugar in whatever I use?

post #2 of 8

The best advice I have heard is to save the sweet until the end of your cook.  So using brown sugar during that last hour would work.  Just keep an eye on it though has the sugar can burn leaving you a bitter taste instead of sweet.

post #3 of 8

jbills5 has you covered, think of doing ribs in layers,

I start with a Worcestershire, soy mop, add my rub, mop several times with the mop the first 2 hours and start to layer with my glaze the last hour.

I take the drippings from the foil stage add equal parts Cattlemans and KC Masterpiece a half stick of butter and a few shots of Jack Daniels to start building my glaze.

Depending on the looks of the glaze I may toss on a grill over direct heat for a minute or two each side.

post #4 of 8

I heat brown sugar in apple juice and make sure the brown sugar is dissolved. Then I put a coffee filter in a funnel and pour through that into a spray bottle.  The last 3 hours of cooking (or there abouts), I spray the meat every 45 minutes. Yes, it will increase your cooking time slightly by raising the lid, but I always get a nice bark on pork by doing it this way. I've been doing it so long that I have the timing and temp down pretty good and have never burned anything.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I heard about some of you guys using liquor in your sprays, what's good to use? I have some crown royal at my house, but not much else in the way of bourbon or whiskey. Would like to try that though.


Might use the same stuff on my pulled pork too, I'll have them going at the same time.

post #6 of 8

I have been using a 50/50 blend of Apple Juice and a honey blended whiskey. So far it has been pretty good. 

post #7 of 8
You can used spiced rum as well.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to let you guys know-


Made a rack of spares and a very small shoulder (4 lb) over the weekend, smoked over some cherry wood. Cooked both with just dry rub and a little spray (just apple juice, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar), NO barbecue sauce.


I combined some of your pointers and made a "glaze" with half a stick of butter, ~1/2 cup of brown sugar, and a couple shots of Crown.


Brushed it on both but it seemed to work best on the ribs- I put them on the grill for a short time before serving to try to get a crust on there. Was semi-successful with the crust but got rave reviews on the flavor of the ribs- everyone loved them and I was very happy with how they turned out! I will be experimenting with that glaze again in the future and I may try some other types of liquor in it as well.


Thanks for the tips!

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