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Spare rib prep - first time

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I planned on smoking a couple whole chickens tomorrow that I bought from the butcher. While at the grocery store I picked up a rack of spare ribs on a whim to try. I prepped the ribs tonight. I removed the membrane but then I also noticed this extra "flap" of meat on the ribs. I decided to just cut it off. What was this extra meat on the ribs? Should I have left it on?

Anyway I made a mix of yellow mustard, apple juice, ACV, and worcesterier sauce as my binder and brushed that on the ribs. Thinking maybe the vinegar will help to tenderize the meat possibly. I was lazy and just used Stubbs BBQ rub I got on sale at the store. I applied the rub liberally and wrapped it plastic wrap to put in fridge overnight. Trying to decide what I want to inject it with tomorrow. I was thinking a mix of Apple juice/ACV with a little of leftover rub. Or I was even seeing people injecting butter. Any thoughts on injection? I do plan to foil debating on how long. I do like them tender so thinking maybe I'll do this one wrapped for 1.5 hours and see how I like that. So do a 3.5-1.5-1.
post #2 of 16

Many people do a variation of 3-2-1 on spares depending on how they like it and how the meat reacts. Your 1 1/2 wrapped should be fine, see how its going after 3 though. Not sure on an injection. I have never injected ribs or have seen a need to. Also have never seasoned ribs the night before. When I rub my ribs its only about 20 to 30 mins before. When they are "sweating" I put em on. The "extra flap of meat" is just that on spares, extra meat. Lots of people trim this for appearance, and lots leave it for the extra meat. Your preferance.

Have fun with it, and cook to what you like!!!

post #3 of 16

Howdy, like smoking said the nice thing about smoking ire are no rules about preparation, as you read more and more you'll find so many things you'll want to try, well its a good reason to smoke more right? s no wrong way as long as you remember to observe the food safety rules.

 

As to the flap thingie,.Man that's the good stuff. LOL You bought a spare rib its the whole rib section. Now do you smoke it like that? I do, I love 'em because I like low and slow and it doesn't matter. BUT to a competition smoker he will trim the spare into what is called a St.Louis rib. Why you ask? Because it is a more consistent thickness and the size can be easily handled on the pit. Its like the thin edge of the corner flap of a brisket. You know its gonna be dry if the thicker center is cooked to perfection.

 

Folks here who trim their own ribs, either save those bits and pieces for a special smoke or they like to add them to a big ol'pan of baked beans and its mighty tastee.

 

3 2 1 method, I trim my ribs, and before adding them to the pit the next day I use salt, either ancho pepper or papricka, and a very light rub of light brown sugar. That's it. That sugar will liquefy and as heated it will cook to a crystalline state or caramelize. It encapsulates the pork and holds those juices. In the foiling stage, you are only looking for a liquid to 'steam'. What do you like? I use a bit of apple juice and a bit of apple cider vinegar, maybe a squirt of squeeze butter. You can add anything that will steam.

 

Now you get to the one of that 3 2 1 formula, this is when you get a chance to sauce, glaze, spritz, etc etc.... but mostly you are just allowing some of that steam or liquid from the foiling to escape and the meat to reconstute. This is when you sauce because if you do it earlier the sugars in the sauces can and will sometimes burn.

 

I normally don't 3 2 1 and find that the ribs are usually done in around 7 vice 6 hours, Just as tender as long as you didn't smoke at too high a temp. You will be looking fo the break-over of the rib as to when its done.

 

See I just expanded upon what Smokin said, he had ya taken care of. I just felt the need to type a novel...ROFLMAO!

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Darn. I will leave that on next time or use in beans. GF is making beans too. That would've been perfect. Been trying to keep temp around 225. Been hovering between 225-235 mostly. I think I will be getting the gasket kit for my 22 WSM. Thing leaks like crazy from door and a little around the lid. Think temps will be easier to control and use less fuel if I can sure those leaks up. My last smoke ate through fuel like crazy in an 8 hour cook at 275. I did go with lump charcoal this cook (Cowboy) and started with kings ford coals in center coals. Recovery has been great when I've opened lid to spritz and foil the ribs. I just went with water. Also smoking two chickens with my rack of ribs. This is my ribs so far in the cook right before foil.

I did the Trigg foil recipe with brown sugar, honey, parkay, tiger sauce, and I sprayed in my spritz mix of apple juice/ACV. Went lite on the brown sugar. Going with 3-2-1 to keep it simple for this cook. Should be ready and rested just in time for the Packer game today.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Meant to say just went with water in the water pan on my WSM.
post #6 of 16

That flap of meat is called the Skirt. Left on it can get a little dry by the time the whole deal is done. If you are handy with a knife. a Full Rack can be St. Louis cut and once the Rib Tip has the cartilage removed and the thin end trimmed up you will have a pound or so of Boneless Rib Tips. They smoke up in 2 hours at 225 and can be the Pitmasters snack or chopped to add flavor to other dishes. I will usually smoke the ribs then use the tip meat for Char Siu, Chinese Roast Pork, and get another meal making a stir fry and fried rice...JJ

 

The Boneless Rib Tips and the St. Louis Rack they came from...

 

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
They must've trimmed this one more than that one was. My skirt was a pretty small piece of meat. I bought it at Meijer so not expecting the highest quality of meats.

I do have a question on the chickens I'm smoking. I put the chickens on probably an hour and a half into my rib cook. They're not large chickens by any means either. But I'm doing them with the ribs low and slow at 225. I was thinking I could either crisp them up in the gas grill on high heat or in the broiler. I could possibly pan sear them but I will be using my cast iron for corn bread. I did not brine so that should help with getting them crisper from what I've read. Any thoughts on crisping up the skin?
post #8 of 16

That rack of ribs was Huge so there was alot of meat after trimming. Plus, that is the skirt, thin end of the rack and all the meat from the cartilage of the thick tips. The Grill, Broiler or 425-450°F Oven will crisp the Skin. I pull the Bird when the IT 5°F low and let the temp rise as the skin crisps, stays juicier...JJ

post #9 of 16

Some of the ways to help achieve "crisp" skin.

1. Dehydrate the skin by leaving the fowl in the reefer over night uncovered the night before.

2. Use a fan directed at the meat for 45 mins to an hour before the smoke. This forms the pellicle, its that yellow tacky skin which receives the smoke really really well.

3. Butter or oil the skin before putting in the smoker

4. Smoke at a temp of 300+, 325 being optium

5. grill or broil before eating.

 

Any or all help. I think the 325+ helps the most to get that crackling skin. I usually dehydrate especially after I brine/cure. and if needed I use a fan. I always oil because my Pop did, he called it suntan lotion. It also helps prevent the skin from cracking.

 

I am guessing whatever I missed someone else will let you know.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I went with throwing them on the gas grill to crisp up the skin. It worked well. But scraped off some good skin. Was crisped and bite thru though. Next time maybe I'll try the oven.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

That flap of meat is called the Skirt. Left on it can get a little dry by the time the whole deal is done. If you are handy with a knife. a Full Rack can be St. Louis cut and once the Rib Tip has the cartilage removed and the thin end trimmed up you will have a pound or so of Boneless Rib Tips. They smoke up in 2 hours at 225 and can be the Pitmasters snack or chopped to add flavor to other dishes. I will usually smoke the ribs then use the tip meat for Char Siu, Chinese Roast Pork, and get another meal making a stir fry and fried rice...JJ

The Boneless Rib Tips and the St. Louis Rack they came from...



I will try the overnight drying technique in the fridge. I think my next chicken I do will not be whole so it's easier to brine in bags. My fridge isn't big enough to accommodate a bucket and don't have a second fridge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post

Some of the ways to help achieve "crisp" skin.
1. Dehydrate the skin by leaving the fowl in the reefer over night uncovered the night before.
2. Use a fan directed at the meat for 45 mins to an hour before the smoke. This forms the pellicle, its that yellow tacky skin which receives the smoke really really well.
3. Butter or oil the skin before putting in the smoker
4. Smoke at a temp of 300+, 325 being optium
5. grill or broil before eating.

Any or all help. I think the 325+ helps the most to get that crackling skin. I usually dehydrate especially after I brine/cure. and if needed I use a fan. I always oil because my Pop did, he called it suntan lotion. It also helps prevent the skin from cracking.

I am guessing whatever I missed someone else will let you know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

That rack of ribs was Huge so there was alot of meat after trimming. Plus, that is the skirt, thin end of the rack and all the meat from the cartilage of the thick tips. The Grill, Broiler or 425-450°F Oven will crisp the Skin. I pull the Bird when the IT 5°F low and let the temp rise as the skin crisps, stays juicier...JJ
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 


Here's the ribs. 2 hour foil was too long. Bones were literally falling off ribs as I was unfoiling it. Not sure if that was because of foiling it I'm guessing that's what did it. Next ribs I will go no foil.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 


Here's the chicken. Turned out great besides skin scraping off on gas grill. I think I'll do chicken on its own at a higher temp next time.
post #13 of 16
Don't give up completely on foiling. Just try cutting it back a bit. Two hours was way too much...
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyMose View Post

Don't give up completely on foiling. Just try cutting it back a bit. Two hours was way too much...

How long do you think? 45 min/1hr? I did really enjoy the flavor following the Trigg recipe. Had to run to the store to pick up some Tiger sauce. Man that stuff tastes good on its own. Glad I picked up 3 bottles of it. I will be using it in other recipes for sure.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbqbeginner View Post


How long do you think? 45 min/1hr? I did really enjoy the flavor following the Trigg recipe. Had to run to the store to pick up some Tiger sauce. Man that stuff tastes good on its own. Glad I picked up 3 bottles of it. I will be using it in other recipes for sure.

 

Everything looks good. It takes a few runs to get the ribs the way you like. The Braise time in the foil has the biggest impact on breaking down connective tissue, like that which makes them tender and holds the meat to the bones. Try 1 hour next time. If too much bite try 1.5, if still to soft cut back to .5. Don't recall having bad ribs so even if still not right for you, the experiments will taste good...JJ

post #16 of 16

What Chef Jimmy said, BBQ Beginner! Smokers are different and so is meat (I once had 2 racks of B. Backs cut in half making 4 pieces. When un-foiling one set just fell apart, but the others didn't).

Just keep playing around until you find what you like. That's the fun of smoking, and I've yet to pull any thing out that I couldn't eat :-)

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