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Black Ribs?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I followed Jeff's recipe using the rub and approximate time, but the ribs came out black (as in looked like they were burnt). The taste was great, but the appearance left a lot to be desired! Did I do something wrong or are they supposed to turn black using the rub?PDT_Armataz_01_16.gif Temp never got above 210.

post #2 of 19
What were your temps? There's a fair amount of sugar in that rub, and it WILL burn if smoked on the high side.
post #3 of 19
I just used Jeffs Rub on baby backs and they didnt turn black.... what thermometer did you use (is it accurate?)... where was it placed in comparison to the ribs? where the ribs closer to the heat? how long did you cook at 210? for the baby backs i did 1:45, covered 1:45, uncovered with light sauce :45 at around 210-225
post #4 of 19
I missed that...yeah, check yer thermometer. it's not the one that came with the smoker, is it?
post #5 of 19
Also, what wood did you use and you were you getting the TBS and not billows of white smoke??
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, I have the cheap Brinkman, so trying to cover or uncover would be a major PIA as I had both racks loaded.

The thermometer is one off a bbq grill that the guys at Lowes gave me. The ambient temperature was cold (16* at first getting up to only 30* later in the day).

I always have a hard time keeping the temp up on this smoker. It may rise to 240 for a very short period, then drop back to 190.

I used a little mesquite, a little hickory and after two hours, I threw in a few apple chips. The flavor was great, but it's hard convincing company that you intended to serve blackened food!icon_mrgreen.gif
post #7 of 19
I use an ECB also. Maybe you need to do some of the mods.


I am capable of getting 450º in my ECB (not that I would smoke anything at that temp) after doing some of the mods. Allowed me to cut back on the amount of charcoal used and using Playbox sand instead of water will help out immensely when smoking in cold weather. (higher and more consistent temps) My original temp gauge was off -65º and I added a replacement I bought from Home Depot.
post #8 of 19
Tell your friends its a new blackened cajon rib recipe you got from Emril> lolbiggrin.gif
post #9 of 19
Bassman, I have had ribs turn out black, and I thought they tasted OK, but it was creosote on the ribs. I have read where people say if you have creosote it will be very bitter, but that has not been my experience. I guess it must be the amount of creosote present. My ribs tasted OK, but I didn't know the blackness was bad until I figured out the creosote problem. Then I was astonished at how good the ribs looked!
post #10 of 19
I'm curious how if the ribs tasted fine you know you had creosote?

This is from the about.com website

"Creosote is thick, oily substance left over by fire"

and this too:

"Another way to test for creosote is by tasting the meat. Take a piece of the darkest meat along the surface and put it in your mouth. Let it sit on the tongue for a little bit. Does it taste bitter? Does your tongue feel a little numb? You will usually notice the numbness before you taste the bitterness. "

A dark brown or even black crust is more likely caused by burnt or caramalized sugar from the rub and from the meat. You can try substituing turbinado sugar for the other sugar in the recipe
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
According to Jeff's directions, optimum temp of 230 degrees for 6-7 hours. I don't think I got anywhere near 230* and they were on for a little over 6 hours. I think I still need to get the Smoke Vault and maybe I can control the heat better!
post #12 of 19
Like Ron mentioned-swap out the sugar (whither it's brown or the white granulated stuff) for the turbinado sugar (also packaged as "sugar in the raw") as it has a higher burning point than the other two.
post #13 of 19
I agree with using turbinado sugar in place of brown sugar, its the only kind of sugar I use in my rubs. Were they bb's? If so I think for bb's Busted Luck has the right time schedule. 6 hours for bb's is too long imo.
post #14 of 19
Ron50, I say the ribs tasted fine, probably because I didn't know any better, and because that is what other poeple said about them. Nobody ever said they were great, but everyone agreed they were OK.
I know I had a creosote problem because I went from having an orange flame on my propane burner to a blue flame, after some modifications. The blackness went away and everything tasted better.
I started a thread titled "Creosote Problem" and got a lot of help from people on this site. Maybe I am using the wrong terminology and "soot" would be a better word.
All I know is the ribs were black but they tasted OK, and after the soot (creosote?) went away they tasted better.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
I did use turbinado sugar as recommended by members on the forum. Maybe I need a rub recipe that doesn't use sugar? I like sauce on mine anyway, so the rub isn't that important. Keith
post #16 of 19
Ok makes sense now :)

I only mentioned it because my ribs and butts turn a very dark brown /black color when I use a high sugar rub but the turkey right next to it is always a nice golden brown because I don't use anything on the skin that caramelizes.
The other thing is if you are using a lot of black pepper or cayenne in your rub it can give you the sensation of a numb tongue even though there is no creosote.
post #17 of 19
can you show a picture? Hard to diagnose as it could be over-carmelized sugar or actually burnt ribs...
post #18 of 19
I started using Turbinado sugar this weekend, like dutch said, It is packaged around here at Meijers as "sugar in the raw". it is about 4 bucks for 2 lb box, while brown sugar is about 1.40 for the same amount. I did my babybacks with jeffs rub today(Q-view on the Hang on to you hats, in the beef forum), and used the turbinado in place of the other sugars in the recipe. When I compair todays pics to my others, it is clearly lighter in color for the same amount of smoke and time. The beefies turned out a little darker, but I blasted them with the warmer heat and foiled them later and a shorter time.

I think that foiling lessens the dark appearance too. Tin foil, they call it the " Texas Crutch"!PDT_Armataz_01_23.gif
post #19 of 19
FLASH!!!! You are my freaking hero! That is exactly what I have been looking for. Now I wont have to spend $1000 upgrading to a Brinkmann vertical smoker.icon_lol.gif
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