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1st smoked BBQ pork spareribs....

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
......turned out pretty good, all things considered! read about it here:



1st smoked BBQ pork spareribs

20 jun 2008 2330

alright, guys - i've spent the evening trimming the membrane off my ribs and then cleaned and patted them dry, then popped them in the freezer for a few minutes to get good and cold. i slathered them down with a thin layer of plain ol' yellow mustard, then applied a generous coat of durkee's st. louis pork rub to both sides. they are now covered and sitting overnight in the fridge bone-sde down. there are 6 racks of ribs, each about as long as keyboard to the number pad and about the same width as from the space bar to the function keys; nothing big, but i'm hoping it will be good for a first attempt with the family.

tomorrow, i'll place them in my partially-modified ECB and see if i have any rebel blood in me after all. i managed to acquire some lump charcoal from kingsford (as opposed to briquettes) and intend to smoke with hickoy chunks using the minion method, which should allow me to keep a steady, slow fire, aiming for around between 225 and no more than 250 degrees. as per jeff's course, i'll consider them done at 172 degrees, however long that takes - i am expecting maybe 4 hours or so? i'll try to keep a detailed record.

while they are cooking, i intend to give them a decent mopping with whatever we have on hand. up here in montana, i've never heard of a mop before about 4 weeks ago, so i would be grateful for any ideas on the subject. we don't have much handy in the way of ingredients, i've heard of using dr. pepper as a mop or perhaps some sort of vinegar-based mop or olive oil or apple juice. if anyone can point me in a good direction, please do so.

that's all for now, will report tomorrow as i get the fire going.


Posted: 21 June 2008 at 11:20 |
at 10am i've got a few chunks of lumps charcoal burning on top of about twice as many unlit ones. if i am remembering my minion method correctly, this should keep the whole thing going on a nice slow burn for the time required. the temperature is not quite up where it needs to be, but i prefer to start with a "warm" smoker and with the ribs straight out of the fridge anyway. according to what i've read, and it makes sense, this will give much extra time for the chemical reaction between smoke and meat to take place, making a nicer "smoke ring" and hopefully producing what seems to be the goal where these ribs are concerned, which is something called "bacon on a stick."

i put the ribs on, bone-side-up, and intend to leave them completely alone for at least the next two hours; at that time, i'll turn them over and mop them. for now, i will simply use dr. pepper unless i get a better idea between now and then. the smoke is not nearly as pravalent as it was when i was using wal-mart charcoal and too much of it at that. just thin wisps that seem to curl around the racks and the ribs, and i believe that is the goal.

the only dark cloud on the affair is that it seems there is a tiny pinhole in my water pan. i of course didn't notice it until i got going, and now have no time to repair it. the leak is tiny but i will have to keep an eye on the level. at the end of today's BBQ, i will plug it with some of that super putty or whatever it is called. it should do OK until i buy a new ECB, which should be next payday.


Posted: 21 June 2008 at 12:25 |
alright, at 1130, temperatures seem good and things are smoking just about right - my confidence remains high that i just might be able to do this right.

these racks of ribs are smaller than normal, so i am figuring less cooking time. as i said above, i will turn them at noon and start mopping them every 45 minutes or so with dr. pepper until done.

the pinhole is causing me to lose water more rapidly than i would want, so i am keeping on eye on that and filling as needed, until the pan is about 1/2-2/3 full. when i filled the pan originally, i used boiling water; now as i add water i am just using hot water.

Posted: 21 June 2008 at 13:05 | ok, at noon, 2 hours into the BBQing, i turned them over, mopped them with dr. pepper from a spray bottle and rotated the top rack to the bottom and the bottom to the top. things are looking good so far!


Posted: 21 June 2008 at 14:03 |
just before 1300, i took a look at the ribs and mppped them with dr. pepper again. for a while, the pinhole in the bottom of the water pan had plugged itself somehow, but now it is trickling again. everything is looking good and temperatures are holding well. i also added a few hickory chups (not chunks), which might have been unnecessary, but oh well.

at 1400, i will check them for signs of doneness, including tempeerature at 172 degrees and meat pulling away from the bone, leaving it exposed. if i did everything right, they should be moist, tender and juicy.

also, it just occurred to me that i could have screwed in a small screw to slow or more likely halt the leak as a temporary repair. something to keep in mind if it happens again after i make the permanent repair!


Posted: 21 June 2008 at 15:41 |
alright, here's how it went down. probably 30 minutes before they would have been done, the pinhole in the water pan let go of whatever had been plugging it. it pretty much put the charcoal out, so i had the boys get the oven going at between 225 and 250 degrees and we finished them in there for for maybe 20-30 minutes. temperature readd 175 degrees, so we took them off.

results - all i can say is WOW! i've never had real BBQ ribs (mcdonald's mcrib is probably the closes thing i've ever had) and these were GOOD! they had a great smell and looked just like you'd expect BBQ ribs to look, and had a great smoke ring running nearly to the center. very tender, very juicy and very good. i see now where the term "bacon on a stick" comes from. smoke flavor was there but did not overwhelm at all, and though i was worried that the rub might be a little peppery for my wife's tastes, it wasn't. normally, she does not like any smoked food at all, but she was sure enjoying this. kids loved them as well and we had the tasunkawitko family licking their fingers.

we'll be trying this again soon with a repaired water pan. i think these cooked just a LITTE fast, but considering the complcations, i am satisfied. usually when i cook something, the family eats it, but will not often enjoy it. this time, everyone enjoyed them very much and i got compliments all around.

thanks to all who offered advice, help etc. on making my first rib BBQ a success!
post #2 of 10
Nice job Tasunka, and great tutorial. Neat website too. Thanks, I added it to my favorites. I like that stuff!PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #3 of 10
TW..........when you get your new ECB, may i recommend the ECB gourmet............its a better unit, and easier to add charcoal, and smoking chunks.........

here is a link to the mods i made to mine


post #6

like Capt. said, nice play by play
post #4 of 10
Congratulations on a succesful rib smoke.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
guys -

thanks for the comments, i wouldn't ahve been able to accomplish such great ribs without the direction and encouragement i've found around here.

capt dan - glad you liked the place - feel free to jump into any discussion there any time. it started out as a hunting/fishing/handloadning site, but i've managed to expand it out a bit and it has quite a database on the care and preparation of wild game as well. if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

walking dude - i'll take a look at the gourmet. my budget and my wife's mood usually make the decision in my purchases, so i'll see how the planets align on payday!PDT_Armataz_01_04.gif

looking forward to doing some more ribs this weekend - the method and recipe used above worked very well so i probably won't do too much different.
post #6 of 10
Tasunka, you get all them hunting boys over there cooking and a smoking like these guys here they might make you a god. Seem most hunters eat to much fried food. I love fried food but hickory smoked backstrap is my favorite food. Well behind King and Dungeness Crab legs but I'm land locked in Kansas so we eat these very seldom. Glad to see you over here getting involved. I smoke all my wild game. Deep fry a turkey once in awhile.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
WR -

i'll keep working on them and see if i can get them converted! i know for years the only thing we ever did with venison was dredge in flour and then fry it, and it is good that way, but i am learning quite a few new things and glad for the variety. not long ago i found and excellent, outstanding recipe for kabobs and have posted it here on this forum for any interested. heck, just grilling venison can make it great as long one remembers that it needs a little extra attention in the moisture department.

looking forward to saving ribs this fall from the deer and pronghorn hunts. up until now, most of the ribcages have gone to trimmings, jerky, burger or the dogs, but i expect that to change this year.
post #8 of 10
Tell me more about the pronghorn. it is edible?
post #9 of 10
Sounds like a great rib smoke PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
Start giving them baitshop boyz a little qview and they'll be hooked biggrin.gif

Gonna check out the site when I get a chance , I like all that stuff too. cool.gif
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
WR - pronghorns are most indeed edible! :) some say that they are only good for jerky and chili burger, and they are good for that, but i would respectfully contend that they are good for much more, and have found this out on many occasions in my own kitchen.

i won't bore everyone with the details, but the bottom line is that care in the field and during butchering/processing is of utmost importance. antelope meat is very fine grained and delicate and should be treated like veal; where i would normally hang a deer for around 10 days to age, i would only hang an antelope around three. also, since pronghonrs are hunted earlier in the year (at least in montana), the sooner they are cooled off, the better; this is important with any game, but with pronghorns it is critical. some go to the extent of skinning them in the field and quartering them into ice-filled chests, but i prefer to hang them in a dark, cool shed away from the sunlight. i've never had bad-tasting antelope (or deer, for that matter) using these methods. finally, what an antelope eats (up here it is mostly alfalfa and field grains) is important, but more important is what it was doing before it died; an antelope that has been run ragged for miles before being shot is going to taste pretty raunchy, but one taken in a calm state or even in its bed will be some of the best eating you can imagine. it would be foolish to take a prime hereford steer and run it ragged, blast it with a cannon, drag the carcass through the sagebrush, tie it to the hot hood of a truck in warm weather and then butcher it immediately and then toss it in a lukewarm pan of grease with no aging; likewise, if any of that happens to your wild game, you won't be happy with it.

we've written several topics at http://www.baitshopboyz.com regarding game care in gneral and pronghorns specifically. be sure to check those out as well as many recipes that will give you the best from your antelope - if you have any questions, just ask!

1894 - feel free to check out BSB any time. we've got quite a few marlin owners there and i myself own a 336c in .30/30 with a beautiful walnut stock. i am a bit of a heretic, however, because i've gone and put a scope on it ~ even worse, it's got a 42mm objective! but all that aside, it's one of my most dependable rifles - goes bang when i shoot it and it s definite bone-crusher if needed. something about .30/30 velocities ensures that the bullet is going to plow through anything in the way while still opening up to do its job. ;)

those ribs were about the best thing i'd ever tried. i was definitely out of my comfort zone when it comes to cooking, as i've never really tried the low-and-slow techniques over a fire; i'm very glad i did and intend to do so again soon! now that i've satisfied myself that i know a little about what i'm doing, qview is definitely on the list!
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