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read about it here at BSB....

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Posted: 04 July 2008 at 00:50

i've got three slabs of spare ribs cut into portions and staying cool in the fridge. they were brushed down with a thin layer of mustard on both sides, then covered liberally on both sides with durkee's st. louis style pork rub. this is the same method that worked very well for me last time, and i see no reason to change yet until i learn a little more.

tomorrow, i will start them around 11 or noon and expect to slow cook them for around four hours at a temperature between 225 and 250 drgrees with hickory smoke until they reach a temperature of 172 degrees. i wll start them bone-sde up and then turn and rotate as conditions warrant. i will mop with a mixture of dr. pepper and a little olive oil.
all of this will be done in two ECB cookers. they will be partially modified in that there will be holes in the bottom for air flow. i plan to finish modifications as per soon.

that's all for now - will post more tomorrow and also will attempt to post some q-view.


Posted: 04 July 2008 at 11:37 |

ok - at about 1030 i started a coffee can of kingsford charwood lump charcoal, then prepared the charcoal pans with equal amounts of charcoal. interspersed with a modest amount of hickory. i got some water on the stove to heat up for the water pans.

at 1100 the charcoal was sufficiently going that i placed it in the charcoal pans with the unlit charcoal, then filled the water pans. i took the ribs out of the fridge and gave them a final light dusting of durkee's on both sides, then put them in the smokers bone-side up.

as of 1130, temperatures are rising to just about iideal () and there is a modest, thin wisp of white smoke coming out of each ECB. i will resist the temptation to peek, but in an hour or so i will spray on a mop consisting mostly of maybe 70% dr. pepper, 20% olive oil and 10% soy sauce. i'll mop every 45 minutes or so until the ribs are done, which will be when they reach 172 degrees internally.


Posted: 04 July 2008 at 13:23 |

at 1300 we did the sparerib shuffle, turning them over and moving the top rack to the bottom and the bottom to the top on both cookers. the wate pabs still had plenty of water and i started a few lumps of charcoal in case i would need them. so far, temps seem to be holding well. in fact, as i turn them over, a couple looked a little bit charred on the edges, even though i don't recall the temps going over 250 degrees.

we mopped them liberally on both sides and will mop them each half hour or so until done.

here's how they looked before turning/mopping after 2 hours of smoking:


Posted: 04 July 2008 at 1505 |

at 1500 everything seems to be going well. temperatures seem steady and the ribs are browning nicely. i am having my doubts about the oven thermometer i've been using, so will test that. instant read meat thermometer says that the ribs are around 150, so i'll be checking often here in the next hour for doneness.


Posted: 04 July 2008 at 15:45 | IP Logged ok, things are starting to look done. i'm taking the thinner pieces and putting them in a pan to hold in the oven on "warm" until the thickers ones are done. everything's looking great and a thin strip that i kept for testing tastes great, with a very nice smoke ring that goes all the way through. we'll see how the ribs look when they are done!


Posted: 05 July 2008 at 10:38 |

guys - sorry for not posting results sooner - we had one heck of a storm last night that would have made the news had we been in louisiana or california!

the ribs themselves turned out looking great. a little dark comapred to what i thought they should look like, but it's only my 2nd attempt, so i'm still not sure what i should be expecting. it might also have been a result of the soy sauce in the mop as soy sauce tends to darken meat quite a bit.

as far as taste goes, results were mixed. we had three slabs of ribs; due to availability, they were from two different stores, one slab from IGA and two from wal-mart. the IGA ribs were very good and juicy, not quite as tender as i remember the last attempt. the smoke ring had penetrated about halfway into the meat on all sides. the wal-mart ribs were tender and juicy enough, but the flavor was a little off, as was something with the texture, like the collagen hadn't broken down enough. the smoke ring had gone nearly all the way through.

they were a bit thicker than the IGA ribs, and i did try to compensate for that when cooking them by moving the thicker ribs to the top where temps are higher and cooking until the thickest part of the tickest ribs were above 170. that was one difference between them and the IGA ribs. the other, it turns out, was that the wal-mart ribs were "solution-treated," ironically, for tenderness, juiciness and flavor. i believe that this solution business resulted in the off flavor and possibly for a lot of the off-texture as well. i had read the cautions about solution-treated meat, but in this case, there were none others available at the time and, i thought to myself, they can't be that bad, so i'll give them a try.

well, i'll consider my lesson learned, and if no untreated spare ribs are available in the future, will get country style ribs or somethng else....ANYTHING else! we had a few racks left over and reheated them today as part of a kind of brunch. you could sure tell which ribs were bought where.

as far as the preparation, i think everything went well; the seasonings etc. came out great and the only thing i might do in the future is leave out the olive oil from the mop as it seemed to be unnecessary and resulted in greasier ribs. i think just straight dr. pepper and soy sauce will work better, and will experiment a bit to find the best proportions of each.