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Disappointing Ribs

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Fellow smokers,

I decided to do some ribs today and since spare ribs were on sale at the butcher, I picked up two racks to do. I have always done baby backs before so this was my first try with spare ribs. I trimmed them up as St. Louis ribs, rubbed them the day before, brought them to room temp, and smoked them this afternoon.

I had good temperature (maybe a little high at points, 270 but generally around 250ish) and TBS for the whole first 3 hours of the 3-2-1 method. All the smoking went good and the last hour I applied some of my favorite BBQ sauce to them.

Well the consistency was really good and they were cooked to perfection. So what's the problem you ask? They just didn't do it for me. They seemed really fatty and didn't have as much flavor as I thought they should have had. I didn't taste too much of the smoke flavor even though I used hickory and a little mesquite which are supposed to be stronger flavored woods. It almost seemed like they didn't absorb much of the smoke flavor which i thought was odd.

Maybe I've gotten used the flavor and leanness of pulled pork so the ribs don't do it for me anymore? Anyone else ever have this happen?

For what it's worth, the wife liked them so it wasn't a total loss.
post #2 of 19
Could be many different things from a so so piece of meat to being spoiled by the butts. I find I don't do near as many ribs as I used to I'd just as soon do a butt
post #3 of 19
The fattiness is the biggest issue with spares so it's key that when buying them you look for the leanest ribs. My indication comes from looking at the top side of the rib where at least 80% of it is "meaty" with scattered spots of fat. Would enjoy hearing others views on picking ribs.

Sorry you didn't have a good experience. I'm a believer in the spare over the baby back, but that only works if you've got the right piece of meat.

Don't despair! Get back on that grill and ride'er into the sunset!
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
They actually looked pretty good from the top. These were from a high quality butcher not a grocery store so I figured they would be a good cut.

I had to cut the rack in half though for my ECB and when I did that, I noticed that they seemed really fatty from the side view. I would say it was more fat than meat from the side view. Wish I would have taken a picture. I cut two racks and the they were both the same fattieness. Maybe I was just expecting too much?
post #5 of 19
I have had some where it was just the meat in my opinion. I had some chickens do the same thing a few weeks ago.
post #6 of 19
I usually have great results with spare ribs with a great smoke flavor. Probably the cut. Nothing like a good reason to pull the smoker out and try'em again!
post #7 of 19
The perfect reason why I don't do spares If I am investing my time< i want the best! period> i ahve already proved what has the best value per dollar. Enough said!icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 19
Along with all of the above scenerios there is also the one that I deal with on occassion is my head in the smoke deadens my senses. Wait until tomorrow and try em again and report back... time makes a difference.
post #9 of 19
Happens to me all the time. It's usually late when I taste my smoke and am not impressed with the smoke flavor. Come home a feed wife and it's there!

I probably should not sit next to the smoker, but hey, it's my drinkin' buddy.icon_smile.gif
post #10 of 19
I agree as well. After sitting in the smoke all day (or night) your body become acclimated to it. The next time I try it it always tastes smokier. Part of that is due to the meat reabsorbing and redistributing the flavors and the other part is what Pigcicles said about our senses getting use to the smoke.
post #11 of 19
I'm w/ Capt. Dan on this. We only do BB ribs by choice. Kids will eat them up. Dad eats'em up.
post #12 of 19
I agree with the Capt. BB's for sure.

I also agree with Pigcircles. Huffin smoke and drainin beers will numb your taste buds. Doesnt seem to slow me down though. Smoke on!
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
I decided to take everyones advice and I tried them this morning. They definitely taste better than yesterday so that is good. I still noticed that they didn't have as much flavor as the butts or the baby backs. The next smoke will probably be back to the butts to bring back the good stuff. Oh well, thanks for all the comments and lets keep smoking!!
post #14 of 19
Arrgh ! I hate it when I try to edit a post and then a pic turns into a link icon_evil.gif

Trying again ,

One of my last racks was the thickest I could find ,I thought " more thick = more meat "
Turns out there was a big fat layer between the top meat and the ribs. I just did my normal 3-2-1 anyways . If I cut the rack I may have noticed the extra fat I paid for by the # and shortened the foil time or eliminated the foil so the fat would have render out better.

Thickest spares I've ever had :

post #15 of 19
I think the extra liq from the fat in the foil stage did seem to soften the smoke flavor.
post #16 of 19
how many rack did you do? I did 3 racks last week and on all three the bones just fell out but on two of the racks you had to use a knife to cut the meat and it was a little chewy, the other just fell apart with a fork.

I think that sometimes you just get a rack that is not that good.

I agree its easy to get spoiled on the but, wife just left to go get one for tommorow. YEAH!
post #17 of 19
I also lean towards BB's even though I'll smoke and gobble up Spares too. The BB's are way leaner than the spares but it coulda been that you just had a bad cut of meat. This happened to me with steaks and pork chops already. The "choice" ribeye was bland compared to a "select" ribeye I had recently. Same thing with the pork chops....they were just bland. Even though those spares were fatty....they shoulda been plenty tasty considering you cooked them almost perfectly.
post #18 of 19
Sorry about your experience..but i've heard this before and that probably why i haven't done spares yet just BB's
post #19 of 19
>>>I probably should not sit next to the smoker, but hey, it's my drinkin' buddy.<<<

that's the spirit!PDT_Armataz_01_36.gif

as for the ribs, i agree with those who opine that the fat didn't render out as well as it should have for whatever reason; keep in mind that the urpose of BBQ is to go oe-n-slow in order to turn the fat to qlquid and the gristle to gelatin and then liquid, which renders out.

i am struggling a bit with this myself; my first ribs rendered out almost perfectly and i got spoiled. since then i ahve been having toruble with this due to many reasons. i think the main reason is that i am simply not cooking them quite long enough in order to give the extra fat time to render and become juicy goodness.
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