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New rib techniques for me - check it out.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the one, lame, cell-phone camera picture - but I just don't have the patience to post as much que view as I would like. My wife always has the camera, and then I'm fighting with her and my daughter for computer time! rolleyes.gif

These are St. Louis cut ribs, on sale for $1.99/lb. at Cub Foods! Both slabs pictured were less than $10 combined...helluva deal.

Normally, I do the 3-2-1 method almost exactly...and I've never used a waterpan. Also, up to this point when doing ribs, I've always used lump and wood chips.

This weekend, I decided no foil, but I added a waterpan on the far side of the smoker, on the cooking rack - on the firebox side of the cooking chamber. Also, I cooked with a LOT of apple wood splits - and not nearly as much lump.

I smoked them for 6 hours at an average of 235° The first two hours I held 240 - 250 great...then I ran into a bad piece of wood, so I had to fire up more lump because once the big split was removed...smoker dropped to 180° for almost all of hour 3 (blessing in disguise - I'll get to that...)

Then I ran 230° for the last 3 hours, put some Stubb's sauce on it - they rested 10 - 15 minutes, and then I ate almost a whole slab - of St. Louis cut spares, mind you! HA!

As far as the temp drop in hour 3...I read somewhere that the magic of ribs, is to get the internal temp to around 180° and hold it there for up to 30 minutes, which is what breaks down all the fat and connective tissues. This makes sense, as we all know that low & slow is the way to go...if you cook way too hot, then your meat gets up to temp before that magic has happened (the tough innards breaking down and melting)

I think that drop in temp for 45 minutes in hour 3 really helped "soften up" the meat and make it tender. Also, when I mopped (only 2x with apple juice, cider vinegar and Cpt'n Morgan) I noticed as I'm opening the smoker lid that you could see nice whisps of moist smoke rolling around in the chamber. so I've concluded that the water pan helped...a little bit.

Here is the final pic. Sorry, no smoke ring but I will next time! These required tug - sometimes a very gentle tug, sometimes a little more than gentle - BUT, they pulled clean off the bone and left NO meat behind. That my friends, is the sign of a job well done! IMO...

Also - one last note for anyone interested. I used quite a bit of apple wood, and a little mesquite, but kept the intake open almost all the way throughout the entire smoke. Even though I had a few times where the smoke was a little more than thin and blue PDT_Armataz_01_18.gif there was STILL hardly any more smoke taste than what would be considered "the perfect amount" by me, and others that ate some of these...that good air flow really is the key...

post #2 of 12
Congrats on some great looking Q my friend. You're right about keeping good air flow, the last thing you want is stale smoke on your food.
post #3 of 12
Good lookin spares!
post #4 of 12
Those look great making me hungry
post #5 of 12
Nice couple o' racks PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks all!

Let's see - I've been trying my hand at smoking almost a year now. Without the resources of this forum, I'd be light-years behind where I'm at now. Of course, I've got a ways to go in my pursuit of perfection - but I'm really happy with where I'm at now.

My next que view will be on the new smoker in a couple weeks...can't WAIT!
post #7 of 12
Good looking ribs. Experimenting is half the fun of smoking. biggrin.gif
post #8 of 12
Very good looking ribs.
post #9 of 12
Good job on the ribs. Thanks for posting.
post #10 of 12
Nothing wrong with those ribs. Some beans and rolls, and a large towel, and you're ready to go!
post #11 of 12
Welcome to the "no foil" rib club, my friend! It's all a matter of preference and glad you enjoyed the texture of the ribs that were not foiled. biggrin.gif

The price on the slabs were a bargain, and overall it looked and sounded as if you had a successful rib smoke! As others have mentioned, keep trying and experimenting with your rib smokes until you get the perfect combination for your liking. Keeping a log of your smokes should help a bit ...

Good luck, and nice looking ribs!
post #12 of 12
X 2
It only gets better! biggrin.gif
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