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Plastic wrapped, oven baked Babybacks

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yes, I know this is a Smoker's Forum. Earlier when I mentioned about how I wrapped the babybacks in plastic before wrapping them in foil someone asked why the plastic didn't melt. Since then I've searched all over the internet trying to find a temp that I could use as a standard for judging how hot to not let my cooking environment get, and can't find a thing to pass on. So I decided to give a demonstration complete with Qview through the step by step process, just like Eric does for us, in an effort to give confidence to those of you who don't Smoke during the winter months but still like the taste of awesome unsmoked ribs. Even our 19 yr old granddaughter that usually doesn't care for meat loves these ribs, even more so since I used Jeff's rub recipe. My second failure in this endevour is the Qview. With the great examples set by Eric of how to more than adequately support our written explanation with photo displays I had my work station all laid out, took pics of meat prep, removing the membrane, adding Jeff's rub and letting it sit till it looked "wet", but most importantly the application of the Plastic Wrap. I use Baker's and Chef's from Sam's Club and place the ribs meat side down, more on that later. So what happened to Qview. A couple of things. Right after the pics of wrapping the ribs with plastic the battery went dead. Now, I don't have a digital camera, so in the process of borrowing one from our daughter I explained exactly what I needed it for, got all animated about it to the point of making her giggle, and was assured that it would be ready for my presentation. NOT. Boy was she embarassed when I called her at work to find out where the charging cord would be at her house so I could plug the camera in and continue to take pics. As you good folks know (and now so do I) it doesn't work like a cell phone, the battery has to be removed for charging and I'm just SOL. Since my mantra is "no problems, only solutions" I moved on and continued with the main project. After all, I did get pics of the important part. The project was 4 racks of ribs and after the prep and wrap they were placed on cookie sheets and in the oven. My wife had always complained when she baked that this oven was too hot so I got out my brand new ET-73 that Santa brought, tested it with boiling water, and stuck the probe through a potato and placed it in the middle between the two cookie sheets. Low and behold our oven is about 50-55* off-to the high side. Had to keep dialing it down to maintain about 240* and after 3hrs the ribs came out. Keeping the meat side down you cut open the wraps so the steam escapes and the cooling down process starts. It's during this time that the meat will absorb some of the juices and start firming up. If you try to move the meat before getting back to room temp it will just fall apart. The project is only 3/4 completed at this point. After room temp was completed, I poured out as much of the remaining juices as possible and left the ribs in the original wrap for transport to our neice's house (sure wish you could see what I mean). At the family gathering my wonderful 9yr old grandson (and I sincerely mean that) needed his mom's camera so they could take pics of snowboarding down the back hill. Since he heard that Papa's project didn't work out he deleted those unnecessary pics I had on the camera 'cuz his mom had a whole bunch of Christmas pics on there and he didn't want to run out of space. He didn't know that I had to load that software, download her pics so I could practice uploading them to Photobucket before transferring them over here. All I was waiting for was to bring the camera home to retrieve what Qview I had. Oh well, my birthday is this month and a camera has already been requested, besides, how can you enter these monthly smokin' competitions and have to borrow a camera all the time. As far as the ribs went, they came out awesome. Everyone liked the new rub, it was perfectly matched with my wife's homemade BBQ sauce, probably because both have a dark brown sugar base. Oh, I almost forgot. Cook the BBQ Sauce on the ribs for the best flavoring. Transfer the done ribs to your grill that is set on medium high, slather one side (doesn't matter which) and put it on the grill slather side down. Slather the topside, when the heat side is carmalized turn the ribs over and carmelize the other side. Repeat twice if you'd like but more than that is wasting good sauce. If you do them completely in the oven turn the broiler on and slather/carmelize one side at a time. In conclusion:

rinse, dry, and remove membrane from ribs
add rub and wait till the surface of rub looks "wet"
place ribs meat side down on quality plastic wrap
if wrap doesn't completely wrap around rib, add second piece on top
place plastic wrapped ribs on foil, meat side down, wrap completely
place on cookie sheet in preheated 240* oven
remove after 2hr 45min (no checking during cooking)
cut open wraps and allow to cool to room temp (do not remove meat)
remove meat and prepare to broil/grill BBQ Sauce till it carmelizes
eat naked if you wish to

Guarenteed awesome ribs or your money back...
post #2 of 11
You're only allowed one oven style smoke and you've already used yours up! And with no pics to boot!!biggrin.gif

On edit, I should have said "just kidding".icon_redface.gif
post #3 of 11

Your post reminded me of a post of another forum concerning this same topic and below is what one of the members there posted.

I must have missed this post and just came across it this morning. Some of you know I was in the petroleum industry and now own a chemical co. Tim was right on with the release of gas and toxins. I did a spectroanalysis of various plastics (ldpe, hdpe) found in most bottles, bags, and wrap. Temps as low as 152F started breaking down the integrity of the plastics and the release of various types of fumes were recorded. Danger zone was around 180F.The amounts were small at 152F but doubled about every 15 degrees, so plastic wrap around 212F may have as much as 16x depending upon type and grade of plastic(petroleum)used.
I wrap in foil.

Now, I can't vouch for the credibility of the poster or anything like that, may be BS, maybe not? but thought I would throw this out there as food for thought on that method.

Might be a little more research needed.........

I have seen and heard of others doing this same thing, but I felt obligated to put this out there.
post #4 of 11

Another option

I saw an interview with the music producer Quincy Jones a few years ago. He had a recipie for his "famous" oven baked ribs. I've done them a couple of times and they are pretty good for unsmoked ribs. Take it for what it's worth...

3 slabs of Baby Back Ribs
2 each Red, Green Yellow Bell Peppers (jullianne)
2 vidallia onions (jullianne)
6 cloves garlic (crushed)
Lowery's Seasoned Salt
Cracked Black Pepper

-Rub ribs with garlic, salt & pepper
-Cover w/ onions and peppers
-Wrap slabs individually in foil and refridgerate for 4 hours
-Remove from refridgerator 1 hour prior to cooking
-Leave wrapped in foil and cook in 350* pre-heated oven for 6-8 hours.

In my opinion the 8 hours is waaaay too long. I did that the first time and the meat was falling off the bone. But that's an opinion.

Not that anyone asked for an oven baked recipie, just thought I'd give an option in case there is any truth to the toxicity of the plastic wrap.
post #5 of 11
Sure would be nice if we could flush out an "expert" on this.
post #6 of 11
Can Saran Plastic Wraps be used in the oven?

No, Saran ™ Wraps are not for use in conventional ovens, browning units, toaster ovens, or on stovetops.


Found this on the Saran Wrap site.........not much detail or explanation, but.......
post #7 of 11
Its funny that this topic should come up, as just yesterday I was reading a section in a BBQ book I have about this topic. It didn't address the potential toxicity of the saran wrap, it simply discussed the pros and cons of using saran, as opposed to foil. The book is Backyard BBQ by Chef Richard McPeak. He personally doesn't recommend saran because it doesn't allow for the meat to soak up juices and expand and can even squeeze out juices from the meat. It also acts as a steamer, steaming the meat instead of baking it. This would just soften up the bark further. Apparently some people still use it, but this is the first i've heard of it.

I think I'll just stick to foil.
post #8 of 11
Sounds like you found a definitive answer there Joe, thanks! Never tried it myself but it did make me wonder after hearing about it, just doesn't seem right. Didn't, "Super Chef" Emeril Agassi bake ribs in the oven wrapped in plastic wrap?
post #9 of 11
Well I Worked in the restaurant industry for many, many years and lots of restaurants will cover not only their ribs with plastic then foil but big batches of rice before they cook them.
The plastic won't melt and is accepted to do in a lot of restaurants.
Personally i wouldn't do it because any plastic you use contains BPAs and other cancer causing chemicals. The softer the plastic the more harmful chemicals it contains which won't really come out when cold but as soon as you heat that plastic up you are leeching those chemicals out of the plastic and into food.
Tin foil has it as well but not nearly on the same level. Tin cans, lined with it, plastic cups, containers...it's truly amazing they put out chemicals to continue to make us sick so the Doctors and drug companies can keep their pockets full. PDT_Armataz_01_33.gifPDT_Armataz_01_27.gif
post #10 of 11
I seem to recall an episode on PBS where Jacques Pepin wrapped rolled up stuffed chicken thighs or some similar meat and put them in a dutch oven of liquid and into a 350 degree oven. Due to the liquid being limited to a max temp of about 212, the plastic would never melt. Always thought that was kinda weird.

We've got some restaurants that cater jobs occasionally up here that the entrees and sides will be the giant aluminum trays we use for smoking, and covered in plastic wrap - you can tell they've been in the oven because the plastic is like shrink wrapped across the top of the tray. Doesn't melt to the food, though.

I think the restaurant stuff is probably a tougher material than the stuff you buy at the local store.

I stay away from it, regardless.
post #11 of 11


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