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Test - To foil or not to Foil (spare ribs)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Being new and reading the many posts about the 3-2-1 method and those of you that don't foil, I decided to test the 2 methods last weekend since I was going to smoke 2 slabs. First, before I get berated ;-) about no Qview, my wife left our digital camera at school. Did not know this until I started.

Anyway I thought I would still share. I used a rub similar to Jeff's. However I decided to add chipotle powder to the rub this time. If you don't use chipotle powder in your rubs you might experiment with it. It adds a nice smokey flavor and a little kick to the rub.

I placed both slabs in the smoker at a temp. of 240. I tried to maintain this temp throughout the smoke which I'm still trying to master. I guess I need to mention that I'm using a Yoder 20" offset smoker for the test. After 3 hrs I took one slab out and foiled it leaving the other on the grate. I added a little apple juice to the foiled ribs an place them back into the smoker. After 2 additional hours I took the foiled ribs out and remove the foil. To my surprise at the meatier end of the slab, it was already fall off the bone tender. The last 2 ribs fell out as I lifted the slab out from the foil. For the sake of the test I went ahead and place them back in the smoker for the additional hour. At 3 hrs I began spritzing the un-foiled slab with apple juice. After 6 hrs I took out both slabs. The foiled slab actually tighten up a little but still was very juicey and tender (fall off the bone tender). The unfoiled slab was also very tender. On the meatier end the un-foiled slab was also fall off the bone tender. As you moved down the rib they were still very tender and would come clean from the bone when eaten.
So, I guess my conclusion is that either method would produce a very good rib. Both had a very pronounced smoke ring. I would imagine the foil method may produce a more consistent result. Just a guess, since I've done this only once. I plan to do it again with Qview, to see if these results are the same.
Again I apologize for the lack of pictures and promise I will have them the next time.
Also if you haven't experimented with Chipotle powder It's worth a try.
post #2 of 5
Now that test has been done alot here but thanjs for your input on them too. Now I have done ribs both ways and I got pretty much the small results except the ribs the were unfoiled had a netter bark to them.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Your right I forgot to mention that there was a better bark on the unfoiled ribs.
post #4 of 5
I've found the same thing. I prefer a bark on mine so I don't foil. I also like a little "pull" on mine to where they don't fall apart when I lift the whole slap. When they are in the foil I can't see them pull back from the bone and they always end up a little too done for my liking.
post #5 of 5
I like the bark you get, but to soften the bark a tad for my wife and kids, I foil them when I pull them off the smoker. Then let them rest in the cooler for an hour. The moisture re-distributes throughout the entire piece of meat better and the bark is still firm, but not cruchy (as my kids say).
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