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Nekkid Reeyabs

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I want to try to experiment and make some spares without a rub. I was informed (by a reliable source... on the inside) that you can mop a thinned out basting sauce (perhaps heavy on the vinegar?) for the first few hours then use some regular Q-sauce towards the end of the smoking sequence. Any suggestions before I give this a shot this weekend? I want to get a smokey, mildly sweet but non-barked-up finished product sort of like some of the rib joints produce. Thanks in advance for your learned responses.

Respectfully yours,

--- Un-bark Me
post #2 of 15
Hey man -

Sweet rubs usually produce the bark that you're talking about, when the sugars start carmelizing. When I want the bark, and a sweet taste, I apply brown sugar half way through the smoke. Since you're not using any rub, I think you'll be good. But you'll still want to keep them moist, so go with a mop, such as some OJ with worchestishire, and mop with that. If you want that sweetness, add some honey to your sauce, or just use a real sweet sauce 30 mins or so before you're done, that should give your what you need.

I would plan on a longer smoke, with temps at or a little below 225, with some apple wood if you can. Use a water pan filled with apple juice, and place the ribs as close to the pan as possible. What type of smoker are you using?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey dude! Thanks for the great info. I have a new 40" MES and I also have some apple wood ready to go. I thought most folks use hickory for spares, but as I read through the archives, it seems many use apple wood..and even the elusive pecan wood to smoke ribs. Have you used the above yourself on spares?

HOLY CRAP! I now have obtained the "Meat Mopper" designation! DAYAM!!!
post #4 of 15
I'll smoke BB sometimes with a mixture of canola oil,kosher salt, pepper. I'll wisk it all together and rub it in and smoke with hickory with a touch of mesquite. Sometimes I like them simple.
post #5 of 15
^^^What meateater said. Sometimes the ol' taste buds need a break from the sweet and needs to get back to the savory. I opt for Worcestershire sauce, garlic juice and coarse ground black pepper.
post #6 of 15

Creak and groan

Somewhere in the archives of my ancient mind, I remember that I used to take KC Masterpiece and cut it with apple cider vinegar as a basting sauce as a mop. Then I would serve them with a mixture of KC and another sauce for dipping. If I ever turned back the clock to those ancient ways, I would use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and Balsamic. It was good then when I didn't know about BBQ/SMOKING as we know it today. Let me know how it comes out.
post #7 of 15
This is how I used to "Grill" my spares & bb's.
post #8 of 15
Any kind of sugar to a sauce or rub will give you a bark. I would go with Dutch and meateaters idea for prep. Put a little butter and honey in with the foil, and that will give a little sweetness without the bark. You can try this sauce for the end if you like. I think it's a really nice carolina style sauce.

2 Cups Ketchup
1/3 cup Clover Honey
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Tabasco Smoked Chipotle (use only 1/2 tsp if regular Tabasco)
1/4 Cups Dark Brown Sugar
2 Cloves Minced Fresh Garlic
1/4 cup of apple cider vinager

Simmer everything but the vinager for about 30 minutes, then strain if you want a smooth sauce. After cooling add the apple cider vinager.
post #9 of 15
Rub: Keep it simple. Salt, Black and Cayenne pepper, Garlic powder, Chili Powder.

Baste: (After the first hour or so) Pint of water, Pint of vinegar, 2 T Worcestershire, 3 T Rub.

Finish...Thin your favorite sauce, homemade or store bought, with the
remainder of the basting sauce...add sweetener (honey, cane syrup, powdered sugar, dark Karo, Simple syrup etc) to taste during the last 15-30 minutes...Do not foil.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for all of your insights. Next week I will do a set of spares, one with a way thinner layer of Jeff's Rub decreasing the paprika contribution, and the other spare with a cut down bbq sauce being basted from time to time. We'll see which one we like better....although I have a feeling they will both be awesome. I think it takes a lot to screw up smoked meat in general. LOL
post #11 of 15
It sounds like you are on the right track now. So let us know how it comes out now. With Qview too.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
All Q'ed up for next weekend. Going to get 2 Costco slabs and get to it. I will continue the experiment on this thread for continuity and archive simplicity.
post #13 of 15
The last ribs I did I only used Lawry's Seasoned Salt & TC Creole Seasoning & went light with those. I did not slather, spritz or mop. The trip & trimmings I snacked on with nothing else whatsoever & they were nice. Just enough seasoning to compliment the smoked pork flavor.

For the finished racks, I did a version of the Johnny Trigg method with brown sugar, parkay & tiger sauce in foil for 2 hours. Again, I went very light on the ingredients. The ribs came out a wonderful color. I gave them a light glaze of BBQ sauce & let them go for 45 mins out of the foil. Tender, moist, and with just some hints of sweet, savory & heat. The dominant flavor by far was the smoked pork.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Hog. Good info to be filed in mah' brainz! icon_wink.gif
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Follow-up: The smoke on my MES went well. 2 sets of spares, one with a fairly light coating of Jeff's recipe, cutting down on paprika and pepper and jacking up the brown sugar contribution (with a few spritzes now and then with OJ). 2nd set just a marinade of Jeff's BBQ sauce cut with a bit of vinegar. Again, the wife stated "best ribs yet!" but of course I was still in the hunt for perfection.

They both were not as sweet as I would expect. I should have laid my version of Jeff's rub heavier than I did. The marinated pair were nice and smokey, but lacked the sweetness I liked even more than the rubbed spares.

I did see a video on youtube that had these champion BBQ dudes putting down a rub that did not contain any brown sugar...but...put straight brown sugar on top of the already rubbed ribs. Sort of a spice layering process. Interesting technique I may try on my next smoke. I DO know that we like them smokey and sweet and will continue to try to find the holy grail of preparation...well....as we like them any way. And so it goes............

PS.....The spares were extremely tender and juicy with most of the fat rendered out of the meat.

(I may not really like my spares THAT nekked after all!)
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