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Baby Back Help

Poll Results: Baby Backs -- Foil or No Foil?

Poll expired: May 5, 2010  
  • 59% (22)
    Foil, without a doubt.
  • 40% (15)
    No Foil, don't need it.
37 Total Votes  
post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I am having dinner for our family at my house tomorrow so I picked up 17lbs of Baby Backs. It wasn't cheap, so I don't want to screw them up!

I have been searching the board for ideas and advice and have found some pretty good advice so far. I plan on using Jeff's Rub and plan on finishing them with his sauce as well.

I found this thread pertaining to spares and am wondering if there is any trimming needed (or suggested) for the baby backs. icon_question.gif

Then, there is the debate of to foil or not to foil. I'd appreciate some feedback on these two methods. If you have done both, which is the preferred method and why? icon_question.gif

And one more thing... how long after applying the rub should I wait to throw them in the smoker? In other words, do I do the rub tonight, just before or somewhere in between? icon_question.gif

post #2 of 29
You can rub the night before or you can rub and then just toss in the smoker, both work out great.

If you want to be safe on them I would say use the foil.
Most folks will tell you to do a 2-2-1 for baby backs but personally I find that to be too long if running at 250 so I do a 2-1-1.
They come out moist, tender and pull off the bone.
If you want them more fall off the bone I would say go for the 2-2-1.

For trimming you will might need to trim them but it wouldn't be much.
You will still have to remove the membrane though.
post #3 of 29
The only thing I do with baby backs is to look for a membrane and pull it if its there. I do mine 2-1.5-1 and if your going to sauce them I would do it the last half hour
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
First, thank you for your input. Secondly, I assume that I would remove the membrane in the same manner as the thread about the spares showed. Is that correct?
post #5 of 29
You are correct on the membrane. I use a 2-1.5-.75 for BB Ribs.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you.

So far, it looks like the foil method is probably most preferred. I added a poll to see the overall opinion.
post #7 of 29
Yes you need to remove the membrane from the ribs as in the thread. Now for the foil I use it but I only leave the ribs in it maybe an hour and maybe a half maybe 15 minutes. Then back onto the grate for the last leg of your smoke.
post #8 of 29
I always rub mine down the night before, then again right before they go into the smoker. After either two or three hours I wrap them up in foil for a couple hours. I find that it makes them nice and fall off the bone good. Never had a complaint, but have had tons of compliments. Well, with the exception of my wife, she expects that what ever I cook will be good... If she only knew that some days, it is just tlc and luck...lol
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies so far. I really do appreciate the help.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
I almost forgot: I am planning on using Mesquite for the ribs.

Opinions icon_question.gif
post #11 of 29
17 lbs. ..........your my hero..lol,i love ribs...i have found that 1.5 hrs. in the foil worked best for me as well, i like a little tug and pull right off the bone
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'll be everyone in my family's hero if they come out good! It seems like a lot for my fist batch of ribs, but I have confidence in the advice you guys are giving me.
post #13 of 29
Right on track there pal. I pity the fool who don't use Mesquite. (Couldn't help it, won't happen again.) I love mesquite but don't over do it. Remember, it is still smoking when you smell it & don't see it.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gifPDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #14 of 29


BE CAREFUL!!! mesquite is strong and can be overpowering real fast.
On my mes i use mostly pecan or apple w just a small palm full of mesquite chips in the chip loader.
post #15 of 29
What he said. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

And what he said. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

eek.gif YIKES!! eek.gif

Go easy on it. Mesquite is a very strong flavor and a little goes a long way. It's easy to overdo it.

post #16 of 29
I find that cook time, with or without foil, depends on the size of the rack. For BBs in the 2-2.25lb range 2-1-1, 2.25-2.75 I go 2.5-1-1 and for those racks at 3lbs+ it's 2.5-1.5-1. My temps are 235-250.
I also add about 1/4 to1/3 cup of brown sugar and a generous squirt of BBQ sauce on top of the ribs before I close the foil.
post #17 of 29
mesquite is pretty strong, I like hickory, oak, apple, or cherry.

Also I am not a fan of foiling. Ive tried it, and eaten foiled pork, and I just dont like what it does to the meat. Changes the texture imho. I prefer taking my time, and letting the smoker do the work.

good luck sounds like you have some fun ahead of you. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #18 of 29
As you can see by your poll (9-9 as of now) there are no wrong ways to make your ribs or any BBQ for that matter. Some foil some don't and as long as you like the end result then thats all that matters. I would suggest trying some both ways so you can see what you like better.
post #19 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well, I have gotten some good feedback on this thread. Thank you guys so much.

I am glad I asked about the mesquite, I will be careful with it.

PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif Thanks again everyone!

I am getting everything ready now. I will be posting some QView Soon.
post #20 of 29
And what he said, go very easy with mesquite or change to an apple or cherry.
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