Thanks everyone! It's always a fun day when I can spend it with a smoker (or 2) fired-up. BTW, this batch of burnt ends was pretty darn good. Leaving the point sitting overnight to chill before cubing had a suprisingly good result. The texture was a bit different than I usually get...parts of the crust was crisp, and the inside kind of pulled apart as it started to stretch when you took a slow bite with the strands running side-to-side and pulled on it. Not tough to chew at all, just a funky but really neat texture. Really different to eat than other batches I've done...gotta remember this, cause the briskets for the reunion will be smoked, separated and frozen, so this should work out great to thaw and cube the point and then finish like normal for BE's. If it wasn't the chilled point before cubing that caused the difference in texture, then maybe I was overcooking previous batches just a little...hmm...dang, now I'm starting to second-guess this method! LOL!!!
Originally Posted by delarosa74868
I tried not to foil ribs on fathers day. But after 3 1/2 hours I had a recurring thought in my head,"they are going to be dry and tough".
They appeared to be dry on the out side, I thought maybe after the tissues broke down more they would appear moist on the outside. I didn't want to chance it though, I was feeding a dozen people and I didn't want to disappoint.
Hey, don't sweat the no-foil ribs. I always wet smoke ribs, butts, brisket, birds...only time I run a dry smoke is for jerky, or when I want to crisp up chicken skin. All you really need to watch for is pull-back. They will get a dry surface which is normal and desirable...these ones actually had a thin bark with a touch of crispness, and this can help to seal in the natural juices. The main difference between foiled and no-foiled is that the foiled can be cooked to the point of falling off the bone...you don't want to try this without foil, or they will become very dry at that stage.
No-foil does give a chewier texture, which some folks prefer over bone-popping ribs. When you can get them to come out moist and tender, with a nice bark, a fair bite and chew...man, that's good eating. We go either way, depending on what we feel like doing at the time.
Don't fear the straight-smoked ribs, brother. A couple times at it and you'll have it down...not hard at all to do 'em...again, pull-back is the key...about 3/8" is about right for the average thickness of rib meat...a bit more will show on the smallest end of the slab when the rest is ready. Bend test is another good method, but when using racks, I don't want to move them at all once they go into the smoke. Tips down and cut bones up so you can see 'em.
Originally Posted by NWDave
I think the lesson, at least for me, is that you can do a lot of prep work in the days before the "gathering or event", by undercooking the meat somewhat, freezing it (hey, another excuse to buy another freezer) then pulling it the day of the gathering and finishing off as appropriate. Should be a good technique for most meats, don't you think?
I know that sometimes I feel swamped on the day because of all the things happening at the same time, in the too few pieces of equipment. I mean like, 3-4 racks of ribs, a couple of chickens, some smoked bacon wrapped burgers, and let's not forget the salmon too. The salmon I wouldn't do this technique with.
Sorry for the confusion there Dave...I was referring to the partially frozen ribs turning out as well as they did. I try not to cook frozen meats, as they can dry out and/or get tough...this had me on edge somewhat, but for unknown reasons, they came out just fine.
As for the reunion, yea, I'm smoking up anything which would be an all-nighter ahead of time (Butts are pulled and frozen...next days-off work will be a couple full packers...flats for slicing and points for BE's) I'll have anywhere from 6-12 slabs of spares to smoke on site (ribs in the Vault is a set it & forget it...so easy), and a few other items which won't take very long, like ABT's, breakfast fatties and chicken quarters. Then, there's always the charcoal grilled goodies too, and let's not forget the wet-smoked whole ear corn...yummmmmm!!!!!!!
I wanted to share some of the cooking time with my relatives as several of them seemed really interested in learning how to crank out some of these great smoked goodies, so it will be fun to stand around the smokers and grills for part of the day and discuss the methods used. One of my sisters recently got her first smoker as I recall, so she'll be hangin' out close to the smoke quite a bit, I'm betting. I'll have 2 charcoal kettles, one large gas grill and 3 vertical gas smokers...converted my brinky gourmet last days-off with a turkey fryer burner just for convenience...my SnP will sit this one out, as my trailer will be pretty crowded, but I worked out each of the 6 meals (2 day event) so that I'll have cooker space leftover if anyone wants to toss on some steaks/burgers/brats, etc.
Man, you know, a family reunion with 3 outdoor cooked meals each day, for 2 days...camping and outdoor daytime activities...does it get any better than that?
Sorry, just having so much fun planning for this, and putting these smoked goodies together, and now I'm really getting anxious to see everyone back in our home-town...and it's still 3 weeks away!
Anyway, been fun as always!
Happy smokes, everyone!!!