My wife is having gastrointestinal issues with smoked foods lately, so I decided to try an alternative method on ribs just for her today. This will be a part of my focus for today's topic discussion.
I don't recall smoking beef back ribs just yet, and when my radar made contact with a few slabs when my wife got home from the store a few evenings back, well, you know how it goes...the gears in my smoke oriented mind had no trouble shifting into creativity mode. She mentioned brazing the ribs in a stock pot for a beef soup, which I would have no trouble with, but we are still having hot summer weather and soup just doesn't sound very appealing right now. So, I compromised with her, and left some of the beef back ribs in the freezer while I took out 2 slabs to thaw yesterday.
For the alternative method, I will indirect cook smaller cuts of beef back and pork back ribs, without smoke. I would have done this in a propane fired smoker, but haven't gotten everything organized yet after getting back from our family reunion, so the electric oven will have to do. This will also give others an idea how to make some great low & slow cooked ribs without the benefit of a smoker to cook them in, while still getting the benefits of open grate indirect cooking.
My alternate method involves nothing more than a wet pan and accessory smoking grate for the ribs to cook over in the oven, allowing a drip pan to keep the oven from getting trashed and/or starting a grease fire, and allowing for the humid cooking environment I could get in any of my smokers, without the benefit of any smoke wood. This method should yield a product comparable to the smoked ribs, while allowing those who do not tolerate smoked meats an enjoyable meal.
The Beef Back Ribs rubbed with my Red Bell Pepper rub and loaded into rib racks, resting on a Brinkmann Gourmet Charcoal cooking grate:
Pork Back Ribs with the same pre-smoke treatment:
Into the smoke, with hickory and a wet pan...target chamber temps are 215-230*...it's a charcoaler, so I don't get too excited about temp control:
And the oven ribs, with zero smoke ((( ))) @ 200* over a wet drip pan:
Here we are at 3.5 hours into the smoke...Pork Backs are still on the top grate...looking at pull-back for my done-ness check:
And, the Beef Backs:
I rotated the Beef Backs to the top grate at 4 hours, and pull back is looking very nice:
The oven ribs at 3.75 hours:
I tented a couple steam pans @ 5 hours, and they are into the brinky, with the Beef Backs on the top grate, as they'll get a bit higher temps than the grate over the water pan can offer with my current mods:
Since its a PITA to foil rib racks, and I try to disturb the meat as little as possible once the cooking has begun, I decided to bite the bullet and use 1/2 size foil steam table pans to place the smoked ribs into and tent for 1.0-1.5 hours. Hmm, I probably should have gotten my Smoke Vault 24 ready to fire up for this today as it would have been much easier to accomplish everything...or, I could have cranked up the SNP, but it is a huge fuel hog and the gourmet is not...I really do like cooking with charcoal more than any other fuel source, so, that's where I stand.
Anyway, progress updates, finish and review will follow ASAP...