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Beef Backs, Pork Backs, and an alternative to smoking for comparison: Q-view

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

 

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:

1Beef.jpg

 

 

Pork Back Ribs with the same pre-smoke treatment:

2Pork.jpg

 

 

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:

3InSmoke.jpg

 

 

4InSmoke.jpg

 

 

And the oven ribs, with zero smoke ((( ))) @ 200* over a wet drip pan:

5Oven.jpg

 

 

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:

6PB35hrs.jpg

 

And, the Beef Backs:

7BB35hrs.jpg

 

 

I rotated the Beef Backs to the top grate at 4 hours, and pull back is looking very nice:

9BB4hrs.jpg

 

 

The oven ribs at 3.75 hours:

8Oven375hrs.jpg

 

 

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:

10SteamPans.jpg

 

 

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...

 

Eric

post #2 of 10

Could you're wife's issue be with the rub instead of the smoke?  

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rp RibKing View Post

Could you're wife's issue be with the rub instead of the smoke?  


Hmm, you know, we thought about that a few months ago too, but, she's been having gut problems for a few years now. I've used this rub on lots of meats since I first developed it, and I've used a variation of it in a cured & cherry smoked chicken sausage a few times...she loves that sausage, but the smoke is very, very light. Lately, she gets into trouble with anything I smoke (other than the above mentioned sausage), where it was just happening every few weeks about 6-12 months ago.

 

Actually tonight should put that theory to rest as well, because I have the same rub on everything, beef or pork, oven cooked or smoked. So, if she eats the oven cooked ribs without any issues, I'll know we definitely have it nailed down.

 

We're 90 minutes away from chow time, so this will be an interesting finish on our end.

 

Eric

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

The verdict is in...I went for just the simple smoke and foil without firming up any of them. They were literally falling apart tender all the way, so texture was not any part of the equation. The flavor of the beef back oven roasted ribs was lacking nothing except for the smoke (I pinched off a few bites). Oh, the wife is not having stomach problems yet either, and she finished eating about an hour ago, and it hits her in just a few minutes, so, that issue has been put to rest.

 

Not anything special about the oven roasted ribs, but they kept my wife's belly happy, and that's what really counts for me.

 

 

The smoked beef backs:

11BB.jpg

 

 

The smoked pork backs:

12PB.jpg

 

 

The oven roasted beef backs and pork backs:

13OR.jpg

 

 

All 13 lbs of goodness:

14.jpg

 

 

Of course, I just had to have some of each of the smoked ribs :

15plate.jpg

 

 

Oven or smoker, there is always a way to get your rib fix...or other favorites, even if you need to cut the smoke from the process.

 

Thanks all!

 

Eric

post #5 of 10

Very interesting. Both look good, but man I would miss that smoke taste and smell on my ribs. Glad it worked for your wife.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hhookk View Post

Very interesting. Both look good, but man I would miss that smoke taste and smell on my ribs. Glad it worked for your wife.


Thanks, yea, the loss of aroma and flavor of the smoke just wouldn't be right for me or the kids...the anticipation alone can make the little extra effort for a nice smoke all worth while, and my kids all know what my days off work can mean at dinner time, so, they anxiously wait for it.

 

The wife still has a happy belly with the no-smoke ribs almost 2 hours after dinner, so we all know what that means...if momma's happy, we all stand a better chance for being happy...hmm, did I just say that? Oops, don't tell her I said that! LOL!!!!!

 

Have a smoky weekend!

 

Eric

post #7 of 10

Looks good Eric.  Did you wife have any issues with the stuff in the oven?

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmudd14474 View Post

Looks good Eric.  Did you wife have any issues with the stuff in the oven?


Thanks Brian. It's been 3.5 hours since we ate, and she's doing fine on the oven ribs...man, who'd have thought? It was just a theory I had after seeing her suffer through it so many times...now we know for sure.

 

Anyway, I wanted to share the idea just in case anyone else had a similar situation with smoked vs unsmoked.

 

Eric

post #9 of 10

I wonder if one of the OTC meds would help with that so that she can enjoy the TBS.  Im just glad you figured it out. Its tough to see momma hurt.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmudd14474 View Post

I wonder if one of the OTC meds would help with that so that she can enjoy the TBS.  Im just glad you figured it out. Its tough to see momma hurt.


She probably could take something for it, I think she's just getting tired of meds after taking a long list of stuff for several years for health related problems. She's like me...hates pills and won't touch 'em unless there are no other options within reach. She really does like smoked meats, they just don't agree with her most of the time now, so the oven method will be a good option to use for a similar meat for her plate when I have a smoker going. Heck, I could do it all in a smoker with a bit more forethought...just keep her portion isolated from the smoke using a steam pan and internal grate to elevate the meat...that should work out fine.

 

 

Eric

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