I smoked this up on Sunday (08-01-10). One of my sisters sent me a package in the mail which contains spices from her husband's competition pork rib rub. A hand-written label on the bag stated it had no salt or MSGs, and instructed me to mix with 1 bag (1lb) of brown sugar, rub, wrap and rest overnight before smoking with hickory.
I weighed out the spice bag @ 3 oz with my 16oz scale, and mixed 1/2 oz spice with 3 oz brown sugar to approximate the ratio (I knew I wouldn't use the whole batch right away, and sugars tend to clump with seasonings). I also was supposed to leave the ribs rubbed and wrapped, resting in the fridge overnight...I wasn't able to do that, as this was a spur of the moment smoke...I was supposed to be working, and someone screwed up and took my slot for the day, so I came home and scrambled to quick-thaw 3 slabs of -20* ribs in a water bath just so I could do this smoke. Afetr all, I've been staring at this bag of spices on my desk for several days, smelling it and taking pinch tastes to try and figure out what's in it of course...and this was my chance to smoke it up!!!
I also did some no-smoke ribs for my wife, as she has gut trouble with smoke lately. These went on the top grate about 2 hours after I started the smoked ribs and were steamed in foil pouches, then firmed up a bit on open smoker grates for the last 25 minutes.
I was in the middle of posting the first segment of this thread on Sunday when my HP crashed (again...non-virus realted), and I lost the uploading of pics and text...otherwise, all went well.
LBR's, cut down to size to fit on my rib racks in the Brinkmann Gourmet charcoal, along with a couple smaller portions for my wife's no-smoked ribs:
Rubbed, racked-up, and waiting for me to drag 'em out to the thin blue smoke:
Closer look at the "mystery" rub...I'm pretty sure that I've identified approx. 8 of possibly 15-18 spices, but can't say what they are...wouldn't be right, as it's not my recipe to be sharing:
Loaded into the brinky's drum with a full water pan, waiting to be placed over a hot coal grate:
Come on Kingsford, we're waiting.....3/4 of one charcoal chimney heating up my coal grate mod...not very pretty, but it is functional:
About 5 hours in @ 210-220* with hickory...I rotated the top grate to bottom after 3.5 hours...really nice color to that carmelized brown sugar:
The no-smoke steamed mystery rub:
The no-smoke steamed red bell pepper rub:
7 hours after putting the drum over the fire and the yield was...well, some fine lookin' smoked ribs...all these are with the mystery rub:
And, the smaller steamed portions of no-smoke for wifey after some firming up on the grate to finish...red bell pepper on the the left:
The no-smoke ribs, as evidenced by the grey coloring throughout the meat...mystery rub on the left, RBP on the right:
The small ends of the loin back ribs...they look like chops after the shrinkage from cooking, and they are great eating, too...well, really, what part of a rib slab isn't good eating?!?!?...LOL!!!:
Not quite as prominent of a smoke ring as I'm accustomed to seeing with my pork ribs, but nice for sure...hmm...seems like when I was using some sugar in my own rubs awhile back that my smoke ring was a bit shallower then, too...I'm guessing the sugar could reduce the penetration and reaction:
The mystery rub has a very interesting and distinct flavor, though I used it pretty sparingly so I can get a few more smokes out of it. With a moderate coating on just one side, the full batch should do approx. 30 lbs, near as I can tell, though I may do the next batch with a heavy dose and wrap/rest as instructed. It seemed to add a very mild and slow heat, and a nice sweet addition to the loin backs. The hickory added a snappy bite to the mellow flavors of the rub...a really nice contrast in the flavor profile...definitely something you could grow to love. I'm glad I still some of the spice blend left! Ha-ha!!!!!
We seem to be spoiled with the various flavors of rub recipes I've developed over the last year or so, as I wanted to go the no-sugar route due to having a diabetic in the family. Anyway, this was certainly a worthwhile experience to have a shot at smoking it up with a comp rub...lots of trial and error went into this at some point in time...it really makes you appreciate it that much more, knowing a little of what it takes to bring the flavors all together in a great balance.
A big thanks go out to my Sis & her Hubby!
Great smokes to everyone!