Smoked Spare Ribs

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by tjshelton, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. As my first attempt at smoking, I decided to try Spare Ribs.

    I started by preparing a rub:  Here's the recipe for it:

    1 tbsp Salt

    1/2 cup Brown Sugar

    5 cups Dark Chili Powder

    3 tbsp Ground Cumin

    4 tsp Cayenne pepper

    4 tsp Black pepper

    4 tsp Garlic Powder

    4 tsp Onion Powder

    Then I trimmed the rack and cut it in half (so it will fit in my MES30)...  I saved the trimmings will be smoking them as well.[​IMG]

    Then I covered the meat with yellow mustard and applied the rub...


    I dusted off the excess rub and wrapped the meat in plastic wrap.


    Then I put all the meat in the fridge to set overnight, to allow the rub to really flavor the meat.


    Tomorrow I'll be smoking these using the 3-2-1 method and preparing a smoked potato salad...  More Qviews to come...

  2. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     Looks good. Did you peel the membrane off the back side of the ribs?
  3. I attempted to pull the membrane off, but it wasn't as easy as some have described - so I left it on.  Any tips on peeling it off? (for the next time)...
  4. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit

    lookn good[​IMG]
  5. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The ribs look great.  SOB has a method of removing the membrane by running under warm water then pullin. It works well for me too
  6. I'll have to give that a try next time - This was a two-pack and I'm only using one of them, so have another in the freezer - along with a lot of other meat that will be smoked over the next week or so.
  7. thebarbequeen

    thebarbequeen Smoking Fanatic

    Your rub sounds great! I make a lot of my rubs by opening the cupboard and seeing what falls out. You're off to a terrific looking start!  I have never worried about the membrane, on the baby backs I get it's either gone already or not an issue, and on spares, my brother and I like the snap of it. just another way I'm wierd, but there ya go!  Cheers!
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks good so far!

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  9. Had a taste of one of the trimmings - note to self: get rid of the black pepper and cut the cayenne in half...  Very Very Very hot... 
  10. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I just work up an edge of it and snag onto with with a paper towel. Works pretty good. Will have to try the warm water.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  11. Here are some more Qviews...

    The nicely rubbed spare ribs go into the smoker.


    I forgot to take intermediate pictures - But followed the 3-2-1 method. 

    Here's the final result. 

    BTW - the info on the Smoked Potato Salad can be found here -->


    This was my first attempt - so here are some lesson's learned...

    1)  You don't need to open your smoker door every 5 minutes...

    2)  An overly spicy (or peppery) rub can spoil the meat.

    3)  Don't use your wife's good kitchen towels to set your meat on.

    4)  3-2-1 doesn't necessarily mean 3-2-1.

    For item 1 - I figured this out pretty quickly...  but still snuck more peeks than I should have

    For item 2 - There was too much black pepper and cayenne in the mix.  We snuck a small piece of meat and had to drink a lot of water.  My wife called me a bad name, then took some heartburn medicine.  When I took the ribs out to wrap them for step 2 of the 3-2-1 method, I scraped the bark off.  Fortunately, this saved the meal as most of the burn was in the bark.

    For item 3 - I guess I'm taking my wife to William-Sonoma tomorrow to get her some more nice towels...

    For Item 4 - I kept my eye on the meat and the meat had pulled away from the bone at 2 an 1/2 hours - so that's when I went to the next part (and ruined my wife's towel, if you're still hanging onto that).  The last hour (the "1") should have been 30 minutes.  The meat was a little dry, but still some of the best, fall-off-the-bone tender, spare ribs that I and my wife have ever eaten. 

    I know I've learned from my lessons, and I hope I can help someone else not make the same mistakes - especially about the towel...

    Happy Smoking...
  12. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    5 cups chili powder could have added to the heat some, ya think?
  13. My bad...  I'm a newbie and will get better...

    That was a typo...  Here is the corrected list...  Including the pepper and cayenne adjustment...

    1 tbsp Salt

    1/2 cup Brown Sugar

    tbsp Dark Chili Powder

    3 tbsp Ground Cumin

    2 tsp Cayenne pepper

    tsp Black pepper

    4 tsp Garlic Powder

    4 tsp Onion Powder
  14. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Whewwww! Glad it was a typo, you do want to impress others with your smokes. Have you read up on the basic rubs & there ingredients, I don't see any paprika? Perhaps maybe u just don't care for it.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  15. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit

    my first ribs had me going for the prilosec while chewing on some tums... they was a little spicy[​IMG]
  16. shooter1

    shooter1 Smoking Fanatic

    That is a lot of cayenne and black pepper for the amount of rub you made. I also believe 5 Tbsp of chili powder is way to much as well. I usually suggest people try some commercial rubs first so that you can concentrate on the smoking process. There are some great commercial rubs out there, some from our fellow members that even competition cooks use. Once you get that down and you have an idea of the flavor profile you are looking for then venture in to making your own. Just my 2¢, and the only way to learn is to experiment. sounds like you learned a few things and next time they will be even better.

    I'm sure the wife will get over the towel thing once she gets some new ones and now the ruined ones are yours to Q with. [​IMG]
  17. Can anyone suggest a site (on this forum/wiki or elsewhere) that provides a good outline on different spices, how they enhance different meats/veggies, how they enhance each other (or don't play well together?

    My wife has always been in charge of cooking in our home (and my Mom before that) - so for my entire gastronomic life I've depended on others to take care of this kind of thing for me.  I don't know the difference between parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (except what Simon and Garfunkle has taught us).  I don't know the difference between paprika, allspice, and cumin...  Since I'm now in charge of the smoker, and the associate meat preparations, I'd like to be able to intelligently put together a rub/marinade/mop using whatever is in my cupboard or available at my local stores...

    I am thinking about trying to design something with an indian flair using curry - what would go good with that...  

    Inquiring minds want to know...
  18. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't have a website myself, but you could order Jeff's on this site or you could just buy a store brand? Don't give up on those ribs either! My first ones were the same as yours as I confused the paprika & cayenne!! Once you get it right they'll all look at you different!!
  19. I second the rec to buy Jeff's's great and works really well together with his sauce recipe (especially on ribs)!

    Now...BBQ is definitely an art, not a note that even after you get a rub you're happy with, the amount of rub you use can vastly change the flavor of your ribs...

    About the membrane...I highly recommend removal...but read up on this!  There are actually two membranes, the second you leave intact...I once got a rack that somehow already had the membrane removed...I discovered after removing the second and having a rib fall out!

    Welcome to the club, where even your attempts and failures will be better the the average Q joint...!
  20. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The Ribs look good for a first run.There are different types of Curry Powder, McCormick is intended for the general public and is not very hot. Spice Island is more of a Caribbean style and hotter. And the stuff at Indian Stores can be out and out Fire! McCormick also makes a spice blend called Garam Masala, Corriander, Clove, Ginger, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cumin and Bayleaf, is part of many Curry recipes and is very flavorful. I usually use both Garam Masala and Curry powder in my Indian Dishes. Garlic, Onion and Ginger as well  as S&P and Raw Sugar work well with Curry. Hope this helps...JJ

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