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Baby Back Ribs & Qview

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokermark, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Earlier this evening I barbecue smoked a couple sets of Berkshire baby back ribs.


    Pulled from 8 hr. brine, rinsed, marinated, back to refrigeration before seasoning


    Rubbed & ready


    End of 1st sauce, 25 min. to go



    Done after second sauce application, about 5 hrs. total



    Cut, example

    These were in a light brine solution for just about eight hours. Kosher salt, sugar, several spices with a dash of Bombay Sapphire Gin and a touch of rice vinegar. Each weighed approximately 1.5 lb.  After brining, I rinsed, patted dry and then coated with a brushing of Salt Lick Original.  About 35 min. prior to cooking, I applied my own rub combination including John Henry's Pecan Rub and then put them in the cooker for about five hours cooking time.  Smoking woods used were primarily pecan and almond with some apricot and two bits of hickory and maple. My own fresh homemade balti barbecue sauce was used. 

    230 deg. two hours under smoke most the duration. Sprayed thoroughly with cranberry & goji juice blend, foiled cooking 1.5 hours on lowest rack (approx. 210 degrees). Then, moved back to second rack, about 225 deg. for a little over  an hour and sauced. Finally, sauced a second time cooking 25 additional minutes. Foiled a second time and rested 20 minutes before slicing.

    These were exceptionally moist and tender with good smoke flavor throughout and chewy. As I was eating them the smoke ring got a little more pronounced. For those of you who soak your wood chunks, I soaked under heat in a crock pot two hours. First on high then on low with a coffee cup or so of hot water with a good seal, just enough were the water is almost completely gone at the end. For these I added about a tablespoon of gin and then were put into sandwich bags while steaming for each of the individual woods the evening before.


    Bones! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Those look fabulous!!

    Thanks for the recipe and pictures.
  3. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    WOW that's quite an involved procedure you went thru. I've never brined ribs before. With all the fat in pork I didn't think it was necessary, but I'm sure there was some flavor that was added by doing that. May have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing your recipes & great Q-view.
  4. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Awesome looking ribs!!!!

    Thanks for the views & recipe,

  5. retread

    retread Meat Mopper

    What does the"Berkshire" mean?  Is it a different cut or a style of cooking?
  6. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    From wikipedia:


    Berkshire pigs are said to be "Britain's oldest pig breed", originally bred in the Faringdon and Wantage regions of the English county of Berkshire (now Oxfordshire). They apparently became popular after being 'discovered' by Cromwell's troops while they were stationed at Reading during the English Civil War. Today's animals descend from the herd maintained by the House of Windsor 300 years ago.[2]

    Berkshires are early-maturing black pigs and often have white on their legs, faces, and the tips or their tails. The snouts are dished and are of medium length. The ears are fairly large and are erect or slightly leaned forward. They have fine wrinkle-free necks and well-sloped shoulder blades. They have short, straight legs and a straight underline belly.

    Berkshire pork, prized for juiciness, flavor and tenderness, is pink-hued and heavily marbled. Its high fat content makes it suitable for long cooking and high-temperature cooking.[2]  
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Your ribs look good and all but I have to say it. They sure looked like spares to me in the first picture. Now I don't trim my spares I personally like them whole. When folks here trim down their spares and they make them look like baby backs.
  8. I've been wanting to try these for awhile. This is my first go cooking Berkshire. I'd been playing around with making barbecue sauces and finally got this one to work out out exceptionally well so I was excited to try it with the ribs. I like a little bit of caraway seasoning ribs that's sort of how I first got started with brining ribs. I'm almost certain that these are in fact baby backs even though they do appear different, maybe it can be attributed to the particular breed.

    Along with these I smoked a couple of bone in butts that I made pulled pork with. They turned out alright though, I wasn't entirely pleased with the amount of fat. Perhaps I will post tomorrow. What I found with this pork is that there is considerably more marbling and the temperature was a little stubborn moving, at least for me. I wasn't entirely satisfied with how I got the fat to transform with the roasts. I had to bump up the temperature approaching the third hour to achieve 145 deg. within the first four hours (including 30 min. before putting into the cooker). So, I think that next time I would heat 25 deg. higher than I would typically cooking pork butts, at least initially. It does seem to cook quite a bit differently particularly the boston butts and it could be with this type of pork higher temperatures and slightly shorter cooking times are necessary. Those were 8 lb. each. The flavor and tenderness was excellent for both.   
  9. retread

    retread Meat Mopper

    Hmmm, interesting.;  Thanks for the information!
  10. lexscsmoker

    lexscsmoker Fire Starter

    So......basically Berkshire is the Aston Martin of ribs.
  11. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Gin and crock pot wood chunks, interesting. [​IMG]
  12. Quote:
    I first learned of implementing use of gin from someone who shared his method.  The flavors provide a subtle taste that compliment sauces nicely. 

    If you want to experiment with it, try slicing a good-sized onion into fairly thin slices and putting them in a sauce pan adding just enough olive oil to cover the slices, maybe a little bit more, approximately a tablespoon. The thicker the pan used the better. Under medium heat warm the onion pieces until they become softened. Next, pour in four or five tablespoons of Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin or more depending on the amount of the onion used with medium-high heat. Some garlic cloves can be added, I prefer to use shallots. This particular gin has a remarkable flavor profile for barbecue. 

    Once it is about dry or most the liquid has evaporated, incorporate in a half tablespoon or so of dark brown sugar, pan removed from the burner using a rubber spatula. At this point, with reduced heat to medium-low, stir for about two or three minutes till onion and shallot/garlic, sugar mixture is caramelized good to the point where it all begins to singe a bit. You want to continue to stir with a wooden spoon steady throughout most the whole process. A sharp-edged utensil can be used to chop into smaller pieces.

    Makes a wonderful addition to sauce or even topping a grilled steak. Some fresh pepper slices added work well for that.  I've found that the trace amounts of flavor added to the wood seem to add another dimension to the flavor too most probably attributed mostly to the steam. The wood shouldn't be dripping wet either just moistened. I've also added (a little bit) of gin to the bath set below brisket and in brines. Doesn't take much. And, I really don't know if you'd just want to add gin to a sauce without doing the above process that may prove a bit much.   
  13. ugaboz

    ugaboz Smoking Fanatic

    looks great