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Discussion in 'Pork' started by Bearcarver, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    BACON-ON-A-STICK (Smoked Pork Spare Ribs cured with Tender Quick)

    This time I did 2 racks of Pork Spare Ribs, and I did not trim them to St Louis Style first. I think that meant a lot for how moist these were.
    These were definitely the best Ribs I've ever had, and were right up top in being one of the best things I have ever smoked!!!


    First Day:
    Cut 2 racks of Pork Spares into 4 pieces, so they will fit neatly into Zip-Lock bags.
    Remove membrane from back of Ribs, and trim excess fat from surfaces.
    Rinse well, and pat dry with paper towels.
    Weigh each piece, and calculate how much Tender Quick should go in each bag, with each piece.
    Weigh the right amounts of TQ for each piece, and put these amounts on paper plates, ready for rubbing.
    (One TBS (1/2 ounce) of TQ per pound).
    Rub each piece with it's proper amount of TQ, and put them in individual Zip-locks.
    I also added one TBS of Brown Sugar to each side, and threw any TQ that fell off into the bag with the piece it fell off of, so the proper amount of cure stays with each piece.
    Put these packages in Fridge, laying flat, for 48 hours, flipping & massaging at 24 hours. (Fridge set at 37˚/38˚ F)

    NOTE: Don't worry about curing to center, because the TQ is only being used for the Flavor, and you're only curing it for 48 hours, and then Hot Smoking it at 225°.

    Day #3:
    Remove pieces from curing bags, rinse well, and soak in ice water for 1 hour.
    Slice a couple thin pieces off, note internal color, and fry to test for salt flavor.
    If it tastes salty, soak for another hour. Repeat as needed. These were Perfect.
    I have never had to soak anything to get rid of salt flavor, except when I used Hi Mt BBB Cure & Seasoning.
    I always do a Salt-fry-test---Just in case!!!
    Rinse pieces one more time, pat dry, and put on smoker racks.
    I also sprinkled both sides with Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder.
    Put in fridge, uncovered, overnight, for pellicle to begin forming.
    If you don't have a designated "Meat" fridge, you can run a fan over the pieces for a couple hours, just before you put them in the smoker.

    Day #4 (Smoking Day):
    10:20 AM------------Pre-heat Smoker to 140˚ (I use an MES 40).
    10:25 AM------------Fill 2 rows of AMNPS with Hickory Pellets, and light one end real good. Do not put in Smoker yet.
    10:30 AM------------Put meat in smoker on top two positions. No smoke yet, to allow pellicle to finish forming.
    11:00 AM------------Reset temp to 225˚, and put well lit AMNPS on bars, on left side, at bottom of Smoker.
    1:45 PM-------------Stack meat on wire rack in a foil pan, add 10 ounces of Apple Juice, cover with doubled foil.
    1:45 PM-------------Also remove AMNPS, and return meat to 2nd position in Smoker.
    1:45 PM-------------I also checked internals, and they ran from about 153˚ to 166˚ at this time.
    4:00 PM-------------Cut heat back to 140˚, and close vent all but the thickness of my Smoker probe wire.
    4:30 PM-------------Smoker Temp is still 163˚, without element coming on.
    4:45 PM-------------Smoker Temp is still 143˚, without element coming on. Kill Smoker Power.
    4:55 PM-------------Remove meat from Smoker, unwrap, take pics, cut up Ribs, plate, add sides, and enjoy Great TQ Cured and Smoked Pork Spare Ribs!!!

    These Really Exceeded my Expectations!



    Started with 12 pounds of Pork Spare Ribs:

    Exactly the right amount of TQ for each piece:

    Rubbing TQ & Brown Sugar on both sides (anything that falls off goes in bag with piece it fell off of):

    All ready for 48 hours in fridge:

    Two little slices for salt-fry test, showing outside of slices:

    Same 2 little slices flipped over to show inside of slices----Note bright red color inside from cure:

    Salt-fry test sampling:

    Two pieces for top position in smoker, with Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder sprinkled on:

    Two pieces for 2nd position in smoker:

    Two racks overnighting in fridge, before smoking (forming pellicle at 37/38˚):

    Lighting AMNPS with less than two rows filled with Hickory pellets:
    AMNPS smoking perfectly, after blowing flame out.
    Pet cemetery in background:

    My set-up inside my MES 40:
    All pieces in covered foil pan, with 10 ounces of Apple Juice in bottom, under wire rack:

    Fresh out of smoker---Steam rising---Note wire rack under Ribs:

    All 4 pieces---My favorite color!!!!

    Fresh Cured Smoked Slices:

    All of them cut apart.
    Have to eat the ones in the plate. No more will fit in the container with lid:

    The Bear's First Helping---This Stuff is Awesome!!
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  2. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Bacon on a stick.....how perfect!  I know I'm going to do this one!

    Thanks Bear!
  3. SmokinAl

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

    They sure look good Bear! Glad to see you back posting again. I thought maybe you had a senior moment & started your long winter nap a little early!   [​IMG]
  4. Glad to see you're back buddy. Great post as always. Those ribs look fabulous. Gotta get me some TQ when I'm in the States next month, so I can start checking off a few things on my To Do list. Thanks Bear.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  5. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Dang Bear, that's one I'm doing soon. [​IMG]  Great step by step! 
  6. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks John,


    Thanks Al !

    Getting old is right !   Dropped my guard & got Ambushed.

    Later Buddy---Mrs Bear is waiting to watch a movie!

  7. Bear ...that is a great idea with Fantastic results...They look Excellent!!! Thanks for sharing the detailed recipe with us...[​IMG]

    Glad to have ya back Bear!!!
  8. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Dang Bear those look awesome...  Nice Job...
  9. way good looking ribs[​IMG]
  10. bakerboy7

    bakerboy7 Smoke Blower

    Thanks Bear!

    Those look delicious and another amazing step by step.

  11. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    All I can say is:[​IMG]
  12. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thank You Much!


    Thanks Meat !!


    Thanks again,


    Thank All You Guys For Your Support too!!!
  13. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Bear, That is one incredible post my friend!  Gonna push me in new directions before I'm ready to leave the Bear den!  [​IMG]   Congrats! 
  14. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    Those look like some kind of yummy meat candy! question do you put any wood chips in your MES or is all your smoke from the AMNPS?
  15. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just for reference, this is the ORIGINAL Bacon-On-A-Stick post of mine for wet-brining the rack.  The wet brine is made up of 1 gal. water, 1 cup sea salt, 1 cup white sugar or Splenda®, 1 cup brown sugar or Brown Sugar/Splenda® Blend, and 1 tablespoon Cure #1 from Butcher-Packer (DQCure #1).  You just mix the brine with cold water, pour over ribs and let soak; no flipping or massaging required.  You can fry test and if too salty soak in plain water; however, just reduce the salt on the next batch to ½ or even ¼ cup or begin with lower salt if salt sensitive or lower sodium is required.  I cured mine in a 5 gal. bucket in the back fridge; but I've cured plenty of meats before I had the spare fridge by emptying out a crisper and putting a bag in it, filling it up with brine/meat and twist-tying it closed.


    Showing pickling a turkey in the crisper:

  16. SmokinAl

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

    Pops, I use your wet brine/cure recipe all the time. It's so easy to use.
  17. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One other thing I'd like to add is that the result isn't that far off doing ribs without curing first as the ribs 'naturally cure' during the smoking process; this is the 'smoke ring' you find with smoked meats; it is the same naturally occurring process by virtue of smoking.  When you bite into the top layer of a sparerib meat you get that same cured flavor; this process (either method) just extends that curing process throughout the meat 100%.
  18. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you!  So glad you've enjoyed it!
  19. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks Paul !!!


    Thank You Sir!


    Thank you Much!!


    Thank You Mister Dave!!

  20. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit

    W O W   Thanks for the post and the step by step Bear.