BEEF RIB TACOS - UGLY DRUM SMOKER - FIRST TIME - NEED ADVICE FOR MY NEXT ATTEMPT

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SneakyPeakey

Newbie
Original poster
Dec 4, 2021
1
3
Saturday - 4th December 2021 - Buderim, Sunshine Coast QLD - Australia.

I have been following this page religiously since 2018 and figured I was well overdue to post something finally and see if I can get some feedback on how to improve. Normally I document my cooks in a book that I have been adding to over the years but I would like to start sharing them here so I can get some advice on what I can do better each time. I have always used Ugly Drum Smokers to cook with hardwood lump charcoal. I have built 5 of these now for myself, family and friends. I just love how versatile they are, I can use it for low and slow or I can raise the coal basket and grill right above it for hot and fast cooking. next modification will be to install a rotisserie attachment.

So here's my results from my first attempt at a large rack of beef ribs.

I sent the missus to the local butcher (Mountain Creek Butcher, I love this place) to pick up some Beef Ribs to smoke up and use for Tacos. She returned home with a large rack of what I believe is called a plate rack AKA Dino ribs, the rack consisted of 3 bones that make up the first part of the rib cage.

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I soaked the ribs In Worcestershire sauce overnight, let it get to room temp, patted dry and covered in franks red hot sauce then a generous layer of Montreal steak spice rub.

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I heated up the Drum Smoker to 275f with hardwood lump charcoal and some pecan wood chunks for smoke.
I used a foil pan with beef broth underneath the ribs to work as a drip pan/water pan to help regulate the heat while adding some moisture to the cooking chamber.

10:45am the ribs went on and cooked for 3.75 hours.

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2:30pm the ribs went into a foil pan with more beef stock inside and covered with tin foil. My theory was the beef stock will help braise the meat and tenderise it.

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They cooked for another 1.5 hours wrapped in the foil tray with the beef stock
I used a meat thermometer in the meat under the foil and waited until the meat hit 200f internally. I then used a skewer to probe for tenderness.

I was a little concerned that the top layer of meat was starting to dry out as it was tougher to probe at the lean end than at the fattier end. The fatty end probed like butter so I decided to take it off, let some heat out of the pan then re cover and place in a beer cooler to rest.

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The meat came off the grill just after 4pm, giving it a total cook time of 5 hours before resting.

Ideally I would like to rest it a minimum of 1 hour to let the juices re distribute throughout the meat. I ended up letting them rest for about 4 hours while we lit a fire and played with the kids in the yard. They were still super hot after the 4 hours resting, I even opened the cooler lid a few times to let out a bit of heat so they wouldn’t overcook in there.

I caught all the juice from the drip pan and the foil pan that the meat was resting in, let the fat seperate, scooped it out and stored it separately (it can be used for roasting veggies or toasting buns etc). the remaining beef juice will be used to make an Au Jus for a beef dip recipe we will be making before the weekend is over.

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Once I unwrapped it from the cooler I noticed the bones had completely fallen away from the meat, I sliced into the meat I separated the fatty sections and the membrane and kept all the good meat, chopped it up and poured some of the juices back into the meat to mix up.

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while the meat was still cooking we made a fresh salsa using chopped cherry tomatoes, red onion, red capsicum, Jalapeño (grown in our own garden) and some lime juice.

To serve the Taco we used white corn tortillas (much better than the yellow corn ones, they were too thick last time IMO)
Lightly coat the tortilla in water and fry up on a hot pan for 1 min each side.
Put a layer of meat on the tortilla, layer of fresh salsa, some avocado and a little bit of franks hot sauce.

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These turned out AMAZING. However I know there is room for improvement.

MY CONCERNS:

Because of the many layers in the meat they all cooked differently, I think maybe I should have spritzed the top of the ribs while there were cooking as that top layer was much more lean and dried out a lot more than the other sections, and after slicing it open it appeared that the fattier section could have cooked longer to render out more of the fat. Which is quite conflicting as Im sure I would have ruined the leaner section completely If I left it on for longer. I have heard of some people trimming fat and pinning it to the leaner sections of the meat while it cooks to keep it moist?? (Not sure if I should try that next time), I haven’t really experimented with spritzing enough to tell the difference it makes with retaining moisture in the meat. I am also wondering if we should have gotten the butcher to cut the ribs in half as the leaner meat was more on one end of the bone and the fattier section was at the other, in that case perhaps I could have pulled off the leaner ribs first while leaving the more marbled sections stay on and cook longer?

Thanks for reading! I plan to keep posting more of my recipes in the future.
 

DRKsmoking

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Jan 27, 2021
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4,479
Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia ,Canada
Welcome to SMF, from Nova Scotia
glad you joined up.

This is a great place for show and tell.

Now your ribs look great and I bet the flavor was out standing

You keep posting and I'll keep watching

David
 

jcam222

Legendary Pitmaster
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SMF Premier Member
Jun 13, 2017
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Northeast Ohio
I’m a huge fan of Dino ribs. Yours look fantastic. I do spritz mine with a combo of 1 cup white vinegar to 1/4 cup hot sauce. Relative to cool time / temp I cook mine to around 200-205F until it all probes tender and then rest for an 30 minutes or so in a cooler. I don’t wrap them at all as they are so well marbled usually I just don’t find a need too.
 

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