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Experiment: Wrap Early, Wrap Late, No Wrap Country Pork Ribs

offsetNick

Newbie
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Joined Jul 3, 2020
Pork Country cut ribs
Individual cut


I needed something to experiment with mesquite

Anyway,
Probed 3 indvidual ribs
Ran at 250-275F offset smoker,
Lump Char and chunks of mesquite & oak
Large water pan
Small pieces so total cook time was 3.5 hrs to 195F on average

1) Wrapped 155F,
2) Wrapped 165F,
3) No Wrap

1 was fall of the bone tender, but no chew
2 was dry
3 was silky smooth with a bit of a chew

3 was the winner
 

bigfurmn

Meat Mopper
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Joined Feb 25, 2016
I've never personally wrapped ribs but I'm cheating and running a pellet popper. Was your unwrapped more over the water pan than the others? What did you wrap them with? I'm sure someone smarter than me will explain this but that's very interesting to me!
 

offsetNick

Newbie
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4
Joined Jul 3, 2020
I've never personally wrapped ribs but I'm cheating and running a pellet popper. Was your unwrapped more over the water pan than the others? What did you wrap them with? I'm sure someone smarter than me will explain this but that's very interesting to me!
evenly placed in a uniform temp zone ,
all equal to the 1/2 sheet tin pan full of water next tot the fire in the offset.
tin foil

I guess what im trying to determine is;

does good slow cooked meat have to do with juices that are left behind, kept in, or injected....
or is it the complete melting of collagen to gelatin at making the meat feel silky smooth tender
even with moisture loss due to not wrapping.
 

offsetNick

Newbie
12
4
Joined Jul 3, 2020
evenly placed in a uniform temp zone ,
all equal to the 1/2 sheet tin pan full of water next tot the fire in the offset.
tin foil

I guess what im trying to determine is;

does good slow cooked meat have to do with juices that are left behind, kept in, or injected....
or is it the complete melting of collagen to gelatin at making the meat feel silky smooth tender
even with moisture loss due to not wrapping.
today I will try ribs one wrapped early, one not wrapped till

good read
.

"THE CHALLENGE IN COOKING MEAT
We like our meat tender and juicy at the same time...
We therefore want our meat to be cooked tender where tough collagen is converted to gelatin but with a minimum loss of moisture. The reality is that these methods are contracdictory and hence the challenge or dilemma to cooking meats. To minimize moisture loss requires temperatures less than 130F, however .turning collagen into gelatin requires temperatures above 160F and for extended time periods. As moisture evaporates, the meat begins to shrink. A slab can lose 20% or more of its weight in cooking due to shrinkage. Even meat cooked in liquid will dry out although not as quickly. So we are faced with a dilemma. To liquefy the collagen we need to cook the meat to 180F and hold it there for for long periods of time. But by then it is well past well-done and the muscle fibers can be dryed out. As a result, we need to add moisture.
 

SmokinAl

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Great experiment!
I think most of us are getting away from wrapping ribs. I don’t wrap butts, or briskets either, unless I’m short on time & have a bunch of hungry folks standing around asking “Are they done yet?”
Al
 

HalfSmoked

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Waiting your final opinion. I have not wrapped anything.

Warren
 

offsetNick

Newbie
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Joined Jul 3, 2020
Waiting your final opinion. I have not wrapped anything.

Warren
As with most prcesses,
One change in one variable and an experiment can be cast to the side for another day.
I started the fire, prepped the meat and then my niece came over because she wanted to help.
We added a few things to the menu which over stuffed the grill and the controlled experiment
was shot to Sh-- as we kept opening the pit to check, spray and educate.
Needless to say control went out the window, the ribs cooked at different rates
and air flow. We wrapped both near the end of the cook at estimated 180-185F
when technically the collagen should be done converting to gelatin and held to estimated 195-200F.
Basically 4hrs at 275F (+/- 10F) unwrapped and 1 hr wrapped.
Both were good, including a small pice of pork belly (all prep, trimming, and rub done by 10yr old niece).
It was a great day as Sisi did most of the fire management.
Ofcouse a bit of excitement when she placed the warm end of her "Pit Stick" next to the pit rag.
 

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HalfSmoked

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All comes down to a learning curve young or old. Great to see the young trying.

Warren
 
Last edited:

smokerjim

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Good to experiment to see what you like better, personally I never wrap
 

Winterrider

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It was a great day as Sisi did most of the fire management.
Ofcouse a bit of excitement when she placed the warm end of her "Pit Stick" next to the pit rag.
[/QUOTE]

Whoops, sounds like fun thought. . .
 

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