Never tried the ribs off a gator, but the meat that I have eaten had a pretty definite fish taste. I would probably go with a spicy cajun/caribean jerk type rub. Something to really make a statement :D The other thing is the meat that I ate was pretty solid, so I probably would plan on going 3-2-1 or some modified set of #'s. Just to make sure you get tendered up good. Serve plenty of beer and rum drinks and everyone should love it 8)
Gator ribs are best when smoked on top of a brisket. You take your gator ribs and coat them real good with your favorite seasoning. Put the ribs on top of your brisket inside your smoker at 225F. Several times during the smoking process spray the gator ribs with apple cider allowing some of the seasoning to wash off down onto your brisket. After 10-12 hours of smoking take the brisket with the gator ribs on top out of your smoker. Carefully take the gator ribs off of the brisket and place into a plastic bag that you close up with a bag tie. Now take the brisket and serve it as you normally would to your family and friends. The next day deposit the bag with the gator ribs into your outside garbage. That will be as good as it usually gets with gator ribs. 8) Most people eat the tail meat of gators.
Alright. Our experiment with Gator ribs was pretty successful. We smoked up 20lbs of them for the Auburn-LSU game yesterday. We also cooked up two rib rolls, some vidalia onions, and some bacon wrapped water chestnuts and bacon wrapped shrimp.
As for the gators, here's what we did.
I made up a jerk rib rub Friday. In it was onion flakes, onion powder, thyme, powdered sugar (realized at the last second I didn't have any granular sugar...doubt it mattered)), dried chives, salt, allspice, black pepper, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The gator ribs came Friday afternoon at about 4:00 from a farm in Louisiana, killed "fresh to order" the previous day. Or, so we were told.
We rubbed the ribs and wrapped them individually in plastic until the next day. Around 8am the next day we started putting them in the smoker. At about 2 hours, they were looking pretty done, so we removed them,added a pineapple-jalapeno glaze that I reduced the evening before (juice from two pineapples through my juicer, about 4 cups), brown sugar, black pepper, apple cider vinegar, and 3 jalapenos, seeded but with the membranes still attached. The ribs were wrapped in foil, and placed back on the smoker for about an hour.
We took them out of the foil and put them back on the smoker for another 30 minutes or so.
The verdict? Most people said they really liked them and requested we do them again. The rub/glaze combo was amazing, but personally, I wasn't impressed with the overall meat quality. I think we overcooked them a little as they almost developed a jerky texture to them. The meat, what little there was, under this "skin" was pretty decent, though. The rib "bones" were more like cartlidge.
As for photos, here's a slew of them. Let the page load, scroll to the bottom, and work your way back up. Gator Meat
I've been reading the various methods of cooking Gatorade's or any kind type of gator for that matter. The mistake everyone seems to be making is that they think of gator like it is pork. When cooking it nothing could be further from the truth. Think of gator as a FISh, and cook it as such. The reason everyone complains how tough or jerky like it gets is because you are vastly overcooking it just like if you cook fish the same way. When I make gator ribs I will put them on a very high heat as they are extremely lean. Less all of the fat, they are less inclined to burn. On high heat I would flip them over at the four minute mark with a dry rub. Then if you choose to use a wet rub as well, I would give them an additional two minutes per side. I think if you try this, your results are going to be vastly better.
Here's to Good cooking!