Gator Ribs

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Original poster
Sep 12, 2006
I got a hold of some Gator ribs for this weekend. Any suggestions on how best to smoke them? Rub recipe? 3-2-1 method still apply? Thanks!
yo greenhead dude,
post before and after pictures.

the mass of meat dictates 3-2-1 or not

when i smoke riblets and ribtips its more of a 2-1-1/2

i have been to the Annhuac, Texas gator fest 2 times.
gator on a stick--
bbq gator--
fried gator--
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)
Rodger, I have to agree with you .. The gator meat is very firm .. last time I had it was 2 years ago .. came with a sauce over pasta .. I would think the ribs would be tougher ..

greenhead, not sure of the gator meat meownself but I have heard it can be somewhat tough. Low and slow is the way to go. And don't be to skimpy with the liquid before foiling them.

BTW, please take a moment and stop by "Roll Call" and introduce yourself. Thanks.
I had gator once on a shish-k-bob, I thought it was tough too, but I thought it was more chickeny than fishy. I didn't really care for it, maybe it was the mental part messing up the taste buds..
I often wonder when gators eats a human if they say 'MMMmmmm, tastes like CHICKEN!!! :mrgreen:
Dutch, I am bitting my lip on that responce.. Knowing that is a family board.. it's best I don't respond.

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.
But maybe they haven't tried smoking them yet. I have often wondered what kind of thinking led the first person to try an oyster on the half shell?

It dam sure wasn't because it just looked and sounded so good :shock:
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
As a card carrying fan of LSU, I can not help but comment on being duped into helping an Auburn fan :evil:

However, it looks like you had a great gator smoke. Congrats :D
If it makes you feel any better, we fed many LSU fans as they walked by our tailgate. We had enough food for about a 100 people.
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!
Interesting old thread brought to today by "Oldtoysrock!"

I smoke and grill alligator now and then as well, and also do high heat and for just a short time.

Somewhere in my photos that exists with wheat-free pasta and pumpkin seed oil and chives and smoked Chardonnay sea salt and it was delicious!

In any event, it's fun to see mention of such today. Enjoy your gator indeed, if you are smoking some! WON-DER-FUL!

Cheers! - Leah is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.