Heritage high fat content ribs

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RME

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Jul 28, 2022
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My standard way of making St Louis ribs is 2 hours in smoker, wrap in foil with a half cup of hard cider for an hour, then unwrap and about 2 to 3 more hours in smoker. And all at 225F. I also salt and rub day before. And I make a sauce from liquid from the wrap.

Usually I use ribs from BJs, a weirdly named local CostCo equivalent.

This time I used a local heritage pork from local butcher. Not nearly as lean as modern genetically engineered pork.

The ribs seemed done, but there were large blobs of not rendered fat in finished product.

So wonder if anyone has experience with this, and how I might do it better useing old school high fat content pork.
 
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schlotz

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In the past I've had a rack similar to what you've described. Not certain there is a solution. Obviously more time can help render but there will be a point the meat becomes overcooked. As I recall, mine were also St. Louis and from a named provider I was unfamiliar with. Chalked it up to that particular rack but also have not purchased more of that brand since.
 

RME

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Thanks for reply. It didn't quite pass the "break test" of picking up the rack by one end and seeing if the meat between the ribs break open - which people seem to recommend over temperature. But they were also at 200F internal temperature and I didn't want to risk overcooking.

If I try again with heritage pork will smoke at 200F and see if longer and lower helps.

Have cured and smoked fresh high fat content ham from same butcher and it worked out well.

For anyone in upstate NY Capital region, it's Fred the Butcher, a place I very much recommend.
 

912smoker

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Thanks for reply. It didn't quite pass the "break test" of picking up the rack by one end and seeing if the meat between the ribs break open - which people seem to recommend over temperature. But they were also at 200F internal temperature and I didn't want to risk overcooking.

If I try again with heritage pork will smoke at 200F and see if longer and lower helps.

Have cured and smoked fresh high fat content ham from same butcher and it worked out well.

For anyone in upstate NY Capital region, it's Fred the Butcher, a place I very much recommend.
I think that my be the answer RME.
I do the bend test and they usually temp closer to 203-205. But that's just my opinion. Lots of ribs pros on here(not me) like SmokinAl SmokinAl as Doug said to help.

Keith
 

SmokinAl

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I will say right off, that I have never smoked heritage ribs, but have made Berkshire bacon. It was noticeably fattier than my normal bellies. That being said I would think with all the internal fat in those ribs they would benefit from a long slow cook without wrapping. The internal fat breakdown will keep the meat moist & tender. If you want, just send me a couple of racks & I’ll experiment!:emoji_sunglasses:
Al
 
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SmokinAl

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I would smoke at 225. Just don’t wrap them. Might want to mop or spritz them every 45 minutes or so. I just use ACV, raw sugar & apple juice. It’s crazy that you get what you think is going to be the best ever & It turns out not so good. Made plenty of meals that were not up to my standards & ended up in the pond behind my house. The fish & turtles love me!
Al
 
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RME

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Thanks again. Mostly when I am smoking it's for a crowd and I've spent for a prime brisket, or several racks of ribs etc. So there is a lot of pressure that it's at least OK and that it's ready on time.
 

RME

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Made heritage St Louis ribs again and followed SmokinAl's advice - salt, rub, 225F, and cooked until it passed the bend test. Final temp was a little over 200F.

It worked out well. Yhe heritage ribs had more fat and meat than CostCo ribs. So I needed to cook them longer. I just got nervous and didn't cook them long enough. Thanks to everyone that replied.
 
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3montes

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The fact that it’s a heritage breed does not automatically make it better. Much depends on how long and how it was raised and what it was fed. A heritage breed pig in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand how to raise them or a processor who doesn’t use best practice in the slaughter and processing of the animal will result in inferior final product.

I have had pork belly from a Cheshire hog and it was superb. Perfect balance of lean and fat. The lean was ruby red and the fat was as silky as the bed sheets in a high end brothel! :emoji_sunglasses: Clearly both the farmer and processor knew what they were doing.

Sounds like you worked it out but I would try running at a higher temp maybe 250 to 270. The fat content should allow the rib to easily handle it. Also try to forego the wrap and extra moisture and just let them ride and spritz every hour or so.
 

RME

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Well to be honest I don't know personally about fat content - butcher told me and I assumed there was a connection. And yes spritzing and not wrapping worked out better.