Morton's extra tender for ribs

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joeyc

Newbie
Original poster
Jan 22, 2017
12
10
Indiana
I've been somewhat unsuccessful at getting a competitive look to my ribs, they always appear dark or the smoke ring isn't as noticeable. I've heard that Morton's extra tender helps the smoke ring, but I've never used a curing salt like Prague powder or Morton's. I was going to cure a ham and turkey but haven't got around to it yet and was curious if this also works on ribs,pull, and brisket for smoke rings? I use salt before I apply any ribs which have little to no salt in them anyhow but how much is too much and how long does it need to sit to start the reaction of the nitrates and nitrites?
Also if anyone can share some tips on color appearance for that red competition look for ribs it'd be greatly appreciated. I might end up swallowing my pride and buy a a spot in a class but would prefer not to. I know I make good que, just missing a few key things
Thanks in advance
 
What kind of smoker do you have?

If you have an electric smoker, you won't get a smoke ring at all.

Yes you will get a fake smoke ring by soaking the ribs for 24 hours in a curing brine.

Al
 
It was a little advice someone had given me. I have a wsm I mainly use. I get a smoke ring but like for brisket I was told to have that big ring sprinkle like a 1/4 tsp on each side ...Wasn't told how long to let it set though
 
Why do you care about the smoke ring? It doesn't affect the flavor, and the color I believe is all in the rub.
 
It was a little advice someone had given me. I have a wsm I mainly use. I get a smoke ring but like for brisket I was told to have that big ring sprinkle like a 1/4 tsp on each side ...Wasn't told how long to let it set though
Yes, it can be done, however, when the Morton's Tender Quick is used on the meat, and the color change happens, you have begun curing the exterior of the meat itself, that's what is going to fake your ring.  That will also change the flavor on that outer portion of the meat.

If you feel that you must do this, rub ~1/4 tsp on each side and let it sit for a couple of hours, rinse well, and then apply your rub and smoke as usual.

Like others have said, the ring is just for pretty, it doesn't add anything else.
 
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Lipstick on a Pig,  It gets complicated but the smoke ring come from charcoal/wood smoke and heat. Electric smokers don't get the smoke ring

Its all for looks doesn't effect the flavor at all. Like CB said if you start using TQ you will change the flavor, Which is not a bad thing but you wont get that true smoked rib flavor you are looking for.

If you like the taste of you ribs don't change a thing

Gary
 
Thanks guys, I do like the flavor of my ribs but I guess I'm trying to overthink and thinking twice about my cooking skills when in comparison to competition teams or restaurant style que. I want to make people happy with the food. I don't want to be another mediocre BBQ joint or cook. I try to make the best I can but seems to always not be aesthetically pleasing enough to me and as far as taste goes it's good but always seems like it's not the best it could be
I thought that maybe the TQ would help up my game and give my ribs or brisket a better chance at the taste and look I want them to have. I haven't taken any BBQ classes as of yet. I pretty much just have been at for last 3 years trying to perfect my skills better. Maybe I'm missing something or as my wife has said overthink it and making a good thing bad by trying to make it like others? I sure do appreciate all the insight and advice from you veterans.
 
Hey Joey, I been smoking and grilling for over 40 years, There are are just a couple of simple things. First Get to know your smoker. And decide what flavor profile you and your family like. There are so many variations and flavors it's hard to say this is the right one.

I don't like injecting and a lot of strange flavors. I keep it simple.  One you are turning out consistent BBQ the way you like, then experiment. That way you have something to base it on.

Gary
 
Hey Joey, I been smoking and grilling for over 40 years, There are are just a couple of simple things. First Get to know your smoker. And decide what flavor profile you and your family like. There are so many variations and flavors it's hard to say this is the right one.
I don't like injecting and a lot of strange flavors. I keep it simple.  One you are turning out consistent BBQ the way you like, then experiment. That way you have something to base it on.

Gary

Better advice could not be given, Gary. Point.
 
Another thing I can add. Is I am my own worst critic!!!! And by the sounds of it you are as well. Most people I know are when it comes to their own cooking. Unless someone comes right out and criticizes your food....... Then yes that could be a kick in the......  And as Gary said below.... It is great advice.
 
Hey Joey, I been smoking and grilling for over 40 years, There are are just a couple of simple things. First Get to know your smoker. And decide what flavor profile you and your family like. There are so many variations and flavors it's hard to say this is the right one.

I don't like injecting and a lot of strange flavors. I keep it simple.  One you are turning out consistent BBQ the way you like, then experiment. That way you have something to base it on.

Gary
You can't please everyone and there is no need to.  
 
 
Another thing I can add. Is I am my own worst critic!!!! And by the sounds of it you are as well. Most people I know are when it comes to their own cooking. Unless someone comes right out and criticizes your food....... Then yes that could be a kick in the......  And as Gary said below.... It is great advice.

You can't please everyone and there is no need to.  
More words of Wisdom ......
biggrin.gif
    I do try to please everyone. As I said get your basics down Then "Ask" and tell them to be honest what they liked or didn't like, What could you do next time to make em better ?

When I cook Ribs for the whole Family I fix several variations #2 son and one grandson likes dry and spicy, Wife and Daughter-in-law like wet and sweet, Other grandson likes wet, a little sweet and spicy, I like "Well it Depends on my mood" but most of the time a "little" wet, a "little sweet and real spicy.  Not hard to do at all

Gary
 
 
...As I said get your basics down Then "Ask" and tell them to be honest what they liked or didn't like, What could you do next time to make em better ?....
Another case of truer words couldn't be spoken.  Crawl before trying to walk, walk before trying to run.  The smoke ring will come with the right techniques and experience--don't try to fake it just for aesthetic reasons
 
if you want a red color on your ribs try using a thin layer of sauce. i have a recipe that will give a nice red sheen and tastes great.

candy apple red sauce
Code:
1/2 stick margerine1 cup ketchup1/4 cup AC vinegar1/4 cup turbinado sugar1 Tbsp salt 2 tsp black pepper2 tsp garlic2 Tbsp paprika (mild)
mix in a sauce pan and bring to a low boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. let cool and marry in the fridge for a couple hours.

apply to your ribs about 30 minutes before finished and since it has turbinado sugar in it doesn't burn easily. 

below is some pics of what it looks like...

the middle pic is a chicken with that sauce




nice color and great taste!

Hope this helps,

phatbac (Aaron)
 
if you want a red color on your ribs try using a thin layer of sauce. i have a recipe that will give a nice red sheen and tastes great.

candy apple red sauce
Code:
1/2 stick margerine
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup AC vinegar
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 Tbsp salt 
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic
2 Tbsp paprika (mild)

mix in a sauce pan and bring to a low boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. let cool and marry in the fridge for a couple hours.

apply to your ribs about 30 minutes before finished and since it has turbinado sugar in it doesn't burn easily. 

below is some pics of what it looks like...
the middle pic is a chicken with that sauce







nice color and great taste!

Hope this helps,
phatbac (Aaron)

Those look great Aaron! I'll give your recipe a shot. I've been using rib candy and blues hog or victory Lane but still doesn't have that competitive look yk...Let me give your stuff a try. Thanks for sharing my friend
 
Another case of truer words couldn't be spoken.  Crawl before trying to walk, walk before trying to run.  The smoke ring will come with the right techniques and experience--don't try to fake it just for aesthetic reasons

I'm not so much worried about smoke ring on my ribs they are usually pretty noticeable but when I cook brisket in a pan it only slightly leaves a ring around top of point and flat. Seems like the point takes more smoke too probably due to being fattier?
 
More words of Wisdom ......:biggrin:     I do try to please everyone. As I said get your basics down Then "Ask" and tell them to be honest what they liked or didn't like, What could you do next time to make em better ?

When I cook Ribs for the whole Family I fix several variations #2 son and one grandson likes dry and spicy, Wife and Daughter-in-law like wet and sweet, Other grandson likes wet, a little sweet and spicy, I like "Well it Depends on my mood" but most of the time a "little" wet, a "little sweet and real spicy.  Not hard to do at all

Gary

It's very true I am a perfectionist and my own worst critic I feel if I wouldn't brag home about them why should anyone else yk...I solely want to impress people all over the world to make a trip to try my bbq. I have a bbq bucket list so I want people to have me on theirs as well. It's all about the bragging rights, hey have you tried circle city's Smokehouse BBQ? It's fantastic, a must if you are a bbq fanatic..
I'm like u I like a tad bit wet and sweet n spicy. I also love Memphis dry it's a toss up lol
 
I'm not so much worried about smoke ring on my ribs they are usually pretty noticeable but when I cook brisket in a pan it only slightly leaves a ring around top of point and flat. Seems like the point takes more smoke too probably due to being fattier?
You mentioned cooking brisket in a pan:  why?  Describe that process. Mine go straight to the grates at about 275 so smoke can completely envelop the meat, and here's the result:  no, your fingernails won't turn blue, like my daughter's. 
biggrin.gif



If the flat is on bottom, you're shutting off the smoke's access to it.  If you're not trimming down the fat cap to around a quarter-inch, you may also be blocking off the point as the fat renders down.  Put it directly on the grates, trim some of the fat away, and trust the process.  It's nothing difficult or fancy:  can it be frustrating at times?  Absolutely, but sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on the methods--stick with them.  There really aren't too many legitimate shortcuts that you can take.  Remember, the smoke ring is largely had within about the first 4 hours of a cook--there's not much really done aesthetically after that in the way of a smoke ring.   My $0.02.

Fill me in on the pan aspect when you have a minute.  Thanks.
 
The pan I guess I should've cleared up a bit, I sear really high heat then put it in a pan like the smokyokie method..It allows the au jus to build and the brisket sets in it probably retaining a little moisture from it, I'm not a pro but it came out good I thought I might let it go on the grates as u mentioned for a little while before panning it that way I can flip and allow the smoke to absorb on both sides. I just wondered if perhaps the searing solidified the proteins that forms a barrier not allowing the smoke ring to penetrate as deeply
 
Searing absolutely seals the meat: that's why steaks done this way over uber hot grills retain their moisture. Brisket is just the opposite: you want the juices and fat to largely render out, thus producing very tender meat. Once you've seared it, adios smoke absorption, hello hello tough unrendered beef. My $0.02.
 
I'm thinking of maybe throwing it on grates low temp for an hr or 2 flipping then searing and then panning it. The brisket I did was hot n fast. My second time trying that method without any help or class mind you lol, I took a little advice on it and I think if I do it a little different next time around I'll achieve the desired finish I'm looking for. It really was moist but it was done a little early even for hot n fast and the bottom of the flat and point was breaking away
So I think it could've used a tad more moisture for sure. It passed the bend test barely. Had great flavor and I didn't inject like some of the recipes call for
I didn't want to waste my oak ridge injection on it until I found I was happy with it
 
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