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Would like to improve appearance, ribs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by whisky, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Hi all, long time since I've visited.

    I'd like a few tips on how to make my ribs more appetizing in appearance.  Weather I smoke them or grill them or just bake them they taste great but I'm wanting to make them look a little more "resteraunt style"  In other words, I'd like them to have more of a red color instead of brown. Also, how do I give them that  "candy apple" look where the sauce is just glazed.

    I'm using a homemade rub with paprika, brown sugar and assorted spices and they usually have more of brown color and not red.

    Any ideas?


  2. bacardi

    bacardi Fire Starter

    Simply add double or triple the paprika.  You add honey into the BBQ sauce, ballpark a 20-25% ratio of honey to BBQ sauce. :)
  3. Thanks, gonna try that!
  4. bacardi

    bacardi Fire Starter

    Forget to add, you need to heat up the sauce/honey in a pan for 30 seconds or heat it up in a bowl in a microwave or else it won't mix well.  Let us know how it turns out.
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    One thing about the glaze/sauce you should only add it at the last 30 minutes or so and then it will look more like a shiny glaze then a thick sauce. Adding honey or molasses is also a good thing too. Now for the internal colo I take it you might want to use a hickory or even a pecan that should maybe deepen the red/ smoke ring color that you are looking for.
  6. Yep, I 'm using hickory chips!

    10/4 on the sauce.

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  7. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Personally I use turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) in my rub instead of brown sugar and I find it doesn't burn and turn as dark. I have started adding brown sugar when I put them into the foil stage.
  8. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Also , To get that sheen you are looking for. add a stick of butter to your sauce w/ the honey and heat well.
  9. Save the sugar (all kinds) for the dessert course ~~~~~~

    Sauce/Glaze (add sweetness?) during the last 15-30 minutes ~~~~~~~~~~

  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

  11. Thanks for all the help, they turned out great!  I used the honey and butter.  

    I smoked a couple slabs and then baked a couple slabs.  The smoked had much more flavor although the baked were tender.  I prefer the smoked as they have better texture.  One other thing I did change this time was I didn't put any mustard on before the rub, just put the rub right on.  I think they turned out better this way.

    Anyway, thanks for all your tips, this site is great!
  12. bacardi

    bacardi Fire Starter

    Thanks for the follow up.  Honey gives plenty of shine, butter can't add to that yet you could use it in place of the butter for shine.  Butter sure tastes good and is really rich vs a thinner BBQ glaze.  My advice to you, try 3-2-1, three hours smoked, two hours is normally foiled, I've just switched to oven bags with outstanding results for the most moist and tender ribs ever and last hour unfoiled/unbagged on the smoker.
  13. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    +1 for the Turbinado sugar as well, it is supposed withstand the heat better than other sugar.
  14. bacardi

    bacardi Fire Starter

    For the pro-Turbinado sugar guys...Do you you foil and use sauce?  I bought a box of Turbinado and made four racks.  I'm sure I could do some research, but I had difficulty getting the turbinado to stay on the ribs...Every time I'd touched the ribs with the tongs seem like a good bit would flake off...Since I foiled, which alters the bark and cover in sauce, I didn't think turbinado made any difference vs brown sugar.  Yet I'd guess it would be much different if you do not foil and do not use sauce (dry). :)
  15. rowdyrawhide

    rowdyrawhide Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I do foil my ribs, and I also use brown sugar in some of my rib rubs if I know I am going to foil them.  I don't typically foil my butts and briskets, and I only use Turbinado for those rubs.  I don't "sauce" any of my meats normally ( I am a dry kind of guy) however I do use mops that i can spray on with a squirt bottle.  As far as falling off when you touch them with the tongs, I usually put my rub an hour or two (sometimes 12 to 24 hours) ahead in advance and the rub seems to draw some of the juices out of the meat and stays on pretty good for me. Are you adding the sugar after the rest of your rub or do you mix it all together?

    Hope this helps.

  16. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Stop touching the ribs and the sugar won't "flake off".[​IMG]

    The turbinado sugar crystals are coarser and not as moist as brown sugar crystals, brown sugar being refined white sugar and molasses, so they dont "stick" as well. As for color, my rib rub ratio for sugar, paprika and chili powder is 2:1:1 which gives me a nice dark red/mahogany color.
  17. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well I use a Hungarian paprika that is bright red. If you buy in bulk, use in bulk. If your paprika, cyanne and chili powders lose that moist, fluffy texture or they start turning a dull color, toss 'em and get some new stuff. Old spice is great for aftershave but terrible on food.

    I just did a foil with some rum and then glazed with a 50/50 mix of sweet baby rays sauce and rum right at the end, like ten minutes before I pulled to serve..


  18. bacardi

    bacardi Fire Starter

    Thanks guys.  I did replace the turbinado with my brown sugar and mixed it into the rub.  I just am not seeing a benefit to turbinado if you foil and use a sauce.  I would see a benefit if you like dry ribs.
  19. You know guys, I've tried the 3-2-1, actually, 2-2-1 (at 225F) for baby backs and they came out OK.  This time I broke the rules and put the ribs in the smoker for 2 hours at 250F, sauced them and into the oven for 30 min.  These are the best ribs I've ever done. The 2 hours at 250F in the smoker put a little crust on the ribs that went well with the BBQ sauce.  Everything tasted twice as good the next day!
  20. bacardi

    bacardi Fire Starter

    The one thing the oven can do is hold heat and has a window which satisfies the urge to "peek".  Open something thin metal such as weber kettle and it'll take a while climb back to your desired temps.  :)