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Recipe File: Barbecue Pork Ribs (Baby Back or Spare)
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Guest






PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I smoke a variety of meats on a regular basis and noticed a few things. There's no smoke ring on the ribs. Did you get a good smokey taste Michael? A smoke ring forms when temps. are below 140. So the longer the meat is under that temp., the stronger the smoke ring (when I compete or want to impress my guests with a nice smoke ring, I always throw the food in the smoker straight from the refrigerator). Since the ribs cooked in about an hour and a half, your temps. were definitely over 300 (my bet would be close to 350). When using wood chips (which is rare, I use wood chunks mostly), I always foil and poke holes in the foil (and throw the foil ball over charcoal or lump wood). That way you don't get a lot of smoke in the beginning but rather a stream of smoke throughout the cook. A lot of the smoke is wasted when it lights up in the beginning. Instead of using your typical hickory or mesquite chips, try using fruit woods. Apple works wonders with pork and gives off a light smokey taste. All in all, the ribs look great.

Erik
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
I smoke a variety of meats on a regular basis and noticed a few things. There's no smoke ring on the ribs.

Thanks Erik. There was actually a 1-2 mm light pink smoke ring on the ribs and plenty of smokiness (for my taste buds). The trouble with smoking on a grill is that a minimum amount of heat must be applied to the side with the wood for it to smoke and this heat carries over to the cooking side, so unfortunately, I can't get the temperature much lower in this particular setup and still have smoke.
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Debi
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 12:31 am    Post subject: BBQ Ribs Reply with quote

I was looking for a great oven baked rib recipe when I came across your web site. I love the recipe...it sounds delightful. I want to cook this for my family while on vacation. However, there is no grill at the condo that we rented and so I would need to cook the ribs in the oven. We are leaving on 7/19. I am cooking for 12 hearty eaters. Would you recommend this for the oven and if so, what adjustments would you make?

Thanks a lot.
Debi
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:30 am    Post subject: Re: BBQ Ribs Reply with quote

Debi wrote:
Would you recommend this for the oven and if so, what adjustments would you make?

You don't want to smoke anything indoors. I recommend trying this recipe for oven baked spare ribs. Reduce the time a bit (maybe an hour) for baby back ribs.
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Bobboblaw
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 2:54 am    Post subject: The Membrane Reply with quote

I hate the membrane. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but after years of making ribs I always have trouble removing it. If the method he describes does not work for you, or if it starts peeling off unevenly try using some needle-nosed pliers. I know it feels odd using a tool like that on something you are eating, but think about it, it makes sense. You're already spending hours of time to cook meat on a bone only to gnaw it off later, the opportunity to use something out of your toolbox to expedite the process and improve the end result will make you feel manlier than ever.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:41 am    Post subject: Re: The Membrane Reply with quote

Bobboblaw wrote:
If the method he describes does not work for you, or if it starts peeling off unevenly try using some needle-nosed pliers.

You should have a pair of needle nose pliers in the kitchen as part of your kit anyway. It helps with not only membrane removal, but also for extracting bones from salmon fillets.
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Jim-FL
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 8:21 pm    Post subject: Smoke Ring Reply with quote

Given that water is a byproduct of propane combustion and the target temperature for BBQ is just above the boiling point for water, could the steam produced by combustion be condensing and pulling smoke out of the air, thus causing the smaller smoke ring?
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Guest






PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim (the post above), there are many water smokers out in the market that use water has a heat sink (some people think water is used to keep the meat moist, but I say otherwise [you can easily over boil chicken into something dry and gnarly]) so your theory can not be true. When doing small amounts of food (maybe a rack or 2 of babybacks or st. louis style ribs), I too, add water to my smoker in order to keep the temps. at a steady 225 (at the grate). Never once have I had an issue with lack of a smoke ring.

One thing I forgot to mention above is that I always rub pork right before throwing it on the smoker. I first salt the meat, wait about 15 minutes and then use a dry rub (the moisture that comes from salting the pork acts as a glue to help adhere the rub to the meat). If you let salt sit on pork for over a few hours (such as what Michael recommends above in his recipe), you risk the meat having a "hammy taste."

Erik
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Guest






PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do my ribs on a triple burner gas grill, utilizing one burner to provide the heat. As far as wood chips go, i take the flange above the burner, turn it over to create a metal "pan" and place my dry chips on it.

This flange heats up nicely and, since I have removed the portion of the grate that is above the burner, I can easily add more chips as needed when I rotate my ribs.

I use a drip pan under the ribs filled with apple juice, or wine, or whatever I feel like, and I spray my ribs about every half hour with an apple cider/apple vinegar mix.

I bought an inexpensive probe thermometer, skewer a potato with it, and place it where the ribs are to get a good air temperature reading right where the ribs are. mine holds a temp at the lowest flame setting of 217 degrees during an Arizona Summer. (hell I am already halfway there before I start....)

All in all I have been pretty satisfied with my ribs, but one day I have to make that leap and actually invest in a real smoker, probably a Weber Smoky Mountain (WSM) to start.

One more thing, I rub a small amount of mustard on my ribs before applying the rub to act as a glue. I do not think it affects the taste, and have seen this done at many BBQ competitions.

Nice job, Michael. keep the posts coming!

Dean
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jlewis30
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:41 pm    Post subject: sweating and resting the meat Reply with quote

To get a really great tender texture, wrap the finished hot ribs in foil and put them in a paper bag, fold the bag so that the ribs are all snug (I duct tape it all together, but I am wacky like that). Let them rest and sweat for an hour or so. This step is from the Cooks Illustrated Best Recipes (or more best recipes or new best recipies, whatever) and I find it works marvelously no matter how else I change the steps (like oven or grill).
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Guest





PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:52 pm    Post subject: Baking them the night before Reply with quote

I am having a BBQ on July 4th and plan on serving spare ribs. I've used your oven recipe, throwing them on the grill just before serving, and they've turned out perfect. I am wondering if I can bake the ribs the day before, refrigerate them, then throw them on the grill to heat them up before serving. Do you think the texture or flavor would be compromised?

There are a lot of people coming and I would just like to do as many things as possible ahead of time. Thank you so much for your help!
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Baking them the night before Reply with quote

Guest wrote:
I am having a BBQ on July 4th and plan on serving spare ribs. I've used your oven recipe, throwing them on the grill just before serving, and they've turned out perfect. I am wondering if I can bake the ribs the day before, refrigerate them, then throw them on the grill to heat them up before serving. Do you think the texture or flavor would be compromised?

The flavor and texture should be fine. I'd mostly be concerned about serving ribs that might have a cold piece of bone in it. This all depends on how long you plan on reheating over the grill. If you do a short grill time, then you might consider wrapping the ribs up in foil and setting them in the oven on the lowest temperature (or on the grill over indirect heat) for a thirty minutes to an hour to heat through (depending on how you stacked the ribs when you wrapped them up).
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dfbuyert@hotmail.com
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:08 pm    Post subject: griilled ribs Reply with quote

this recipe was great!!! but if you are in a hurry and have to work than this may help. Take frozen ribs out and lace them in roasting pan or oven. Cover with beer add 2 tbls liquid smoke per rack. Add meat tenderizer and seasoning. Cook for four hours then place on grill. When you flip ribs add bbq sauce and grill to desired texture. Ribs will literally fall of the bone
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1013
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

to an adroit & practiced rib griller, my "method" is pure heresy.
okay, I accept that - but "my way" works for me - you get to be your own grilling critic.

(note: the thread addresses baby back ribs and spare ribs - I don't do baby backs. not enough meat on the bones to make it worth the time, but that's just me. I look for the country style ribs - loosely spare ribs with the extra bit on top....)

(second note: we prefer "wet ribs" - if you're a dry rib, no compromises, exit thread now.)

ribs, comma biggies/thickies. my basic rub is kosher salt/pepper/garlic powder/onion powder/and I threaten the mix with cayenne pepper for zing. I'm not a burn off yo' lips guy, so I go light on the heat.

remove silver skin; I leave all the fat on the ribs - trim not, tastier more.

sprinkle ribs liberally and "rub in" - yeah, the rub in bit makes a difference....a thirty second step not to be omitted.

wrap the ribs in heavy duty aluminum foil - interior rib side _up_. that's a factor because the rub/seasonings needs to puddle around the bits you eat.

bake in an oven at 300'F for 2.5 hours in a pan but on a rack so heat gets to all sides/surfaces.

at the end of the bake cycle, the meat is cooked - to the point of falling off the bone. further handling requires wide implements - be prepared - picking up a rack by the <end> / < whatever> produces "pieces of rack"

my "finish" depends on the weather and to what degree of effort I'm prepared to exert.

prelim: remove ribs from oven, open. when unwrapping the rib racks, you'll find a bunch of water/liquid in the bottom of the foil. puncture foil, capture liquid.

mad method #1:

while the rib are resting, jack up the oven to max - 450'F-550'F - depends on what your oven will do. while the oven is heating, put the captured juices in a sauce pan, add a batch of your favorite bbq sauce, mix & reduce.

(note: everyone has their own favorite sauce - use yours for best results)

put the ribs back on the rack, into the hottest oven, continue for 20 minutes or so until the ribs are dry, then swab down the ribs with the sauce. continue to bake/cook for another 20-30 minutes.

mad method #2:
in the last 30 minutes of oven low temp cooking, fire up the grill. I'm a lump charcoal type. get it going hot and wild.

capture, add bbq sauce, reduce as above. put the racks on the grill - 5 minutes +/- per side. slather with sauce, cook 10-15 minutes until the sauce is gumming up crispy.

I've been to St Louis; been the the famous joint in the basement that does only dry ribs (but the beer pitchers were good...) we still prefer wet ones. your preferences and mileage may vary.
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JLM



Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:34 pm    Post subject: grilled ribs Reply with quote

I just found this site. I did a search for an explanation of the USDA beef ratings and yours was one of the hits. What I've seen so far looks great.

I know people have various different ways of making ribs fall off the bone, and they usually seem to involve slow cooking in the oven or something similar. I've got a way to do it entirely on the grill. So far I've only done this with baby backs.

I prepare the ribs in a similar manner to the way described by Michael Chu. I like to brush them with a little olive oil before I dry rub them, and then I stick them in the fridge overnight (or for a few hours that morning if it is a last minute plan). The dry rubs that I've used have been comercially available ones such as the Durkee or McCormick chicken/rib varieties, and I've been happy with the results. I'll have to try the one from the grilled pork chops recipe next time.

I grill exclusively over charcoal. I make a nice bed of coals and drop the pan as low as it will go to keep as much distance as possible between the meat and the coals. I also close up the vents most of the way to keep the heat low. My grill has a thermometer in the hood, and I try to keep it as low as I can. I cook directly over the coals, but I don't really have any problem with flare ups at these low heats, especially with the lid closed most of the time and the vents closed up most of the way. I think this is a much bigger problem with the constant flame of a gas grill. Cook the ribs on one side for about an hour (less if you can't keep the heat down enough to prevent burning), then do the other side for about an hour.

For this last part I usually try to warm the grill up a bit by raising the coals and/or letting it breathe a little more. I pour some apple juice in an aluminum turkey pan, and I usually cut the ribs in half and stand them up in a row in the pan. Cover up with aluminum foil and put it on the grill for at least an hour- the longer they are in there the more tender they will get. Make sure that the juice doesn't dry up if you leave it on there for a long time. The apple juice steams the meat, and I believe the acids in it help to break down the flesh and make it fall apart. The apple also adds to the flavor. This last part could also be done in an oven.

They are good as-is if you like them dry, or with a bbq sauce of your liking.
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