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Old 08-04-2006, 04:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Loprraine
I could never make ribs that didnt turn out like shoe leather until I tried this way. The second bake is short, 10 - 15 minutes. I don't like really sticky ribs. The meat falls off the bones. I think wrapping them in foils keeps them tender. But then, what do I know? I'm a banker, not a Chef!
I had the same problem untill I hooked up with some afro american rib chefs.They laughed at me when I told them I boiled mine. One marinates his in whisky. They were great. All of them slow cooked on low using a rub.

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Old 08-04-2006, 04:43 PM   #12
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This is simple meat physics. When protien (lean meat) is raised above 165 degrees, it begins to tighten up and knot together. This also happens in the presence of acids. When the protien strands are heated, they coil together which causes moisture to be pushed out and the mass of meat to sort-of tie itself together microscopically.

With fatty ribs, the meat and connecting tissue break down between the meat fibers, making them seperate more easily, creating tender ribs. Also, the natural collagen found in the connecting tissue helps the texture by creating a viscuous, moist-feeling fluid that is there even when the water moisture is removed. And the viscuous collagen also helps the meat fibers to slide against each other more easily, again aiding the tenderness.

With lean pork, the collagen and fats just aren't there to help with meat texture. Therefore, the meat must not be overcooked (taken much above 150 degrees F.). But it must be cooked slow enough to give the meat that traditional pork rib flavor, whether it is simply the well done pork with salt flavor, or your personal favorite glaze, or rub.

Contrary to popular pork barbecuing techniques, lean ribs can be quickly cooked over a hot, covered grill, or in a hot oven, until the internal meat temperature reads about 140, and be very juicy and tender. They meat won't fall off of the bone, but it will be easy to chew and very flavorful, like pork chops. And if done on the grill, they will pick up the some flavor. But ribs cooked this way, with connecting tissue, gristle, and fat, will be tough and chewy as the gristle and connecting tissue won't have time to break down.

nother problem with the hot/fast method is that rubs and marinades (which usually contain copious amounts of sugar) will rapidly burn before the meat is done. This is why the low and slow methods are so popular. They protect the flavoring agents from overcooking while maintaining tender and juicy meat. And that is also why cheapre cuts of meat, of all kind benifit from low/slow cooking. Cheap ribs with fat and gristle actually come out better than do the lean/pricey cuts with low/slow cooking.

Lean meats benefit from quick, hot cooking methods and rely more on correct internal meat temperature to make them pallatable.

The problem with boiling, or par-boiling lean meats is that water boils at around 212 degrees. This raises the meat temperature well above the desired 150 - 165, relulting in dried out and tough meat. Even sausages can become severely dried out by boiling them. I found that out several weeks ago, the hard way. I won't boil any meat any more.

Simmering, on the oother hand, uses hot water to bring the meat slowly to temperature. The target is well below the boiling temperature. Usually simmering liquids cook at temperatures between 180 to 190 degrees. This allow the heat to do its work, while protecting the food from overheating. But even simmering removes much of the natural meat flavor. So this is best used for bones, skins, and such, things to make broths and stocks.

I remove all meat from the chicken if I'm going to make chicken soups. I use the bones and skins to make the liquid, and add cooked, diced meat to the bowl when serving. That way, the person eating the soup gets well-flavored broth, cooked veggies, and chiken that still has lots of flavor in it. It's more work, but when I'm cooking, great taste is a matter of personal standars. I want my family to have the best I can give them.

Hope this helps.

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Old 08-04-2006, 04:59 PM   #13
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Wow. Thank you.

"All of them slow cooked on low using a rub."

I have a new BBQ, and would like to try cooking them the whole way on the grill over indirect heat. I've never cooked them using a rub. I also got one of those small smoker boxes and chips, so if I'm feeling very adventurous, will try that. I'll check out the grilling and smoking forum here first.
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Old 08-04-2006, 05:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by tjhsu
Thanks for the responses! I didn't realize the wide variety in "ribs", so your questions/insights are spot on

1st time I bought them from a regular supermarket. They were on on sale, and very fatty - some bone but not a lot.

2nd time I bought them from Sam's club - much leaner and looked much higher quality. they were boneless, too.

i may give the foil method a shot. however, i really liked the relative ease of the boil method. seems to only work with the fattier kinds of ribs, though.
Sounds as if you may have bought "country style ribs" both times.

Some country ribs are cut from the loin, and are, therefore, leaner, more tender and are better grilled like a pork chop, or just smoked (or baked) to an internal temp of 140.

Other country ribs are cut from the butt, which is a fattier, tougher area. Those ribs benefit from low and slow cooking, in the oven, or slow cooker, or smoker, to maybe an internal temp of 180.

Around here, the country ribs I see are cut from the loin, so I cook them as such. Internal meat temps are kinda important, if you want moist, tender meats.

Oh, and avoid boiling!

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Old 08-04-2006, 06:52 PM   #15
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I'm with most of you. I dry rub them, cook them covered in the oven until almost done, then toss them on the grill to glaze and 'crunch' them up.
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Old 08-04-2006, 06:55 PM   #16
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...but I'm going to try marinating them in Whiskey, yahoo!
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Old 08-04-2006, 07:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Half Baked
...but I'm going to try marinating them in Whiskey, yahoo!
yes yes yes
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Old 08-19-2006, 03:16 AM   #18
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Bangbang has it spot on, IMHO, low and slow and tightly covered until you want to apply the sauce.
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Old 08-19-2006, 07:36 AM   #19
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I usually get baby back ribs from Sam's and they are gereat. I just put them on indirect heat on my grill after rubbing them with a dry rub, I cook them covered for about 1 hour then baste with my favorite bbq sauce and leave them for another 1/2 hour,
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:27 PM   #20
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I hope Jean doesn't mind - but these are the best ribs ever!


Recipe By :a Chef's Journey via Bon Appetit, July '05
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : GRILLING

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1/2 c packed golden brown sugar
1/2 c apple butter
1/4 c bourbon whiskey
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
3 T. apple cider
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. coarse kosher salt
1 T. packed golden brown sugar
1 1/2 tsps dry mustard
1 1/2 tsps dried thyme
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 2-2 1/4 lb. racks baby back pork ribs
1 lg onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
6 thin rounds peeled fresh ginger
1 1/4 c apple cider

Whisk all ingred. in medium bowl to blend.

Mix first 7 ingred. in small bowl.
Using small sharp knife, loosen membrane from underside of each rib rack & pull off (or score membrane).
Rub 1 T. seasoning mix into each side of each rib rack.
Place ribs in large roasting pan.
Cover & chill at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 325° F.
Lift ribs from pan.
Scatter onion, cinnamon stick, & ginger in pan.
Pour in Cider.
Return ribs, meat side down, to pan; cover pan with foil.
Roast ribs till meat is tender and begins to pull away from bones, about 2 hours.
Uncover; cool at lease 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. (I left longer before using)

Prepare barbecue (med-high heat).
Grill ribs, till heated thru and slightly charred, about 5 min. per side.
Brush generously on all sides with basting sauce.
Grill till sauce becomes sticky glaze, about 3 min. longer per side.
Transfer rib racks to cutting board.
Cut racks tween bones into individual ribs.
Arrange on platter and serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

O.K. - I could not stand to throw the wonderful 'goop' in the bottom of the roasting pan away, so -
I strained the juice and added enuf more cider to make 2 cups. Reduce to ~ 1/2 cup to a nice syrupy sauce.
Pick the cinnamon stick pcs. and ginger pcs. out of the onion and saute the onions till just starting to caramelize.
I served the ribs with no more basting sauce, but topped with the onions and drizzled the reduction over all.

"Be sure to remove the membrane on the underside of the ribs so that the seasonings can penetrate & fully flavor the meat."

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