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Old 08-06-2011, 02:03 PM   #1
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Smoking Ribs- question.

I am going to smoke my ribs for the first time today. In the past I have pre-cooked in rub in the oven, and then finished on the grill. Today is my first attempt at smoking from raw state.
I need to know if I put the ribs bones up or bones down???
I also want to know how long I will need to smoke them?
I was going to get a charcoal grill, but decided just to use the gas grill I have. My hickory chips are soaking, my ribs are rubbed, and I think I am almost ready to go. Thanks in advance, anyone who can help!!!

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Old 08-06-2011, 02:30 PM   #2
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Hi chopper, if you're determined to smoke the ribs on the gas grill, LOL, guess the first thing I should say is 'good luck'! Here's why.
To get really tasty smoked ribs, you need to maintain a heat around 225F. and slow cook them around 4-5 hours. gas grills are not good at maintaining steady heat. Also Gas is a dry heat and ribs in particular will dry out after an hour or so as they're thin in comparison to brisket or a steak. A water pan in the gas grill will help but I don't think enough to make a difference.
I think if I was doing this, I'd slow cook the ribs in an oven for 3-4 hours, and then finish them off on the grill with the hickory chips for maybe 45 minutes, not ideal but should be reasonably good.
You really need a smoker to do this right, and there are some pretty good inexpensive ones around.
Here's a link that might come in handy for ribs.
http://amazingribs.com/index.html
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
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What kind of ribs, Chopper?
I do ribs on the gasser all the time. I do pork loin back, which a very similar to baby back and St Louis cut... heck, they are probably one and the same in the stores around here. If they are these smaller ribs, about three hours tops at temps around 275F. Unlike MCS's grill, mine is excellent at maintaining low temps. Also, the propane I burn gives off moisture, as does all burning gas, CO2. I never use a water pan and my ribs are always tender, even skipping the foiling step, which lately I find a wasted step.
You want bone down, indirect heat, chips in a foil pouch ON the burner with just a couple small slits (too many slits and they will catch fire from getting too much air). And three hours is just a guideline, as some of us tried to tell someone else, you need to go by other indicators, such as the meat pulling away from the ends of the rib bones. And how much they flex when picked up. Those are the true telltales on when they are done.
BTW, you will not get as much smoke flavor as if you smoked them on a BBQ, but they will be every bit as much enjoyed.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:06 PM   #4
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Thank you both so much. The link suggested also said that they could be done on a gas grill. We just finished getting everything set up, and they are on the grill now. We are doing pretty good at maintaining the heat. I have a thomometer on it, and will adjust if we need to. So far the hickory chips are smelling good, so I am guessing that we are getting enough smoke. I will let you know how they turn out. Bones are down! I think that was my bigest question. I have the sauce and apple juice ready for later. Right now I guess I just need to pour a glass of wine!
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:17 PM   #5
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Pancanis,
I think my ribs will take a bit longer because they are "extra meaty" loin back ribs. I am giving myself 5 hours, unless they seem done before that. It is hot here, so that is OK that we are looking at about 7:00. It looks like it is easier to keep the grill at about 250 degrees. I hope that works!
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:36 PM   #6
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I've done mine as long as five hours before, too. It's just something that depends on the ribs and of course your temps. As long as they are indirect, even 300 will work, but 250 is good, too. I've even cooked them past being done and they were still fall apart tender. Usually if I go for a long time though, an hour of that is spent in foil with some kind of juice.
The one thing about a gas grill and smoking with one is you will smell smoke just as if you were Qing them, but the chamber just doesn't fill up with smoke like a true BBQ and flavor the food as much. Charcoal grills have the same problem. When using a grill you should really have some kind of diverter to redirect the smoke to the ribs. You'll still get some smoke flavoring without though.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
I've done mine as long as five hours before, too. It's just something that depends on the ribs and of course your temps. As long as they are indirect, even 300 will work, but 250 is good, too. I've even cooked them past being done and they were still fall apart tender. Usually if I go for a long time though, an hour of that is spent in foil with some kind of juice.
The one thing about a gas grill and smoking with one is you will smell smoke just as if you were Qing them, but the chamber just doesn't fill up with smoke like a true BBQ and flavor the food as much. Charcoal grills have the same problem. When using a grill you should really have some kind of diverter to redirect the smoke to the ribs. You'll still get some smoke flavoring without though.
Thanks! I am about an hour and 20 minutes into it, and they are smelling great! I am using a mopping sauce like the bbq pit masters. That may be helping to keep them moist as well as the water pan.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:22 PM   #8
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I have to tell you that the ribs turned out great!! It only took about 3 1/2 hours at about 250-275 degrees. We even had friends over who were impressed. With the rub and the mopping sauce they really didn't need barbecue sauce. I would like a little more smoke flavor, so may add more wood chips next time, but you could taste the smoke. Thanks again for your help. I realized after dinner that I should have taken a picture, but you will have to take my word for it-they were beautiful!
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:17 AM   #9
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Choppers like you I am new to this style of bbq cooking and thanks to the advice I got here I seem to be doing ok, ribs are the latest thing I have tried, I did the mopping thing but as I'm a bit crazy I decided not to remove the inner membrane then put pin holes in it and fill with the mopping liquid.Like you I found the tasted great without the bbq sauce. Clic on the pics to make biggerClick image for larger version

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Old 08-07-2011, 03:15 AM   #10
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Bolas, those look good! Have you added those pictures to the food photos thread yet?

Chopper, congrats on your successful ribs!
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