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Old 04-09-2013, 04:18 AM   #1
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Barbecue sauce on ribs or not?

Hello guys,

I was planning on cooking ribs on the barbecue. I usually make a dry rub before putting them on the grid. They will cook for 2 hours - 3 hours (i am not sure ).

The question is : Do I put the barbecue sauce on the ribs :
- 1hour before the end ?
- 30 min before the end ?
- 15mn before the end ?
- after the cooking, before serving ?

Thank you for your advices

Gab

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Old 04-09-2013, 05:03 AM   #2
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BBQ sauce only goes on at the table. The ribs should be good enough to eat without sauce. That's my humble opinion.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:06 AM   #3
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You've got the right idea...sauce should go on near the end.

The answer is "it depends". How hot is your smoker? How much sugar is in your sauce? Are you set up for direct heat or indirect heat?

Indirect heat:
225 F - 1 hour
300 F - 20-30 minutes
350 F - 10 minutes.

The sauce should caramelize and thicken but not burn.

.40
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:27 AM   #4
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.40 has it right. Depending on how much you want the sauce to cook in or caramelize is how much before the end you put it on. And that depends on how hot your grill is, or whether or not you are cooking indirect or direct. I typically grill ribs indirect, but if the sauce isn't to my liking and everything is done (in other words I want to hurry the sauced ribs up) then I will move them over direct heat and watch them carefully so the sauce doesn't burn.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:28 AM   #5
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I'm another "sauce at the table" guy. I typically serve three different bbq sauces with my ribs. That way, the person eating the ribs gets to decide which kind of sauce they will use. Just make sure the ribs are tender and juicy, with great smokey flavor. Your rub will be good enough to make the ribs great, with or without the additional sauce.

And in my opinion, stay away from baby-back ribs. Go for the meatier, St. Louis style ribs, or even might I say (gasp!) country style ribs, which aren't really ribs at all, but are darned tasty.

My personal favorites, St. Lois Ribs, rubbed and set overnight in the fridge, then slow cooked until tender in a slow cooker, then finished on the grill with indirect heat and maple wood smoke until they nearly fall off the bone, but have just a little tooth to them.

Serve with fresh corn on the cob, and a wet and juicy cole slaw. Rice or mashed potatoes, again, it depends on the mood. Or, replace those last two sides with some home-made baked beans. Finish up with a refreshing bowl of ripe, cold cantaloupe.

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Old 04-09-2013, 08:36 AM   #6
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When or if sauce goes on is a regional preference in the US. I don't have a smoker, so I make ribs in the oven until they are tender and then finish them on the grill using indirect heat to get a nice char and some smoke flavor. I put the sauce on for the last 5 minutes or so. If you put it on too early the sugar in the sauce can end up tasting burnt.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:08 AM   #7
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I use a dry rub and mop during the cook. Sauce is always an individual choice at the table.

Chief, I have found some pretty meaty baby backs on occassion which can hold thier own against St. Louis cut spare ribs.
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
I use a dry rub and mop during the cook. Sauce is always an individual choice at the table.

Chief, I have found some pretty meaty baby backs on occassion which can hold thier own against St. Louis cut spare ribs.
You must have better pigs where you live. At our supermarkets, the meat on the baby-backs is pretty sparse.

Now maybe if your talking baby-back lamb, or beef...

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Old 04-09-2013, 09:41 AM   #9
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Thank you very much for your answers.

Just to sum things up, my options are :

- to let the meat speak for itself. Put the bbq sauce on the table because the meat itself should be good.

OR

- to spread sauce several minutes before the end of cooking time, depending on the heat I chose. (but always indirect, right?)
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:57 AM   #10
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Yes, always indirect.

You may want to try an experiment and apply sauce to some of your ribs and leave the others unsauced. Then you can do a comparison of the two options.
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