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Old 01-31-2007, 09:03 AM   #1
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My second smoking experience

Hopefully Uncle Bob & Jim will chime in on this.

So after all the great tips I received, I decided to give it another go. My Chargriller now has the side mount firebox. I used lump charchoal in a chimney starter. After it was burning pretty good, I used fist sized chunks of red oak that I cut from my firewood stack. I opened up the rack that I was waiting all week to cook and........THEY WERE BAD! I couldn't believe it, they smelled like rotten eggs. Uncle Bob, you're lucky you didn't come over, I would have sent your butt to the store. Now the grill is hot and no ribs! I ran out to the supermarket, got another rack and some short ribs.

Back at the pad: I made a rub for the pork and just S & P and a little olive oil for the short ribs. For the mop I used brown sugar, equal parts water and cider vinegar. I also removed the membrane from the underside of the rack (first time doing that).

So the meat smoked for 5 hrs, the shorts were really done in 3 1/2 - 4 hrs. I didn't know they could taste so good and tender. That side firebox also doubles as a leg warmer! Picture this: Dog on one side, cocktail on the other, a bag of wood chunk on the floor, and me sitting in my chair with the firebox about a foot in front of me for 5 hrs. Thanks to the tips, I definately will not use mesquite like I did the first time. I did find, however, that the end part of the spares were a touch dry. Could this be from removing the membrane? Also, are you supposed to flip the rack or no? They cooked at 200-225.

A couple more questions: Spray vs. brushing the mop on? Lump charchoal vs. wood chunk vs. Kingsford briquetts?

-J

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Old 01-31-2007, 10:05 AM   #2
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Straight to your questions...The "tail" end of spares are somewhat "lean" with less fat. The can tend to "dry out" some what...Next time just cut this section off and cook with the ribs...just not as long...it can be a snack for the cook(s) while the other meat finishes cooking ...Or, as I do mostly, save it to grind with venison to make burger or sausage. It was not caused by removing the membrane..

As to turning...I personally start bone-side down...turn over...then back over.
There exist differing opinions about this! As well as methods used.

Mopping vs. sprayig...Again...personally I would choose spraying over mopping early in the process..for this reason...Why "wash off"/"mop off" your rub...that you have so lovingly made and applied to the meat?? So a light spray is in order(my opinion) Now later in the process when the bark has formed on the meat the rub is less likely to wash off..so If one chooses to..it would/could work. I don't do much of either(only when I turn)...the more you raise the lid letting out heat and moisture...."if you are lookin..they ain't cookin"

On long cooks I prefer briquets over lump..for me it is easier to control the fire, temp, etc. Kingsford is an ok brand. As stated before...Lump will work but for me I like briquets. For "splash and dash" cooking like steaks..I like lump as it does burn somewhat hotter! I never use pure wood for bbqing. It can be done but as previously mentioned..it takes a lot of wood and effort.
There are some folks that swear by it however! Mostly old-timers.

Hope this helps..I am sure Jim will add his comments/thoughts/ideas later.
As he is a true "Jedi Knight" of the art.. Particular attention to his words pay....Strong with the force..he is!

Uncle Bob.. "Jedi Padawan"
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:00 PM   #3
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Jeekinz
Sounds like once you had ribs to cook things went well.
To keep the small end of the rack from drying out keep that end away from the firebox (that will help) or as Bob said trim that section off and get it off the cooker sooner.

My technique for ribs is with foil because I get very repeatable results with it.
The first section of the cook is to get color and some pull back of the meat on the bones, with spares that will be 3 to 3 1/2 hours. You get smoke also during this section of the cook.

The next part of the cook I wrap the ribs in h/d foil, I add some honey, cayenne pepper and either apple or pineapple juice, close the foil tight and place back on the cooker for 45 min to one hour. After 45 min I start checking for tender with a toothpick, you slide the toothpick in the meatbetween the bones, it should feel like the toothpick is going into warm butter. Once they are as tender as I want (not falling off the bone but bites clean and is tender) they come out of the foil and go back on the cooker.

This is the part of the cook where the glaze will get set. I will use a sauce that has some honey, cayenne and fruit juice added but the mixture has gone into the pit and I allow it to reduce some. Brush on and allow to set.

This technique is used by many competitors because they can count on the repeatable product time after time.

Jim
PS: I don't mop or spray at all. The rub I use has some heat to it and the suace will be sweet. You end up with a three place flavor print: first you taste tang from the suace, then the sweet from the suace and in the end the spice and little heat from the rub comes on.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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Thanks Jim, I'll try the foil next time. Do you have any tips/tricks for short ribs?
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:24 PM   #5
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Jeekinz..........

Not trying to improve upon Jim's information...but would like to point out and emphasize his comments on the foil portion of the cook...do not over do this...you will be tempted to in the future.. Just Don't do it!.. Trust me...I have been there, done that and got the t-shirt etc. Just follow the procedure exactly as he stated...if you over-do this you run the risk of having "mushy" meat. Me, I do not like mushy, fall off the bone meat...tender yes, mushy no!!! If one prefers that.. then I would suggest a box of instant mashed potatoes, and a cheap bottle of bbq sauce It would be a lot easier and cheaper.


PS...Great post Jim! One with the force we are.
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:34 PM   #6
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On short ribs, the best way I know is low and slow until tender, that is the way I like them best anyway. Time, low heat and smoke.

Jim
PS: Bob is right about the foil portion need to keep a close eye on them once they have been in foil for about 45 min, they can turn to fall off the bone with mushy texture quickly. The other side is if you like falling off the bone then leaving the ribs in the foil a little longer will give you that finish.
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Old 01-31-2007, 06:18 PM   #7
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jeekinz...

In addtion to low and slow..I would only add...Long. When I have (in the past) bbqed short ribs seems like I go a full 7 hours.... Patient you must be!!

Now I do on occasion cook (braise) short ribs over an open fire in a dutch oven..but that is another story...
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