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Old 09-03-2007, 12:51 PM   #1
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Second attempt at BBQ/Smoking (ribs, pork)

This me maintaining a lower temp this time and being happy about it:


Here are some pics as they are cookin':



Finished:

Mine:


My Old Man's:


Bad pic of the smoke ring:

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Old 09-03-2007, 12:54 PM   #2
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This time, I maintained a much lower temp. <250 at almost all times usually more around 225-235.

Cooking time much increased... 12:30pm-6:10pm

I was pretty proud of myself for maintaining temp, I have a log but I forgot to bring it home.

Very smoky flavor, much more tender... but they weren't quite "falling off the bone." I pulled them apart by hand, but it could have been easier. Meat came off the bone pretty easy though. Any suggestion on how I could get these guys more tender? Ppl don't brine their ribs, do they? Maybe I'm getting meat that isn't that good? I'm at a loss, advice please!!!
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:29 PM   #3
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The smoke ring is most definitely visible, blurry or not!

Question - how often to you take the lid off to "look"? I think that is playing a factor here. Just my 2 1/2 cents. Take the lid off as few times as possible. Unless you see the temp go down drastically leave it on. Have your coals ready to go on, if you are using a chimney, have someone remove the grill, you add the coals, get them back on and close that lid ASAP. I find by using a combination of lump hardwood and briquettes I can maintain hotter and longer for quite awhile. I wish I took notes too - but it seems like a good 2 hours or more before I noticed a temperature change. Everything cooked MUCH faster because I was leaving the door closed and not messing with the coals as much.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:32 PM   #4
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Ribs that are literally falling off the bone will never win a competition. The experts consider that as a sign of overcooking. However, if that's what you want, go for it.

IMO, the ribs are best just short of that stage. Tender enough to pull apart with your fingers. When you bite the meat off them, it's easy to get clean bone underneath. Typically, cooking for just a little longer will do the trick.

I don't think there's any benefit to brining ribs. There is adequate fat and connective tissue to make brining unnecessary.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:36 PM   #5
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And, now that I think of it Andy M., "falling off the bone" normally happens with babyback ribs. I think other cuts are a bit more "solid" but certainly VERY tender.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:37 PM   #6
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I was going at least 60 minutes at a time before taking the lid off. I could have maintained temp for longer, but I was afraid than going any longer than an hour without mopping the meat would be detrimental to the whole process. I also couldn't keep the wood smoking for any more than an hour (applewood).

If I had temp trouble, maybe 45 minutes. I opened it up more at the very end because I was pretty convinced the ribs were done, I was just trying to tenderize and smoke.

My only temp problem was it dropped too low, so I added too much fuel, then it almost got too hot. I realized I had completely closed the bottom vent (prolly thought I opened it) and extinguished the fire.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf View Post
The smoke ring is most definitely visible, blurry or not!

Question - how often to you take the lid off to "look"? I think that is playing a factor here. Just my 2 1/2 cents. Take the lid off as few times as possible. Unless you see the temp go down drastically leave it on. Have your coals ready to go on, if you are using a chimney, have someone remove the grill, you add the coals, get them back on and close that lid ASAP. I find by using a combination of lump hardwood and briquettes I can maintain hotter and longer for quite awhile. I wish I took notes too - but it seems like a good 2 hours or more before I noticed a temperature change. Everything cooked MUCH faster because I was leaving the door closed and not messing with the coals as much.
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:38 PM   #7
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Bill I think your product looks good! "Falling off the bone" is a a buzz word with a fuzzy meaning at best. If the meat literally fell of of the bone, it would be IMO mush! Meat should have some tender resistance to it. It' what we crave about meat. 5 1/2 hours at 225/235 should have given you a pretty good rib. Are you basting the ribs? If so how often?

Oh! did you have to throw any of them away???

I bet not!!



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Old 09-03-2007, 01:48 PM   #8
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Kitchenelf: they were babyback this time and they weren't (I don't think) last time.

Bob: I was mopping about 1 andhour but did it much moreso at the very end of the cooking time, as I wasn't as concerned with opened the lid after it had been in there for that long. For a mop I simply used 2 parts cider vinegar to 1 part water and a tsp of cayenne pepper. After using a spray bottle, I will never use a brush again. My old man actually went out and bought a literal tiny mop, to mop his with.
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Old 09-03-2007, 02:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billdolfski View Post
Kitchenelf: they were babyback this time and they weren't (I don't think) last time.
Got it! I still say that somewhere in there the lid is coming off too many times interrupting the cooking process. Every time you remove the lid valuable heat (and smoke) is lost, resulting in a heating up process all over again and then before you know it you are taking the lid off again to baste.

Unlike some other smokers you are using a kettle style grill so once that lid is removed ALL captured heat is lost. If you can get in there somewhere a couple to a couple and a half hours of uninterrupted cooking I think it will make a difference in the tenderness you said you wanted a bit more of.

EDITED TO ADD: I just re-read and saw your mop statement. To put things in perspective about your mop - I never use one. So, I think the above statements I made will help in producing a more tender finished product.

LOL - I have one of those tiny mops too!! They are cute
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billdolfski View Post
Any suggestion on how I could get these guys more tender? Ppl don't brine their ribs, do they? Maybe I'm getting meat that isn't that good? I'm at a loss, advice please!!!

Couple of things.

Baby Backs seem to be more popular these days, but I prefer spare ribs for their flavor and they also seem to be a bit easier to cook as well (i.e. they're more tollerant of screw ups).

A common "trick" is after three or four hours to wrap the ribs in foil with a smidge of liquid (like your spritz e.g.) to braize them for 30min to an hour depending on your tastes. After foiling, put them back on the grill for 30 to 60 to dry them up a bit on the outside. Any sort of glaze would be applied at this time. Foiling too long will lead to mushy meat - not a good thing.

I made some ribs last weekend and foiled for about 30min (down from one hour last time), actually in the drip pan with a braizing liquid but kept a couple ribs out of the braize to compare. I found that braized ribs had a less pronounced smoke flavor but the texture was very nice - not mushy but slightly more tender than the non-braized ribs I saved. Honsetly I liked them both but for different reasons.

As to brining, I did that once but I don't think I will again. IIRC I brined over night and that was way way way too long - ribs were super salty. I've since read that you don't want to brine ribs for more than 60min (may have been 30) but for me it's kind of moot as I'm pretty happy with with the 3-1-1 foil method and don't plan on trying it again.
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