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Old 10-03-2005, 12:24 PM   #1
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I don't like extra lean pork!

I was all set for some great ribs on Sunday. Saturday's barbecued turkey was wonderful. I had no reason to expect Sunday's meal to be any different, and to that end went to great pains to make it so. I hand massaged a good dry rub onto the meat the evening before and placed the ribs in a plastic freezer bag, then into the fridge. I put the meat into a slow cooker at 8 a.m. Sunday mording, on some tinfoil tubes, with a cup of water, covered, and cooked on low for 8 hours. I then removed the ribs and knew I was in trouble. The barbecue was hot and ready, but even though the meat was literally swimming in its own juices, it was dry as a bone. I brushed with oil and butter, hoping the meat would absorb some fat, and put it on the babecue to finish for two hours in applewood smoke. The flavor was great. The texture was very dry, except for the meat right along the bone.

These were baby-back ribs, very lean. I'm thinking that cooking the meat any higher than 145 will always dry out this type of meat.

From now on, I'm going to treat lean pork as if it were turkey white meat. The texture is similar. Evidently, the cooking techniques will need to be similar as well.

I know that fat isn't good for you. But I'm afraid that it's what makes ribs so tasty and tender.

I'ts just not right that the things that are pleasant always seem to be bad for us.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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Old 10-03-2005, 12:28 PM   #2
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GW:

8 hours seems like a really long time for BB ribs. Do you always do them that long?
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Old 10-03-2005, 01:13 PM   #3
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IMHO, Baby Back ribs are better suited for grilling. If you are smoking ribs, you really need to use spareribs. Those have enough fat to keep the ribs moist.
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Old 10-03-2005, 02:20 PM   #4
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We only cook babybacks.

If you cooked them at 145° for 8 hours, I would say
1. cooked at too low a temp
2. cooked too long.

We normally cook/smoke our babybacks at 225-250 for 4-6 hours.

Ribs too close to the hot spots may dry out a bit, usually the ribs on the end.
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:24 PM   #5
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I guess I wasn't clear. I cooked the ribs in the slow-cooker at its lowest temperature for 8 hours. The 145 degree reference was what I may shoot for as a final meat temperature in the future, as in grilling the ribs to a temp. of 145.

But considering the liquid in the slow-cooker was boiling, the meat came up to the boiling temp of water and dried right out.

I thought the long, moist heat would help break down the meat but was wrong. I was able to salvage the meal by turning the ribs into pulled pork. The home-made bbq sauce helped make the meat more palatable.

Rainee, are your baby-backs well marbled with fat, or very lean? I think that would make a tremendous difference in the end result.

And all of you, Andy, Allen, and Rainee, and I'm sure Michael as well (who hasn't chimed in yet) can always be counted on for expert advice.

Thanks & Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:36 PM   #6
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Pork is much better with some fat to moisten it. I tend to be very careful about the way I cook really lean pork.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:04 PM   #7
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Maybe, possibly if you had allowed the ribs to cool a bit in the juice the juice would have soaked back in - the same as letting other cuts of meat "rest".

????maybe? I know we don't have to come up with a solution since you won't be doing them this way again but I wonder if that would have worked.
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Old 10-03-2005, 06:31 PM   #8
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would brining ribs be any use at all? it sure works with a loin roast and chops.
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:39 AM   #9
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Brining ribs will give them a hammy taste.

Yes, there is fat on the ribs, maybe not as much as spares, but enough to render.

Pork cooked to medium doneness at about 160°. So 145° might be considered rare. I would say ribs need to be at least 180° or higher to be tender.
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Old 10-04-2005, 09:23 AM   #10
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Cooked Venison neck roast over night in crock pot on low and it was a little dry. Now Venison has no fat so I know I cooked it to long.Maybe your ribs were cooked just a little to long. The venison neck roast with bar b q suace was great tho.
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