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Old 04-09-2011, 10:18 AM   #21
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Comps are alot different than back yard grillers/smokers, imho.

We like it when you bite the rib you can see your teeth marks and the meat pulls clean of the bone. Nothing wrong with it pull'n all the meat off in one or two bites. What ever floats your boat, Rock.

Really watch them when they are in the foil, that is where things can go bad fast due to the steam. When in doubt, take them out of the foil. Save the juice as a "mop", I pour it on later.

To know when they are done is by eye. Get gloves or tongs and do a bend test to see if the meat is pull'n away and the ribs act like they will just almost fall apart. It really does take practice, and if you can get us some pic's we'll do our best to help any way we can.(not really, I just want pix!)

Good luck, Rock, you'll do fine.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:45 AM   #22
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Any mention of par-boiling ribs can get you in big trouble in most bbq forums...

I used to use the "Texas Crutch" (foiling) method but my ribs always turned out too tender for my taste. Now I smoke them for roughly half the time using slightly higher temps and I've been doing that every since. When you pick up the slab and it bends easily it's done.
I usually don't bother pulling the membrane off. I score it, criss-cross, end to end, and most will simply burn off during the cook.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:53 AM   #23
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To add to my post above, I like to use simple rubs, most times just S&P, and sauce the ribs only after they've come out of the cooker at the end.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:27 AM   #24
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WHat temp do you run, Road? I've done hot and fast brisket and b.butts, but never thought about doing it to ribs. I have a rack of spares to go on tomorrow that i might give a try.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:37 AM   #25
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WHat temp do you run, Road? I've done hot and fast brisket and b.butts, but never thought about doing it to ribs. I have a rack of spares to go on tomorrow that i might give a try.
When I do spares on the Weber kettle I'll do about 2.5 hours @ 325° with just a couple of wood chunks thrown in at the beginning. At the end of the cook I'll open the vents wide open, get the coals really going and move the ribs directly over the coals for a quick sear on both sides.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:15 PM   #26
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What if that is what you are going after? Is what I like wrong?

Thanks everybody. Lots to chew on.....
You can do them and like them any way you like and for you it will not be wrong. You can cook them using the sun and a magnifying glass if you want. If that is how you like it then more power to you. I am just repeating what a world champion rib chef taught me.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:29 PM   #27
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You can cook them using the sun and a magnifying glass if you want. If that is how you like it then more power to you..
Hmmmm. I think I will give that a try next time. I'm always up for a challenge
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:31 PM   #28
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Just make sure it is not raining the day you want to try
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:58 PM   #29
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There is also the butter "trick" when foil'n. But I've also heard it's kind of a waste of time and butter.

Have any of you heard of the soft butter app before foil? have you tried it?
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:01 PM   #30
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I have not heard of the butter trick. I would be afraid it would burn and smoke. How does it work?
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:33 PM   #31
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Interestingly, when you watch BBQ championships (or when I go to a BBQ championship) competitions, they NEVER do anything other than rub and toss into the smoker. No pre-cooking, no foil, and often no saucing. Membrane removal is not consistent. Someone always wins a trophy!
I believe I have seen several comp BBQers foil their ribs when they think the ribs have had enough smoke. I have also seen them mop or spray their ribs.

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Old 04-09-2011, 06:03 PM   #32
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Done. They were very good. Still hard to tear the bones apart, but nice texture.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:05 PM   #33
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Done. They were very good. Still hard to tear the bones apart, but nice texture.

As long as they were done and tasty, the little nuances like texture and caramelization of sauce (just the way you want) will follow... 7 out of 10 times But they will still be good.
And those look good!
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:55 AM   #34
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i'm very interested in this thread as i have the same (mistaken?) tastes in extra tender ribs, and the same problem with my smoker.

i've only had a smoker (gas) for a short while, and the few attempts at fall off the bone ribs were anything but. tasty, but very tough.

i'm going to try a couple of racks of spares either this week or next. if i get the chance, i'll try some with foil, some without. some shorter, some longer. should be a good experiment. i'll post results when it's done.

btw, i never par boil any q'd or grilled meats unless it's necessary due to time restraints, such as when we plan to grill chicken legs and thighs on a day trip to a lake. since the chicken is mostly cooked, all that's left to do is finish them with sauce. otherwise, i get to stand around the grill all day while everyone else swims and has fun.

imo, par boiling something like ribs washes away some fat, ergo flavour, and makes them more dry.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:51 AM   #35
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i've only had a smoker (gas) for a short while, and the few attempts at fall off the bone ribs were anything but. tasty, but very tough.

.
I wonder if it has anything to do with the source of heat? Another problem I have with the gas smoker is that the heat is not neccessarily even across the rack. The drip tray covers the majority of the source, so the heat travels up the sides and back of the cabinet, and so you have to watch not to get your meat too close to the edges or it cookes unevenly and even can dry out faster. I usually try to keep my meat away from the sides of the cabinet and make sure that the thicker parts of the cuts are on the outsides of the racks.
I may buy an electric one, now that I have had and used this one for a few years. I may not have to stay too close to watch the temp, like I do with the gas one.
My family still likes my parbake, charcoal finsih ribs better. Back to the drawing board.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:40 AM   #36
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I wonder if it has anything to do with the source of heat? Another problem I have with the gas smoker is that the heat is not neccessarily even across the rack. The drip tray covers the majority of the source, so the heat travels up the sides and back of the cabinet,...

Sounds to me like it's the design of the smoker more than the source of the heat. If you replaced the heat source, it would still have to navigate around the drip tray and the sides and back of the cabinet.

Maybe you could do an experiment with an oven thermometer. Get the smoker going to the temperature you use for ribs and take temp readings at different locations around the grate the food sits on.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:24 AM   #37
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I gotta say, I still think your not cook'n them long enough. Just from experience and the way they look.

If you find some cheap spares, just try going longer. When you hold the ribs up 1/4 of the way in on one end and it bends to the point that it falls appart, your there. BTDT.

Just my opinion.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:26 AM   #38
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Mankind has been cooking meat over the dry heat of wood fires (coals) for about a million years or so with great success...Generally growing taller, getting stronger and smarter as a result. ~~ For hundreds, if not thousands of years the mysteries of the ancient art were passed down from mouth to ear...from father to son, from mother to daughter. ~~ It’s not been but in the last 40-50 or so years that he began to screw things up...He (Mankind) got lazy, He got sucked onto the “fast food” mentality. He wanted BBQ and he wanted it NOW. He did not want to spend the requisite time to learn the art, much less invest in the requisite time to master it...So he began to look for, and take short cuts. With the help of likeminded uninformed individuals of the “fast food” culture he began his journey into the dark abyss of misunderstanding, misinformation, and misfortune. Corporate America was more than willing to aided him in his quest ~~ The knowledge which had been passed down through the generations began to fade in man’s consciences ~~~ Today a whole generation is all but lost, and another is well on it’s way ~~ At no other time in history has a roll of aluminum foil, a pound of brown sugar, a quart of apple juice, a jar of mustard, two old towels, and a 48 qt, Igloo cooler been required to cook a pork butt ~~ Horace Greeley said “Go west young man, Go west. ~~~ I say, “Look behind you young man...Look behind you” ~~ There you will find enlightenment!


Good Luck.........
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:29 AM   #39
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I gotta say, I still think your not cook'n them long enough. Just from experience and the way they look.

If you find some cheap spares, just try going longer. When you hold the ribs up 1/4 of the way in on one end and it bends to the point that it falls appart, your there. BTDT.

Just my opinion.
You could very well be right, Al. That was 6 hours using the 3-2-1. Apple juice during foiling, saucing for the last half an hour, all at 225 for the whole process. I just had one cold and they are really good. I sould get another model of smoking unit that is not so susceptible to temp variations, so I could leave it and have a bit more freedom throughout the day.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:43 AM   #40
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Rock, I suggest getting a pellet smoker. They are just so easy, with a digital therm. They are like an oven, with smoke. Down side is cost, they can be a bit pricey for sure.

I heat up the smoker, set the temp I want, fill the hopper full of pellets, throw the meat on and I can be gone for 2-3hrs, have even gone 4hrs.
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