Tuesday, February 24, 2009

BBQ Rib Cook

Well, the weather was real nice today and I had this urge to barbeque some ribs.  This was totally unplanned, but when you gotta' have ribs, you gotta have ribs!

My wife loves beef ribs, and I lean towards pork, so I decided to keep harmony in the house and did a rack of each.  The little market I bought the meat at didn't have pork spare ribs so I settled for baby backs.  My all time favorite rib is pork spare ribs, trimmed St. Louis style.

Here's how I cooked them:                                                
The first thing that I do is get my cooker warmed up.  I shoot for a temperature between 220 degrees and 240 degrees.  While I'm waiting I prep my ribs.  This includes any trimming, removing the thin membrane (silver skin) which is located on the backside of the ribs.  This is very important as I helps the flavors penetrate the meat more evenly.  All you need to do is get it started on the end or edge with a knife, wiggle a finger underneath and tear it off.  The hardest part is getting it started. 

Now, once my cooker is up to temp, I place the ribs in the cooking chamber bone side down.  I close the lid and add chunk wood to the firebox of my off-set cooker.  Try to avoid huge billowing lofts of smoke from your cooker.  What you want to see is a nice even stream of bluish smoke coming from your smoke stack.  If you have too much smoke, you run the risk of creosote forming which will create a very bitter taste.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For   this cook I'm using apple wood.  My all time favorite woods to cook with are apple, pecan and hickory.  Sometimes I'll mix my woods to add different layers of smoke flavor.  I'm going to smoke this ribs during the first three hours of the cooking process.  The key to a good smoked flavor is to keep the temperature as even as possible.  To master this you just need to practice, practice, practice the air mixture on you smoker.  I keep my stack fully opened and adjust the damper on the firebox.

After three hours, I remove the ribs and place them bone side up on a sheet of aluminum foil.  At this point, I spray the ribs down with apple juice.  The ribs are then tightly wrapped in the foil and placed back in the cooking chamber for another hour.  At this point I am no longer using any smoking wood.  Remember, the meat on ribs is pretty thin and you do not want an overwhelming smoky flavor.

After one hour in the foil, I'm check the tenderness of the ribs.  I'll look to see if the meat is starting to pull away from the bone and pick up one end of the slab with my tongs.  When the slab bends down to a right angle (90 degrees) their pretty tender.  What you DON'T want is the meat falling off of the bone.  When I hear, "The ribs were so tender the meat fell off of the bone" I cringe!  Rib meat should NOT fall off of the bone.  You want the meat tender but there should still be a little "tug" to it.  

Now My ribs have been cooking for about four hours and they are ready to be finished with my sauce.  I remove the ribs from the foil and place them back in the cooking chamber, then generously baste the ribs with my sauce.  If you want more of a glazed finish, you may want to ad a little honey to the sauce.  Don't lose control of your heat during this process.  You don't want to burn the sauce after cooking for four hours!  After about thirty minutes, I'll add more sauce and cook an additional thirty minutes.

After the last thirty minutes you're done!  So, to recap the cooking times...  Three hours of smoking, one hour foiled and one hour finishing with sauce.  




Anonymous said...

I have a Traeger wood pellet grill and it looks very similar to yours in outside structure. You look and sound like a real BBQ kind of person, so I am going to follow your blog. Best to you!

BBQing Tips From Deep In The Heart Of Oregon

Grill Girl said...

Those look great. I'm from NC where we do more pork, but I love any yummy barbecue. Also, we have a lot of fam out in KS/OK.