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Post Sat Jul 03, 2004 9:23 pm
hotchef well done
well done

Posts: 319
Location: Florence, AL
Here is where I stand. I have read everything I can find on this board (not sure how much I remember) on ribs. I have read everything I can in Steven's books (HTG, Sauces, BBQ USA) and I am really trying to find a basic way of cooking ribs that I like. I have tried two racks of spare ribs the HTG way. I didn't really like the basic rub and definitely didn't like the way I cooked them. First time was in a smoker. Cooked them approximately 5 hours at 250. They came off tough and dry. Second time, indirect grilled them on my Platinum at about 325 for 2 1/2 hours. Better than the first but much to be desired. Still dry and didn't much like the flavor of the rub. Yesterday, did a baby back rack with the "Lord of the 'Que" from BBQ USA. Wife loved them, but I thought they were too sweet. The problem with them was a I forgot to wipe off the ribs and the rub turned into a sort of spice paste that stayed on too thick. I cooked this ribs for 3 hours at 260, wrapped them in foil for 1 hour more, and then put them over direct heat to give them a "bark." Liked the way they were cooked but not the rub. I feel like I have an idea of how to cook baby backs now but still haven't had a successful run with spare ribs. I have to cook two racks tomorrow for my in-laws so I hope they turn out well.

My questions are:

What is the difference between cooking ribs at 225 and 300? I know one is indirect and the other "barbeque" but how different is the product?

Has anyone tried ribs with just salt and pepper? How did they come out? I have had enough sweetness on ribs for a while so I need to find an alternative.

Would a mop that is used for pulled pork be just as good on ribs?


Post Sun Jul 04, 2004 9:16 am
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3209
Location: Atlanta-GA
Cooking ribs at 225 will allow the fat and the connective tissues to melt thus giving you tender and juicy ribs. It also allows the ribs to better absorb the smoke flavor. But that does not mean that you couldn’t achieve good results at 300 degrees. The foil trick works every time to produce falling off the bone ribs. So no matter how you cook them, you could save them by using the foil trick. Steven’s like to cook his ribs at higher temp, it gives them a nice crusty surface. As far as the rub, it’s really a matter of preference and different tastes. Most people like theirs sweet, but if you don’t, then just omit the sugar or decrease the amount used. A mixture of salt, pepper, granulated onion and garlic powder, paprika, and an herb (thyme, oregano...etc.)should give you good results. Sam’s Club sells rotisserie ribs around here with just salt and pepper applied on them. They’re tender and crunchy and pretty tasty. So you really can you customize the rub to your taste. The pulled pork mop works well on the ribs. However, some people argue that vinegar toughens the ribs??? I use apple juice, but if you don’t want the sweet taste, then you can use a mixture of beer and Worcetshire sauce (3 parts beer to one part Worc. Sauce).
I hope this gives you few ideas.

Post Sun Jul 04, 2004 10:49 am
hotchef well done
well done

Posts: 319
Location: Florence, AL
Thanks BBque Z. I've got some spare ribs in my kettle right now at about 250 degrees (temp is spiking). One has the Lord of the 'Que rub and the other just salt and pepper. They look good. Have to wait and see. I also have the rib tips on with them. No idea how to cook them so this is definitely an experiment. I am using a rib rack and I am quickly learning that you have to rotate them and turn them over because the top of them cooks more quickly.

What do y'all do with the tips that you cut off the ribs? I want to do something but don't know where to start.

Post Sun Jul 04, 2004 12:39 pm
spfranz well done
well done

Posts: 615
Location: Minnesota

Z is right on the money (as always). The 3-2-1 method usually works quite well (although I find that I need to adjust those times a bit - usually more like 3-1 1/2 -til done). For those that don't know - 3 hours with smoke at 225, 2 hours wrapped in foil, then 1 hour without the foil again. You can also finish up by cranking up the heat and giving them a little bark at the end.

As far as rubs go, give Steve's Puerto Rican Pig Powder a shot. Great flavor, not too hot, not too sweet, very different and good. My family's favorite.

I like vegetarians. Some of my favorite foods are vegetarians.

Post Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:55 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Hotcheef it sounds to me like you're well on the way to devoloping your own style and your own rub thats right for you and you're family. Thats great. Remember experimenting is part of the fun. Not everything has to be by the book. Thats what I loe about the board here, by combining this and that frome everyone ideas you can get exactly what suits you best.
Keep up the good work.

My style is a basic rub slightly spicier with apple juice spray at 250 for 4 hours using hickory and mesquite or sometimes apple.

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