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Baby Backs on a Weber Kettle

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Post Fri Jul 23, 2004 9:51 pm

Posts: 6
Location: northern michigan
I'm doing two racks of baby backs--each just under 2.25 pounds--tomorrow. I'm going to put a rub of my own concoction on them in the morning, let them rest a bit in the fridge, and then cook them low-n-slow on my Weber kettle. I'm going to probably modified my roasting rack a bit to use as a rib rack (can't find one locally, and obviously, don't have time to order right now :D). I've done similar ribs before by cooking them in the oven at about 200dF for 5+ hours, and then moving them to the grill for a short time for smoke and sauce. Assuming I can keep my temperatures between 225-250dF, how long should I roughly expect these to take? Is a water pan in order for this setup? And is foil absolutely necessary? I'd like to avoid it, if possible.

Thanks in advance!

Post Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:47 am
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
Hi, the foil isn't neccessary but it's a generally accepted competition method though I'm not a competitve cooker I enjoy it's benefit. It won't hurt to use a weber tin full of water under the ribs. This will also help you cook at lower temps and will help keep the chamber humidity up for moistness. You're not likely to cook at temps as low as you would like however. Rib cooks in a Weber kettle go faster than a smoker typically as 300 is a more likely figure. Below that the fire gets finicky but trust me, you can turn out some great ribs on a kettle, I've done many. I usually turn out a smiliar batch in about 3.5 to 4 hours on the kettle. On my bullet, I'm lookin at around 6.
Last edited by Airfoils on Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:48 am
mechainc rare
rare

Posts: 12

you can do this completeley on the kettle check out my post
http://barbecuebible.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=1422 last post on the first page..

you can substitute the foil with a pan (tukey type drip pan). and get the same results... I like the foil because its an easier cleanup.

cheers

Ed.

Post Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:55 am
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
Just to clarify, the foil method I use is to wrap them the final hour or 3 (depending on what I am cooking with). For the 1st half of the cook, let them absorb the smoke, then wrap in foil as the bones are shrinking away.

Post Sat Jul 24, 2004 8:11 am

Posts: 6
Location: northern michigan
Thanks guys... I think I have a pretty good idea about how to tackle this now. I'll report back when all is said and done!

colin

Post Sat Jul 24, 2004 8:56 pm

Posts: 6
Location: northern michigan
Here's the blow-by-blow with pictures!

I trimmed and rubbed the ribs this AM at about 9:00, then wrapped with saran wrap and put them back in the fridge. At 2:30pm, I brought them out and rolled them as such:
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I had set up Weber kettle (old style 22.5") for indirect grilling. Basically, I "made" my own charcoal rails out of firebrick (can't get enough of these guys when it comes to outdoor cooking!), filled the rails with lump charcoal and some apple wood chunks, and placed a water pan/drip pan on the food side. I lit about 1/2 a chimney of lump, and when it was ashed over, dumped it on top of the unlit charcoal. The rolled ribs went on the food side, the vent under the coals was opened, and the lid vent was oriented over the ribs. The setup kinda looked like this:
Image

I was able to keep temps at the grate level between 225dF and 250dF for the 3.5 hours of the cook:
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After two hours, I flipped the rib rolls, added a little water to the pan (didn't need much), and hit the ribs with a mop of vinegar, oil, and homebrewed wheat porter (mmm). The charcoal had only burned down about a third:
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After another hour and fourty-five minutes, I unrolled the ribs, and sauced them with Sweet Baby Ray's:
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Let them rest for 10 minutes, cut 'em up, and consumed rapidly with cole slaw, baked taters, and cornbread:
Image

The ribs were a touch dry, because I really think I need a water pan above the charcoal, and I need to practice my temp control a bit. Next time, I don't think I'll roll them, either, because some parts were done much more than I would have liked... par for the course, probably. They were nice and smoky, a little sweet and a little hot, and tender though certainly not fall-off-the-bone-disintegrate-when-ya-look-at-'em tender. From what I understand, that's a good thing.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought that some might be interested in the results of this experiment. Thanks for the advice to those who passed it along!

Post Sun Jul 25, 2004 10:26 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
cmbrougham OUTSTANDING! :D

Those are some awesome photos. I like the way you walked us throught the entire process.

The "fall-off-the-bone-disintegrate-when-ya-look-at-'em" is not to everyone's liking. Tender is good but I like to be able to chew the meat as well. For more tender ribs try wrapping them in foil when the meat starts to shrink back 1/4" from the end. There are several post on the board describing the process. It allows the ribs to steam-bakes and makes them really tender.

Thanks for sharing, I love it!
Image

Post Sun Jul 25, 2004 11:03 am
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
What Bob said and nicely done! I wouldn't turn them down :D It's always a learning process and fire control you will learn is an art that comes with priactice but you seem well on your way in that department. :wink:

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 7:20 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Oh please check the host location of your picturs. All I'm seeing now is X's. Its sounds like you had a great outing, I'd love to see the pics that go with it.
Congrat on a job well done.
Image

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 7:42 am

Posts: 6
Location: northern michigan
Thanks guys... I appreciate the feedback! There certainly is more work/practice that needs to be done, but hey, I still get to eat the screw-ups... that's my kind of hobby!

Sorry about the pictures... it would appear that the server I'm using is currently DOA. Hopefully it'll come back around later this morning.

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:16 am

Posts: 6
Location: northern michigan
Pictures are back up and running, fortunately...

I have a question regarding the application of a rub... basically, I'm wondering if I did it too early. I put on the rub at about 9am, and left the ribs in the fridge, wrapped in cellophane, until about 2pm. Is that too much time? Everything I've seen since suggestions putting the rub on about 2 hours before cooking, and leaving them at room temperature. Could I have sucked out too much moisture with the rub application as early as it was?

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:29 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Colin, I normally will rub my ribs 2-3 hours ahead of time. But I've heard of folks rubbing 8-12 hours prior without having ill effect. As thin as ribs are it doesn't take long for the meat to take the flavor of the rub. Try marinating in an apple juice/cider mix overnight and rubbing a couple hours in advance and see what you think.
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