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Apple Wood Smoked Babyback ribs - opinion please

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willisamrhein medium
medium

Posts: 161
Location: Louisville, KY
I smoked these ribs last night while I was playing "SIMSMOKER". Please give me your opinion on them....obviously not taste.

I smoked them for about 6 hours in a horizontal barrel smoker using apple wood chips. I replenished charcoal and wood chips every hour on the hour as well as spritzing them with apple juice. After 3 hours, they were wrapped in foil for 2.5 more hours. They were given a good soaking of apple juice and bbq sauce prior to entering hte foil. After the 2.5 hours, they were removed from foil, coated again with sauce and back into the smoke for 15 minutes and then on the grill for 5.

My opinion: overcooked. They were certainly tender and juicy...no complaints there. However, they had shrunk back from the bones almost an entire inch. As you can see in the pic, they were even coming off the bone mid-bone. When you took a bite, they came completely off the bone with no problems. They had a medium smoke taste to them due to the apple wood versus hickory. Overall, the taste was good. However, in a competition, I don't think looks would have scored any points. No, in this case I was not plating for presentation, but I am concerned that the outside is too charred and that they shrunk back 1 inch. Next time I will reduce time by an hour. What do you think?

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Last edited by willisamrhein on Sun Jul 25, 2004 9:39 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Post Sun Jul 25, 2004 11:45 pm
jm42fan well done
well done

Posts: 421
Location: OKlahoma, Yukon

I don't think you want to put the sauce on till the last 30 minutes to an hour. Putting the sauce on that early will make it burn like that. Someone please correct me, if that's not right. I'm gonna do some ribs. I'll put the sauce on the last 30 minutes, then put more sauce after I pull them off. Keep trying.
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CGwSFB
Coleman 3300 gasser

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 12:24 am
willisamrhein medium
medium

Posts: 161
Location: Louisville, KY
Thanks for the tips guys. I agree that the time is too long. However, my wife really likes the meat to fall completely off the bone and gets a little fearful when I say that I am going to reduce the cooking time. She likes them a little charred like that. However, for me, it's too much. Especially since I am on the quest for the perfect rib.

As far as the sauce goes, I tried it prior to wrapping in foil, and only the last 30 minutes. I couldn't tell a difference in taste and only a slight difference in texture. I smoked 2 racks and looking at the picture, the one on the left appears to be less charred (it's the one that only received sauce the last 30 minutes).

I think next time, perhaps next week, I'll only smoke them for 3.5-4 hours.

By the way, the little specs on the Asparagus are sesame seeds. This is right out of Steve's "How to Grill" book. I used to NEVER, repeat NEVER, eat Asparagus until I made this recipe..............OUTSTANDING!!!!!!! Now, I eat it every week. Simple and full of flavor. Sometimes I skewer them, like in the picture (just amke sure you soak the bamboo skewers for a least an hour in water to prevent burn), and sometimes I'll just place the individual stalks on across the grate.

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 8:06 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
If you're a perfectionist then yes back the time off a bit on the saucing but to me and my table those look like great ribs to me. Better than the ones I made this weekend actually! Great job.
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Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 10:22 am
mudx2 medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 57
Location: St. Charles, Mo
I did 3 racks of ribs this weekend, and really only had one problem. :? I have a brinkman horizantal smoker, and from the lid to the grate is about 50 degrees difference in temperature. Now the problem, when i have the ribs flat everything is ok, but get this, my grill was pretty full so I had to cook the ribs vertically in rib rack. The ribs were kinda charred on the top ends and just fine on the bottom. I was really surprised at first, but once I realized why it wasn't much of a surprise. they were still really good, but the different temp inside the chamber is starting to bug me. Any suggestions??

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:43 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
willisamrhein I posted earlier to this discussion and when I clicked on the smiley face at the end it wiped out the entire message. So here it goes again:

Some of the things you can do to lessen the darkness of the final product is to, reduce the heat, reduce the time, reduce the sugar, and reduce the time BBQ sauce is exposed to heat.

Personally, I think those are some fabulous ribs! I certainly wouldn’t turn them down. BTW thanks for sharing the picture!!! I cook mine at 225*, if you were running your equipment hotter then you may want to back it down a notch (you didn’t say). Other than that you may want to cut the sugar a bit and wrap with foil an hour sooner. If it’s perfection you’re striving for then you are not far from your goal! :D

Hey! It worked this time.
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Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:49 am
Big D well done
well done

Posts: 616
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I would cook a little less.. I would reduce the foil time about half hour to 45 mins... as for the charring.. personally I dont think it looks that bad - especially if you have a lot of bright greens around it and I like a crisp skin... As mentioned before try not putting the sauce on till the last 30 mins and reducing sugar content in your rub if you are worried about charring ans sugar blackens easily

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 12:39 pm
willisamrhein medium
medium

Posts: 161
Location: Louisville, KY
First of all, how come every time I try to log on in makes me do it twice before finally logging me in?????? OK, off the soapbox and back to ribs.

Bob-BQN: Thanks for the compliments on the ribs. They were still very good. I'm just striving for perfection. I would like to compete one day, and I know these wouldn't cut the sauce.

Big-D: I like the sweetness of the ribs with the sugar and not having to rely on the sauce to provide that sweet taste. Do you have any suggestions about what to add to the rub if I reduce the sugar content. Also, do you agree what an earlier post stated about the sugar content of the apple juice?

Mudx2: My smoker unfortunately has the same problem with the uneven heat: about 25-50 degrees. I always use the rib rack for doing my ribs for 2 reasons: First, I have a very small smoker that only has 244 square inches of cooking space (pictured below). It is the American Gourmet Deluxe formally made by New Braunfels, but now it's made by Char-broil. Unfortunately, this smoker does not have enough room to lay a whole slab across the grates. I would have to lay them length wise the length of the barrel. The first time I made ribs, I did them this way and one side cooked much much faster than the other. I didn't want to have to keep flipping them, so I chose the rack. Second, I think the ribs get more of the smoke flavor if the smoke penetrates them as they are smoking vertical. When I smoked them laying on the rack, they didn't have that great smoke flavor. Maybe I just placed them in the wrong section of the grill. To combat the difference in temp, the first couple of times I smoked ribs, I placed and oven thermometer next to the ribs on the heat side. As they cooked, I kept checking the temp between the lid thermometer and hte oven thermometer. When the lid thermometer read 300, I knew that the grate temp was anywhere between 225-250 depending on how close to the heat opening I had the meat. This was not a fix, but a way to work with the temp difference. My smoker is pictured below as from Char-broil's website.

Thanks again for the help guys. I think I shall reduce the cooking time by 2 hours to start. NExt week, I'll post an update with the new cooking time.

My smoker: Image

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 12:57 pm
mudx2 medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 57
Location: St. Charles, Mo
My smoker is just like that, only bigger. I can lay down 4 racks of ribs. I haven't had the problem of not getting good smoke flaver or smoke ring. I did get an oven them too, that's how I figured out the temp difference. The first rack i did when I first got the smoker didn't come out that great. That's when I found out the temp difference. I guess if I do them vertically again, I'll just have to flip the ribs from time to time. I don't mind a little chared, but I want it even. :D

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 1:16 pm
willisamrhein medium
medium

Posts: 161
Location: Louisville, KY
I agree with wanting them even. And so far. my vertically smoked ribs have been even as far as temp and taste. Only the charring is a little uneven for me and that's due to the fact that my ribs are almost touching the top of the barrel/lid......that's how small this smoker is. Next season I will get a chargriller with side fire box. :)


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