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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Meat Smoking, Curing and Sausage Making > My ribs need help...
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:24 AM   #1
JohnTheBrewist
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Default My ribs need help...

Since building my UDS, I've made spares three times. I've used the 3-2-1 method each time. The first time, I didn't have the temp under control yet and it had gotten to 350*. They tasted great but were a little over-done (meat completely falling off the bone. The second time, temps were under control (230* the whole time), but for whatever reason I wasn't impressed. The 3rd time, again temps were under control, but the meat came out very dry and somewhat tasteless; didn't really pull back from the bone either.

I'm planning to try again this weekend, but thought I'd look for some suggestions as to what I may be doing wrong.

I'm using a St. Louis cut and my own rub that I put on over mustard about an hour before cooking. The rub is, for the most part, brown sugar, paprika, pepper and salt.

I'm a good cook and understand the whole "cook to temp not time thing" but for now, I'm trying to get a good grip on the low and slow method in my UDS, so I'm trying to keep popping the lid to a minimum.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Moose


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Old 03-04-2011, 03:13 AM   #2
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This is how i do my ribs

Use a basic dry rub, can be store bought but i use home made, overnight in fridge
Take ribs out of fridge 2-3 hours before cooking and let em get to room temp
Put em in smoker for 4 hours, heavy smoke for first hour then none after that, use hickory or cherry wood
Take off smoke
2 diff ways to do next step,
if they are done then use sweet baby rays bbq sauce and throw em on the grill and brush with bbq sauce for 30min to 1 hour and serve
or
brush em with bbq sauce and wrap in tin foil and put em on grill with INDIRECT heat for 1 hour then take em out of the foil and grill as in previous step

good ribs are a lot of work but i guarantee once you get it right it is worth it. Everyone I feed my ribs to say they are the best they have ever had. It is low heat 225 or so for a long time and you will hit it out of the park!!!

Most competition rib cooker do the 3-2-1 method witch works great as well, 3 hours smoker,2hours in tin foil,1 hour grill

VB

Edit: I almost forgot the secret ingredient, well not so secret, every 30-45 min spray them down with apple juice in a spray bottle, not alot, just enough to get em moist without washing off your rub.


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Old 03-04-2011, 03:24 AM   #3
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I use a vinegar mop and smack them with apple cider vinegar every hour-ish.
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:24 AM   #4
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I'll toss-in my method. Keep in mind, the best method for one person's equipment may not be right for you.

- Dry rub overnight, let warm to room temp (as said above).
- temperature control 220-230. Heavy smoke for an hour (as said above).
- ribs get a mop sauce of 2 parts apple cider vinegar, 1 part amber ale (similar to above) every hour or so.
- cook until the meat pulls back from the bone ends
- wrap in foil with your favorite sauce (wrap tightly to contain sauce) and put back in smoker for 1 hour.
- enjoy!
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MenkeMoose View Post
the meat came out very dry and somewhat tasteless;
To fix these two thing I woud reccomend.

- Do your dry rub overnight (a must for flavor). My favorite right now is rib tickler by williams. I even started adding ranch powder too.
- To keep them moist you can spray them with anything during the open cooking, apple juice, mango juice or even water. I always have water bottles around me so sometimes I poke a hole in the cap with a knife and viola.
- Also for taste I would recomend putting on a wet sauce on them and cooking it in towards the end. You can do this every 40 min or so. I like to do it as many times I can fit in.

If you want another process besides the 321 let me know and I can detail mine.
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips guys! The more I think about this, I have to wonder if the problem was just the meat itself. The last two times, my wife bought full racks on sale from the local supermarket, which I trimmed to St. Louis style. But I think the sale ribs have been refrozen, and then frozen by us again.

So here's my plan for this weekend. Buy fresh ribs on Saturday and rub them in Saturday night. Cook on Sunday, again using essentially 3-2-1 (when I put them in foil I add some apple juice to the foil pack). For the first 3 hours I'll use a spray bottle with some apple juice after every hour. After the 2 hrs in the foil, I'll add the sauce (I make my own with apples, onions, catsup, brown sugar, and vinegar) and wrap back in the foil for 30 mins. Then I'll toss them on the grill for the last 30 mins. Any other thoughts?

PS: BARBQ, I'd love to hear your alternate method to 321.

Moose
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:23 PM   #7
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Flavor issue I would say is either your rub or not using enough of it. I also go very light on smoke with ribs. I will toss in 1 fist sized chunk at the start and that is it. Ribs can get overly smokey very easily and it will cover up the rest of the flavors. 3-2-1 I have found is way too long in a UDS. I have started doing a 2-1-1 sort of. I have gone less my time and more by look though. At about 2 hours they should just start to pull back on the bone. Once they do that I will wrap them with some honey, cider vinegar, apple juice, and more rub for about an hour. After that I will sauce every 20 minutes for 40 or 60 minutes depending on how done they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BARBQ View Post
To fix these two thing I woud reccomend.

- Do your dry rub overnight (a must for flavor). My favorite right now is rib tickler by williams. I even started adding ranch powder too.
- To keep them moist you can spray them with anything during the open cooking, apple juice, mango juice or even water. I always have water bottles around me so sometimes I poke a hole in the cap with a knife and viola.
- Also for taste I would recomend putting on a wet sauce on them and cooking it in towards the end. You can do this every 40 min or so. I like to do it as many times I can fit in.

If you want another process besides the 321 let me know and I can detail mine.
Doing the rub overnight will do very little if anything at all. Many people think it will but I have tried it both way and found it wasn't worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MenkeMoose View Post
Thanks for the tips guys! The more I think about this, I have to wonder if the problem was just the meat itself. The last two times, my wife bought full racks on sale from the local supermarket, which I trimmed to St. Louis style. But I think the sale ribs have been refrozen, and then frozen by us again.

So here's my plan for this weekend. Buy fresh ribs on Saturday and rub them in Saturday night. Cook on Sunday, again using essentially 3-2-1 (when I put them in foil I add some apple juice to the foil pack). For the first 3 hours I'll use a spray bottle with some apple juice after every hour. After the 2 hrs in the foil, I'll add the sauce (I make my own with apples, onions, catsup, brown sugar, and vinegar) and wrap back in the foil for 30 mins. Then I'll toss them on the grill for the last 30 mins. Any other thoughts?

PS: BARBQ, I'd love to hear your alternate method to 321.

Moose
freezing and refreezing will not effect the taste at all but could screw up the texture.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:54 AM   #8
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The smoke has a drying effect on the meat, so you need to be sure to baste it regularly and/or wrap with aluminum foil at some point. Also, contrary to popular misconception, the meat should NOT "fall off the bone." It should be tender and pull away from the bone relatively easy. If it completely comes off the bone at the slightest tug, then it's overcooked. My secret: rub lightly with canola oil, not mustard, before putting on the rub. Yes, I got this tip on the Barbecue Pit Masters show last year and it really helps.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:08 AM   #9
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Do you have a water pan in the smokers? And are you somehow creating indirect heat in your setup similar to how the Weber Smokey Mountain works? My WSM makes killer ribs every time 4hrs at 225.

Give this recipe a try:
http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/rib1.html
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
I use a vinegar mop and smack them with apple cider vinegar every hour-ish.
That's the ticket right there!!!!!!!!!

I go at least every half hour with the vinegar mop!!!!!


Also I have an aluminum cup full of liquid cheap beer or even water to help keep everything nice and moist. It's just sits on the grill next to the ribs.


Here are my last ribs

At the end (last 10 min) I slap on a little molasses straight.


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