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Smoking your ribs ahead of time - 1 day? 2 days?

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    Smoking your ribs ahead of time - 1 day? 2 days?

    Hello All-
    I've read here that cooking ribs ahead of time and reheating for a meal works out ok. What about 2 days? I looking at smoking up some racks on a Friday to eat on Sunday. Anyone here cooked this far ahead of the meal? Thanks in advance,

    mb

    #2
    They’re basically gonna be like eating leftovers. I can’t see where 2 days ahead would be any different than 1 day. Both will have to be refrigerated, and most meat is good for 4-5 days in the fridge. I’d think the most important part affecting the taste would be how you reheat them. My first choice would be to reheat them day of, on your grill or smoker. Or maybe some here would recommend SV.
    Last edited by Panhead John; August 31, 2021, 10:46 AM.

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    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      Good question Michael, I don’t cambro my ribs after cooking so I’m not sure. My guess would be not to cambro, since when you reheat them, they’ll probably cook a little bit more. But I’m sure someone with that experience will come along shortly.

    • bbqLuv
      bbqLuv commented
      Editing a comment
      Panhead John you be the leftover King.
      I don't mind leftover ribs, heated in a microwave, low setting so as not to overcook.
      How about smoking to about 180* internal and then finish the next day or two.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      bbqLuv that won't work. If you take the ribs to 180 - i.e. not done, then cool back to 34F or whatever your fridge temp is, then try to take them to 200-ish for doneness, it takes as long as it did the first time to get from 34F to 180F, plus the finish.

      He really needs to finish the ribs all the way, and then he only needs to get them from fridge temp to 140F on the reheat. Which will still take an hour or more if he is reheating at 225F.

    #3
    I also think I would skip the cambro, just wrap tightly in foil (maybe double wrap), then once cool enough, put in the fridge. I would reheat in that same foil, and be sure to pull them once they hit 140F - i.e. serving temps in other words.

    Comment


    • Craigar
      Craigar commented
      Editing a comment
      I have used this technique quite a few times. I have even gone the extra step and used the Foodsaver to seal them up. I'm not sure if that extra step was needed, but the reheated ribs turned out pretty good.

    • Sweaty Paul
      Sweaty Paul commented
      Editing a comment
      Have you ever tried Sous Vide as a reheat method?

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Sweaty Paul I've used it for pulled pork in vacuum sealer bags. I don't think ribs would fare well using sous vide for the reheat though - the bark would just break down is my personal feeling.

    #4
    I'm going to add another thought.

    Cooking ribs 1 or 2 days ahead of time and reheating is basically serving leftovers. Some folks are super sensitive to the taste of leftovers. I think it is called "warmed over" flavor, and its a real chemical thing. I myself have eaten leftover ribs for days on end. Other folk can't stand reheated meat the next day. It's worse with some types of meat than others. It all depends on your taste buds. It's why some folks can be a sommelier or wine taster, and other folks can't. I took a class on detecting flaws in beer, and there were some flaws I could easily detect, and others I could not, but that grossed other folks out. Everyone is different.

    I don't know how many racks of ribs you are planning to make, or what your smoking capacity is, but another thought that occurs to me is that if you were to do blasphemy ribs, where you cut them to individual bones/riblets before cooking, you can cook them about twice as fast, and do it the day of, versus taking leftovers to your get-together. Baby backs take about 2.5 hours this way. I imagine about the same for STC or spares. Maybe 2.5 to 3 at 225, 2 to 2.5 at 275. The bonus is that there is rub, bark and sauce on all 4 sides of each rib. The only downside is that it takes more space on the cooking grate, since you don't want them touching.

    You can find blasphemy ribs discussed here, or at https://blasphemyribs.com
    Last edited by jfmorris; August 31, 2021, 03:05 PM.

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    • Craigar
      Craigar commented
      Editing a comment
      Not to mention, you can grab a rib to snack on while you're cooking...Pit Master privilege is what I think it's called.

    • LA Pork Butt
      LA Pork Butt commented
      Editing a comment
      I can’t make minute distinctions in flavors, which could be seen a a curse. But, I can decide if overall it is good or bad which means I can decide if I like it or not. On the other hand being able to make fine distinctions can be a curse since the smallest distinction can cause you not to enjoy your food.

    #5
    I would would wrap the cold ribs in foil with a little liquid (i.e. apple juice) at 250 degrees until hot (about 1hr). Then re-sauce and sear over a hot fire (gasser, charcoal, or broiler if using oven). Slice and serve.

    Comment


      #6
      Here's my thoughts, for what they're worth: Don't sweat the "leftovers" thing, just do it, it's not the same as leftover mashed taters or burgers. Me personally, I notice the "leftovers" taste much more with fried things, way less with smoked things. Maybe it's just a mind thing and less a practical thing? Maybe my palate is less refined? Regardless, I wouldn't worry a single iota about reheating ribs from 2 days ago if ya gotta. Chances are you might notice but your guests wouldn't suspect a thing, chances are also that even you might not notice. I made a pork butt and a brisket a day ahead and reheated it a couple weeks ago for a grad party. Seriously, it was probably the single best brisket I have ever made. And I was tasting it with a very critical tongue.

      Personally though, I wouldn't reheat them covered, or at least not the entire time. Let that bark be firm.

      Comment


        #7
        Click image for larger version

Name:	64C4CFB2-9799-4AE3-9370-0B80E5732E75.jpeg
Views:	479
Size:	282.1 KB
ID:	1086490 I recently did 6 racks of wibs in the PBC the day before a friends 40th wedding anniversary. Took them off when done, let cool, sliced and put in half sheet foil pans and into the refrigerator. I was able to put 2 full racks of St Louie's in each pan. I added some apple juice and covered tight with foil. I used the oven at the house the party was held at to warm. Started them off covered at 250*. When they were warn through, over 140*, I pulled the foil off and left in the turned off oven until it was time to eat.

        Were they like fresh out of the barrel? No. But the host and guests loved them. I don't sauce my ribs but did bring some for those who wanted.
        Last edited by HawkerXP; September 1, 2021, 09:06 AM.

        Comment


          #8
          I’d put anything I’ve smoked and then it some how accidentally survived for 48 hours into the "it tastes more like leftovers" camp.

          With all the work to smoke then rewarm why not SV the ribs for 24 hours, ice bath, and then smoke for an hour?

          I really have enjoyed the ease SVQ pork ribs and are think they are one of the best applications for the technique.

          Comment


          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            Welcome to The Pit neighbor….glad to have ya!

          #9
          This has been really interesting. I have reheated ribs in microwave, wrapped in foil in the oven, in a covered foil pan, SV, and on the pellet smoker. Frankly, they all came out about the same in my opinion. Definitely not as good a fresh off the smoker but certainly still tasty.

          So now for pure convenience I slice them into individual ribs, hit with a little extra sauce, cover, and wave for about 6-7 min on 50% power. Yum.

          Comment

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