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Let's point and laugh at the n00b - Last Meal Ribs

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    Let's point and laugh at the n00b - Last Meal Ribs

    In my welcome post, I mentioned I was just learning to BBQ on my Weber kettle and was going to make ribs next to try and learn how to do longer roasts. I tried following the Last Meal Ribs recipe. It turned out pretty well, but there were some issues. What better way to figure out how to do it better next time than to post what I did and let all the pros tell me what I did wrong? Here we go!

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    Here is my initial setup, although boo to the dumb photographer who had the important stuff in the shade with a bright background. I had briquettes snaked all the way around except for where the water pan was and some room for the stuff in the chimney. I had about 12-15 briquettes in the chimney. And I know the recipe says 8 oz of wood, but I just guessed three chunks of apple wood.

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    The ribs, St. Louis cut, about 3 lbs.

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    I mixed up some Memphis Dust for the rub. I spread some canola oil on the ribs before the rub instead of vegetable oil like in the recipe because my son is allergic to soy and every vegetable oil I see is 100% soybean oil.

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    And here is the grill with the started charcoal. This is where the problems started because I don't think I got the briquettes fired up enough, although my main problem was probably not putting enough in the chimney.

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    Here are the ribs on the grill. When I put the lid on, it never got above 200° even with the vents fully open. Eventually I added some more charcoal, but nothing appeared to be lit enough to start them up. So I added a starter cube and some more charcoal and then lit the cube, and things really picked up. To the point where I needed to close the bottom vents all the way to get it to stay below 300°. By the time the ribs had been on the grill a couple of hours it cooled down below 250°, and it stayed between 230° and 250° with minor adjustments the rest of the way.

    Not entirely for sure what to do differently next time. I don't know if I just needed to leave the starter charcoal in the chimney longer to make sure it all gets well lit, or if I need to make sure to add more charcoal to the chimney. Probably the latter.

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    After a little over 5 hours, the bend test. I had never done this before, but I think this was ok.

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    Putting on some BBQ sauce and putting the ribs over some direct heat to let it carmelize a bit. I used some Lexington Dip I made.

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    The finished product, all ready to cut up.

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    Boo blurry photo, but it does look like there is a bit of a smoke ring there.

    Despite amateur hour getting the grill to the right temperature, the ribs came out very tender and tasty. Not quite fall off the bone tender, but it easily pulled off the bone when I took a bite. I thought it was delicious and couldn't eat them fast enough. My son (1 1/2 years old) ate it right up, but my daughter (4) refused to eat any of the "skin". I think it was more the texture than anything else, she's not a particularly adventurous eater. Only downside was that my wife was unimpressed - next time I plan ribs I have to make sure it's not following a week where she is in Kansas City on business and having BBQ every night with coworkers.

    That's all for this installment of point and laugh at the n00b, I hope you all enjoyed. Look for the next installment in a couple of weeks when I try to make Perfect Pulled Pork.

    No pointing and laughing from us wile_ . Great job! Looks good. Awesome post.
    Last edited by Jon Solberg; April 12, 2015, 11:30 AM.


      Originally posted by Jon Solberg View Post
      No pointing and laughing from us wile_ . Great job! Looks good. Awesome post.

      Yeah what Jon said. Those are some great looking ribs. There is more of a smoke ring there than you realize I think. Ribs commonly have a dark pink trending to light pink smoke ring. Any part of the meat that isn't tan is part of the overall smoke ring. You've got a lot of pink!

      For next time you should work on getting the charcoal piled so it burns hotter, but really that was a great cook and an awesome post.

      That said.......

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        Those ribs look delicious,@wile_e8. Congrats on a successful first try. Getting the fire just right is always a learning curve no matter what type of grill or smoker is used for the first few times. I think you did great! The next time, your wife will have her socks blown off, I'm guessing!



          Looks great to me! I have been using my Kettle a lot more lately and getting used to the snake myself. 10-12 coals is plenty, and yours look ok, maybe a little over done by the time you took the pic. The key I have found is to make sure you get the snake end covered pretty good with hot coals, if you don't the temp won't get there. If that happens just push the hot coals onto the snake more. Once lit right mine runs right at 225 with the bottom completely closed and the top just cracked.

          Ribs get pretty good in KC, they are the only meat I would choose over mine at this point. It's not that mine are bad, theirs are just great.


          • wile_e8
            wile_e8 commented
            Editing a comment
            Originally posted by John View Post
            The key I have found is to make sure you get the snake end covered pretty good with hot coals, if you don't the temp won't get there.
            Thanks for this tip, this isn't the first time I've had issues with the snake starting. This is sort of a "Duh, of course" tip, but it took someone else pointing it out to me to realize it.

          • _John_
            _John_ commented
            Editing a comment
            Sometimes it still doesn't work, even though I know why. If this was easy, everyone could do it.

          They're supposed to be tender, but also have a little bit of "tug". Sounds like you got them just right.


            I'll echo everyone else's words- YOU DID GOOD SON. They look like ribs are supposed to look.

            Why was your wife unimpressed? Too tough, too smokey, not smokey enough? Just curious. The fun of it all is repeated attempts to learn how you & your family prefer it and then you'll be the sacred pitmaster!


            • wile_e8
              wile_e8 commented
              Editing a comment
              It wasn't anything wrong with the ribs, she was just less than excited to have homemade BBQ after she had been eating professional stuff at restaurants all week.

            Dittos from here, too. Those medallions are few and far between! Looks like you did a great job! By chance did you remove the silver skin from the underside? You mentioned the oil, I slather my ribs with mustard a day before and then use the mustard to keep the rub in place. Just another alternative for you to evaluate if tou are adventuresome.

            GREAT job! Far better than any of my early smokes!

            Look forward to your next ones - they'll be killer good!


            • wile_e8
              wile_e8 commented
              Editing a comment
              I did peel the silver skin - it was kind of a pain to get started since I had never done it before, but once I figured out what I was doing (get a finger all the way through in the middle, then peel out from there) it went pretty fast. Only problem was that it tore with a small piece covering the the bottom of two ribs, and that was hard to get started again.

            You did very well from what I can see. You had an initial problem and you solved it and the ribs came out looking very good and sounds like they tasted even better. If that's you on a learning curve, I can't wait to see what you do when you have it down pat. Like Rich said above, those medallions Pit Boss gives out are rare. You done did good!!! Congrats!



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