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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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Rib Taste Test

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  • PBCDad
    Club Member
    • Jan 2016
    • 394
    • Seattle area
    • Pit Barrel Cooker - 2015
      22" Kettle + SnS - 2016
      Thermapen - 2016
      Jambo 24x48 offset smoker (Big Tex) - 2017
      Camp Chef Denali griddle - 2018
      Billows and Signals - 2020

    Rib Taste Test

    Hey everyone,

    I've been given the go-ahead to make 4 racks of ribs this Sunday, and to make them all in different styles. I want to try some new things, and compare to see what my family and I like the best.

    The four styles I'm planning on at the moment are:
    • Memphis dust, caramelize some Sweet Baby Ray's sauce at the end, unwrapped the whole way
    • Huskee's rib rib, which my wife affectionately calls "Sugar Ribs", her favorite (rub is here)
    • Johnny Trigg style ribs, inspired by Henrik (post is here). Only issue is that nobody around here carries squeeze butter, so I'll have to melt real butter and use that instead.
    • Aaron Franklin style ribs, also inspired by Henrik (post is here).
    I have several questions, as usual. Any input is very much appreciated.
    1. Are there any substitutions I should make, a different style of rib to try? The one I would consider subbing out is the Memphis Dust, just because I know what those taste like pretty well. I can't take away my wife's favorite. Also not thinking of trying any of the Asian-inspired recipes because that is a very different flavor profile and I'm trying to find what I like for regular ribs.
    2. I'm worried about timing, since the Trigg and Franklin ribs are wrapped. Should I start them an hour later?
    3. My offset cooks at 275* on average, and doesn't like to go down to 225*. For the wrapped ribs, should I put them in an oven at 225* for the wrapped portion, would that even out the timing?
    4. One of the racks is currently frozen. I'll put it in the fridge tonight to thaw until Sunday, any advice to minimize the effects on flavor for a valid taste test?
    5. For the Franklin ribs, I found a recipe for his bbq sauces online, do his ribs use the regular sauce or espresso? I think I saw somewhere that in the rib recipe, he cuts the bbq sauce with equal volume apple cider vinegar, can anyone confirm?
    I'll make sure to post pictures and let you know the results.
  • Butchman
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 510
    • Estero, FL

    Lately I’ve been cooking my ribs using a dry brine salt only then olive oil or mustard and black pepper. Once the ribs are done I then add the dry rub ingredients no salt. This method is so easy and I think the flavor is great. Maybe you could incorporate this method into your taste tests to see the results.


    • tbob4
      Charter Member
      • Nov 2014
      • 2505
      • Chico, CA
      • BBQ's
        California Custom Smokers Intensive Cooking Unit
        California Custom Smokers Meat Locker
        Santa Maria Grill
        Vision Grill

        Sierra Nevada IPA


      For what it is worth - my family likes ribs in different styles rather than in different tastes. My son and I prefer ribs that have a good bite which means that wrapping is limited to 1 hour, max. Sometimes I don't wrap at all. My wife and daughter like the ribs to fall off of the bone which requires a minimum of 1 hour wrap - sometimes 2 hours. I start them all at the same time and cook slow. I have found that rubs matter a bit as do some of the sauces I use to finish them.

      I always thaw frozen ribs fulls before cooking. I have pre-rubbed and pe-brined ribs, placed them in the freezer and cooked them before fully thawing. They turn out OK but not the same as pre-brined, thawed and then rubbed. I cook at 225 for ribs so I can't help you about timing for the 275 for the full cook. Two days of thawing in the fridge should be sufficient.


      • Henrik
        Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
        • Jul 2014
        • 4418
        • Stockholm, Sweden

        Sounds like a fun cook! Will def follow this one! As for the wrapped ribs: yes, put them on an hour later. And melted butter is better than squeeze butter, since it is real butter :-)


        • Sweaty Paul
          Sweaty Paul commented
          Editing a comment
          Would suspect if you were concerned about smoking point and burning butter you could add some canola oil to elevate the smoking point some while still getting butter flavor. Just a thought.

        • JOE E
          JOE E commented
          Editing a comment
          I am curious as to what tiger sauce is.. thanks

        • PBCDad
          PBCDad commented
          Editing a comment
          JOE E https://www.walmart.com/ip/Tiger-Sau...10-Oz/33470081
      • PBCDad
        Club Member
        • Jan 2016
        • 394
        • Seattle area
        • Pit Barrel Cooker - 2015
          22" Kettle + SnS - 2016
          Thermapen - 2016
          Jambo 24x48 offset smoker (Big Tex) - 2017
          Camp Chef Denali griddle - 2018
          Billows and Signals - 2020

        Well this is loooong overdue, but now you have nothing better to do than to read the results of my experiment!

        The first thing that I was surprised by, and shouldn't have been, was how similar they all tasted. In the end, the different methods and seasonings make a difference, but they are still smoked ribs and I think everyone was happy to have ribs. The differences, while real, were not as great as I had supposed they would be.

        With that said, I didn't like the Aaron Franklin style ribs, and it seemed like it wasn't anyone's favorite either. I probably didn't cook them long enough, but I cooked them the same amount of time as the Trigg ribs. They tasted like plain ribs with pepper on them, and when I put sauce on them I thought it tasted like vinegar with ribs. To each their own, but I probably won't make these again.

        After that, people's favorites were more divided. My wife's favorite has always been the sugar ribs, and she maintained that although she thought the Trigg and Memphis Dust ribs were really good too. Some agreed with her, others liked the Trigg ribs the best. I don't remember anyone pegging the Memphis Dust ribs as their all-out favorite, but everyone really liked them.

        I have to say I was a bit conflicted, and I wasn't expecting it. The Trigg ribs had a really great taste and the texture was perfect - which is why I was really surprised the Franklin ribs were tough. In fact, I had always been a bit disappointed in the bite and texture of my ribs before, and this nailed it. But there was something not quite satisfying about them, and that was the smell. Don't get me wrong, they didn't smell bad at all, but when I brought in the ribs that weren't wrapped, the smell off of those was so good it made me want to sneak several onto my plate before I let everyone know they were done. The Trigg ribs just didn't have that classic barbecue smell in my opinion, but that's about the only knock I can give them.

        I still put my favorite as the Trigg ribs, with Memphis and Sugar ribs tied for second, and Franklin in last place. If I could get my unwrapped ribs to match the texture of the Trigg ribs, I think Memphis would be on top.

        As a result of this experiment, I did sugar ribs again the other week for just the four of us here, and I wrapped them using the 2-2-1 timing. I messed up and did 2-2.5-0.5. My wife confirmed that the texture of the wrapped ribs was how she liked it, and again I thought the smell was missing.

        But in the end, we were still eating ribs

        Pictures of course:
        Memphis is sauced, Sugar is not
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        Memphis sliced
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        Sugar sliced
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        Trigg ribs
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        Franklin ribs
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        • Mr. Bones
          Charter Member
          • Sep 2016
          • 9745
          • Kansas Territory
          • Grills / Smokers

            Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
            Brinkmann Smoke n Grill
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            Weber 18" Kettle ($30 CL) 'Lil' Feller'
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            Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
            Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
            Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
            Weber 22.5 OTS DO Code Black ($15 CL)
            Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
            Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

            Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
            Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
            Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

            Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
            Weber SJS AH 'Lil' Brother'
            Weber SJS AT 'Lil' Sister'
            Weber SJS DE Code (FREE) 'Lil' Helper'
            Weber SJG M Code 'Lil Traveller'
            Weber SJS AH Code 'Kermit'
            (Lime Green)
            Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
            Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!

            Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
            Maverick ET-732, (Black)
            Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
            ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
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            4 Pro Series cable extensions
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            2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
            BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
            Warming shelf
            MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scale
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            Acoustic Guitars/Electric Guitars/Basses/1928 National Duolian/Harmonicas/Banjo Washboard, Spoons, kazoos, pocket comb with wax paper, egg shakers ;-)
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            BBQ Dragon/Chimley of Insanity, Dragon Wing Shelves (x2 ea.)

            Probably a ton of cast iron, mostly very old...still cookin'
            G'Ma's Piqua skillet, :-)( They went out of business in 1934~)
            '60's Revere Ware (Mom's), + others found elsewhere
            60's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (Mom's) Daily driver
            50's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (G'Ma's), for a backup! ;-)
            Carpy Wally World stock pots, in approx 2 gal/3gal sizes, blue speckledty-porcelain enameled
            Tramontina 6.5 qt Dutch Oven

            Cutlery, etc.:
            Shi*-ton of kitchen/chef knives, most sharper than my straight-razors are. (Better steel!) Chicago Cutlery, Old Hickory, various, including some nice German stuff ;-)
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            Smith's Tri-Hone Natural Arkansas Knife Sharpening System
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            Daily driver:Washington Forge Mardi Gras, Navy / Cobalt Blue
            Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
            Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

          A really great writeup, thanks fer sharin yer findins!
          They all look droolicious!


          • klflowers
            Club Member
            • Sep 2015
            • 3481
            • Tennessee

            Man, you are making me want to break the quarantine and go get some ribs!!!! Thanks for the great write up.


            • Jfrosty27
              Club Member
              • Mar 2020
              • 1062
              • Muskego, WI
              • Current cookers:
                Rec Tec RT700 "Bull" pellet cooker
                Smokin-It model 2 electric smoker w/ Maverick 732 temp monitor and cold smoking kit
                Weber Genesis 3 burner gas grill w/ rotisserie
                Charbroil Grill2Go gas grill
                Weber 22" Performer Deluxe kettle grill w/ThermoPro TP-20S temp monitor
                Weber Smokey Joe
                SnS Deluxe
                The Orion Cooker convection cooker/smoker (two of them)
                Blackstone 17" griddle
                Joule Sous Vide circulator

                Favorite beer: Anything that's cold!
                Favorite cocktail: Bourbon neat

              Wow. Those are some yummy looking ribs no matter which style you choose! I agree with the post before mine. Need to put on my mask and go get some ribs!!


              • BourBonQ
                Club Member
                • Oct 2017
                • 841
                • Lowcountry of South Carolina
                • Pit Barrel Cooker
                  Blaze 32" Gasser with Sear Station and Rotisserie
                  Jenn-Air 6 Burner w/ Dual Oven and Stainless Flat Top
                  Camp Chef Explorer 60EX with Grill Box and Griddle
                  Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4
                  Maverick ET-733 2-Probe Wireless Thermometer
                  Thermopro TP20 2-Probe Wireless Thermometer
                  Anova 900W Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
                  Selection of Grandma's Antique Cast Iron Cookware
                  Bayou Classic Stainless Steel Oyster/Turkey Cooker
                  Weber Standard Size Chimney Starter
                  Foodsaver Vac Sealer

                ...pausing Netflix, getting off sofa, looking and hoping I have some ribs hidden in the freezer somewhere.... good lord, man.


                • scottdware
                  Club Member
                  • Apr 2016
                  • 42
                  • Grand Rapids, MI

                  Great work, PBCDad, those look amazing!


                  • Steve R.
                    Club Member
                    • Jul 2016
                    • 2423
                    • Elizabethtown, KY
                    • Current line-up of cookers: Weber 26" kettle w/ SnS and BBQ Guru adapter; Weber Smokey Mountain 22" w/ Guru adapter.

                    The look on PBCKid's face in your avatar says it all. I'd say even last place was pretty darn good!


                    • Blues1
                      Club Member
                      • Mar 2020
                      • 369
                      • SC
                      • Steve

                        RecTec RT700, Weber Genesis 2

                      They all look good! Great write up


                      • fzxdoc
                        Founding Member
                        • Jul 2014
                        • 5252
                        • My toys:
                          Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
                          Pit Barrel Cooker (which rocks)
                          Weber Summit S650 Gas Grill
                          Weber Kettle Premium 22"
                          Weber Jumbo Joe Premium 22" (a weird little 22" kettle mutant on 22"-long legs) (donated to local battered women's shelter.)
                          Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range

                          Adrenaline BBQ Company's SnS, DnG and Large Charcoal Basket for WSCGC
                          Adrenaline BBQ Company's Elevated SS Rack for WSCGC
                          Adrenaline BBQ Company's SS Rack for DnG
                          Grill Grate for SnS
                          Grill Grates: five 17.375 sections (retired to storage)
                          Grill Grates: six 19.25 panels for exact fit for Summit S650 gasser
                          2 Grill Grate Griddles
                          Steelmade Griddle for Summit gas grill

                          Fireboard Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
                          Fireboard control unit in addition to that in the Extreme BBQ Package
                          Additional Fireboard probes: Competition Probes 1" (3) and 4" (1), 3 additional Ambient Probes. 1 additional Food Probe
                          2 Fireboard Driver Cables
                          Pit Viper Fan (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                          Pit Viper Fan new design (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                          Thermoworks Thermapen MK5 (pink)
                          Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 (pink too)
                          Thermoworks Temp Test 2 Smart Thermometer
                          Thermoworks Extra Big and Loud Timer
                          Thermoworks Timestick Trio
                          Maverick ET 73 a little workhorse with limited range
                          Maverick ET 733
                          Maverick (Ivation) ET 732

                          Grill Pinz
                          Vortex (two of them)

                          Two Joule Sous Vide devices
                          VacMaster Pro 350 Vacuum Sealer
                          Instant Pot 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
                          Instant Pot 10 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
                          Charcoal Companion TurboQue
                          A-Maze-N tube 12 inch tube smoker accessory for use with pellets

                          BBQ Dragon and Dragon Chimney

                          Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife
                          Shun Classic 6" Chef's Knife
                          Shun Classic Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
                          Shun Classic 3 1/2 inch Paring Knife

                        OMGoodness, are those ribs pretty! I agree with you about Franklin. I know he sells a ton of stuff, but salt and pepper just don't cut it for me, with ribs, brisket, or pretty much anything. Even so, he's a crowd pleaser, so what do I know.



                        • ecowper
                          Founding Member
                          • Jul 2014
                          • 3484
                          • Maple Valley, WA
                          • Grill = Hasty-Bake Gourmet Dual Finish
                            Smoke = Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5"

                            Thermometer = FireBoard FBX11 with 2 ambient and 6 meat probes
                            Thermometer = Maverick ET732
                            Thermometer = ThermoWorks Chef Alarm
                            Thermapen Mk IV = Light blue
                            Thermapen Classic = Grey
                            PID Controller = Fireboard Drive + Auber 20 CFM Fan

                            Favorite cook = Tri-Tip for the grill, whole packer brisket for the smoker
                            Favorite wine = a good Bordeaux with steak, a good Syrah with pork, or a nice bottle of Champagne or California sparkling wine
                            Favorite beer = Sam Adams Boston Lager or Shiner Bock
                            Favorite whisky = Lagavulin 16 year old single malt

                            Best Cookbooks - Meathead's "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", Chris Lilly's "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book", Aaron Franklin's "Franklin BBQ"

                            Eric Cowperthwaite aka ecowper

                          Nice Porknography!


                          • Huskee
                            • May 2014
                            • 15304
                            • central MI, USA
                            • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

                              Want a free bottle of whiskey? Check out my link to Flaviar.com, you join with it, we both get a $50 bottle free.

                              Smokers / Grills
                              • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
                              • PBC
                              • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
                              • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
                              • Dyna-Glo XL Premium dual chamber charcoal grill
                              • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
                              • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
                              • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
                              • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
                              • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

                              • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
                              • (7) Maverick ET-732s
                              • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
                              • (1) Smoke by ThermoWorks
                              • (1) Signals by ThermoWorks
                              • Thermapen MkII, orange
                              • ThermoPop, yellow
                              • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
                              • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
                              • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
                              • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

                              • Instant Pot 6qt
                              • Anova Bluetooth SV
                              • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
                              • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
                              • BBQ Dragon
                              • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
                              • Weber grill topper
                              • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
                              • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
                              • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

                              • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
                              • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
                              • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
                              • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
                              • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
                              • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
                              • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

                              About me
                              Real name: Aaron
                              Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

                              • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

                            #honored to have tied w/ Meathead and been a part of the experiment!




                            Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

                            SOLD OUT! Secure your spot on our waitlist now. First-come, first-served!
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                            Meat-Up in Memphis


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                            Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

                            Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill
                            Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

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