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Rib ramblings and some questions -

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    Rib ramblings and some questions -

    Had some thoughts in my head since my last rib cook.

    I followed Troutman s step by step primer, except I cooked at 250 instead of 270.
    The double layer of POG and then MMD made a much better bark. Will definitely keep doing that.

    I took full spares and cut them down to St. Louis style.
    Dry brined for 2 days (bc of adjust to schedule) instead of overnight like I planned.

    I smoked unwrapped, hanging in the PBC for 3 hrs at 250. Bark was set. Then wrapped in butcher paper and laid flat for 1 hour.
    When I checked they definitely seemed done. meat was pulling back from bone. Bark cracked with the bend test.
    BUT meat between bones was in the 185-190 range. I know a lot of people that follow temps take them to 200-ish. That seemed like they'd be overdone if I kept waiting.

    Sauced with a mixture of Sweet Baby Rays and Mark's Good Stuff hickory and left uncovered for 15 minutes.
    Pics when taken off smoker and moved to oven.

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    Then moved to the oven at 170 to hold (just for timing)

    I was surprised that these were done in the same amount of time as troutman's primer example, even though they were cooked 20 degrees lower. I love the PBC but I don't believe it's magic enough to change the laws of thermodynamics.

    I had these done at 3:30pm, bc I was trading a rack to a buddy for some tree trimming work.

    My buddy took his rack home, and the family LOVED them. His daughter declared them "best ribs ever! Even better than outback". Which I take as high praise. The adults also loved them.

    Happy Rib face. But if you look close, you can see the smoke ring

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    My folks stopped in for a visit, and we ended up chatting and having wine, and not eating until 7:30. So by the time I tried the ribs, they had held in the oven for 4 hours.

    Flavor was bang on! Bark was great! Ribs were super moist. Meat was a little soft. It wasn't "fall of the bone". On the scale between "slight tug for a clean pull" (which is what I want) to "fall off the bone"... it was about half way. There was a cleanish bite through. Bones were spotted, not bleach white. Even after a 4 hour hold, I give these ribs an A-.

    Didn't take many pics since we were having family time. Will do more, next time.

    I'm guessing that holding that long, softened the meat a bit, and we'd eaten them right away they would have been firmer. OR, I'm just telling myself so I feel better. Is that a reasonable assumption?

    I'm also confused with the same cook time, at a lower temp. I'm not sure how cooking vertical can make things cook faster. Or does 20 degrees really not matter? Can ribs only absorb heat so quickly?

    What's your go to reliable way to see ensure the ribs are the proper doneness? When I did blasphemy ribs, it was easy. I just ate one to check. Then ate a third for quality control.

    I'm probably being a little pedantic, but I'm on a quest to consistently make A+ ribs....... In my head, I know what that should be.... I'm just not quite there yet.

    Maybe when this pandemic is over, I should just invite the more experienced Houston area bbq-ers over to give me some pointers..... and eat bbq and drink cold beers.

    Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated as always.

    Also, I just took the rib tips, and trimmings, stacked them on a hanging skewer (sort of pastor style) and smoked them alongside the ribs and turkey breast I also had going.

    Last edited by BFlynn; July 20, 2020, 10:09 AM.

    I have nothing for ya except you definitely need more people and more libations for quality testing and quality control. Unfortunately Houston is well past my driving limits these days....


      Just Houston area and just more experienced? I am not in either of those categories, but I can do some tasting... OK maybe not. That's a long drive... They look pretty darn good.


      • ofelles
        ofelles commented
        Editing a comment
        klflowers Come on that RV is just sitting there! Unless it belongs to someone else and you 2 just had your picture taken standing there.

      Oh - anybody would be welcome!
      Ribs make friends!

      Last edited by BFlynn; July 20, 2020, 11:12 AM.


        I don't think 20 degrees of temperature is going to matter much at all. Hanging may have accelerated your cook however, I do notice when I hang chicken it gets done a bit faster. I'm sure its a thermodynamics thing. Also wouldn't worry about the temperature, it's hard to temp ribs accurately anyway. Do what you do to be successful...then repeat !!!


        • BFlynn
          BFlynn commented
          Editing a comment
          I plan on repeating for sure! More practice means more ribs!
          I'm going to stick with 3 hrs hanging and 1 hr wrapped in butcher paper next time, and eat immediately, to see if the holding really is the difference.

          Also surprised that it takes me about 4 hrs to get the baby backs done, and the SLCs didn't take any longer. Ribs are a delicious, delicious mystery.

        I never temp ribs. They are just too thin to get a good reading. I do the bend test (for spare ribs) and then confirm with a probe test. If I'm saucing the ribs, I usually pull as soon as they are just starting to crack, because I usually use two coats of sauce and cook for 20-30 minutes longer. On my PBC, they usually take between 3:30 and 4:30 - usually closer to 4:30. Not sure how that will transfer if you prefer wrapping, but I personally don't wrap, as the texture hasn't felt right to me the few times I did it.


          +2 on the never temp ribs.
          I used the probe test on my Sat rib cook for the first time, beginners luck or not this was one of my best batches.
          Did not wrap this batch either.


            When you hang them, they stretch. That would make them cook faster, I think. And, 20* isn’t that much of a difference. All ribs are different. And things like ambient temp, wind, humidity, etc will all affect cooking somewhat.

            For me, it’s like this: Mrs Mosca asks when the ribs will be done. I shrug and make a face and say, “I dunno. Whenever? Maybe around 5:30? Or 6:30? A couple hours anyhow.” And she tells me I’m nuts. But she likes the ribs.


            • smokin fool
              smokin fool commented
              Editing a comment
              Your a lucky man, dinner better be ready at Mrs fool's appointed hour, which is extremely flexible depending on how hungry she is.
              4' 9" and 94lbs of uncaged fury....
              Your comment about all ribs are different is spot on.

            Yeah I’m with Mosca on this. Also wouldn’t horizontal ribs be like a shelf for water whilst verticals not?? 🤷‍♂️

            20° in this case given the Multitude of variables doesn’t seem like anything.

            So many variables. 💨💨💨🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

            We as cooks tend to over analyze because we know every nuance of the meat and cook. Most people can not discern these nuances. Chalk this one up my BBQ brother and call it a win.

            Most importantly that princess and the Rib says it all.

            The Defense rests.


            • Mosca
              Mosca commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah. It comes down to: you cook enough ribs, you can tell when they’re done.


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