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Some Basic Ribs Questions (Big Green Egg)

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    Some Basic Ribs Questions (Big Green Egg)

    Hi all, got a few basic questions about some ribs. I posted a little about it in the Introduce Yourself thread, but I found this site by stumbling across the "Last Meal Ribs" recipe and I did them that way (mostly, I did use a storebought rub instead of Meathead's Famous Memphis Rub since I had some left in the pantry), and they turned out amazing. Just incredible, and to make matters even better we had company over that day so they got to enjoy them as well, they were blown away by it. I didn't think I would be making ribs again so soon, but it looks like I will be...fine by me! My dad ran by the house the other day, he was at Sam's Club shopping and bought us a package of ribs because he knows how much I am getting into making them.

    These are prepackaged Pork Spareribs, which I ain't familiar with making yet. I usually get ribs from the butcher, and typically Baby Back. I included a picture of the package, just in case. It does not say on the package that it has any kind of brine in it, they look to be just vacuum sealed I reckon. Panhead John gave me a few pointers on that, and told me to come here with other questions which I have a few.

    Firstly, I have watched some videos about Pork Spareribs, and namely trimming them up like removing the rib tips and stuff. So my first question is...what can I do with the parts I remove? Seems like an awful waste to throw it away. Can I use it in chili or a stock or something? Open to any ideas, I don't wanna throw stuff away if I can help it though.

    My second question regards the fact that I have now made a batch of Meathead's Famous Memphis Rub. I am stoked to try it out! It says in the directions on Famous Last Meal Ribs to put salt on them first, then the rub later before they go on. I am gonna trim them, yank off the membrane, and put the salt on tonight. This is probably a really dumb question, but I am gonna ask it anyways...do I put the salt on both sides or just the meat side?

    Final specific questions are about the wood that I add to the Large Big Green Egg. I usually put two of the bigger (roughly fist size) chunks of Apple or Hickory, or if I am running low on bigger chunks the equivalent amount of smaller ones. I always think that makes them really nicely smoke flavored, I actually think that might be the perfect amount for my tastes; I have never tried more. Anyways, my wife was asking if I can make them even smokier. I told her that I was leery about this, that too much smoke could ruin it. Do y'all think adding a bit more than I described would be too much? I mean I reckon the only way to know for sure is to try it and find out, but I thought asking ahead of time from experienced people might be a good idea.

    Also, I usually just throw the wood chunks on top of the lump charcoal once it is lit. I was watching a video the other day and the guy in the video (using Big Green Egg) filled the firebox up halfway with coal, added half his wood, then filled it up with the rest of the coal and then the other half of the wood on top. Is there anything to this, or was this fellow just being weird?

    Lastly, not a specific question I reckon but does anyone here have specific tips/tricks/suggestions for Big Green Egg ribs smoking? They turned out great last time so I think I am starting to get the basics down, but I am trying to get better so any new tricks could be super helpful!

    Thanks in advance everybody!
    Attached Files

    Brad, great questions. If you’re wife likes more smoke try using 3-4 chunks of hickory. That’s what I always use. Apple has a milder smoke flavor than hickory and won’t be as noticeable. Hickory is perfect for brisket and ribs IMO. You only need to salt the meat side, but you’re not really hurting anything if you did both. I’ll defer your BGE questions to others, I have no experience with it.

    Edit: Concerning salt or seasoning on both sides. I’m usually not able to get the membrane off my ribs. I’ve tried so many times with limited success. I don’t have enough patience I guess. Since seasoning won’t penetrate the membrane, that’s why I sometimes don’t season both sides. Otherwise I’d do both sides.
    Last edited by Panhead John; December 20, 2020, 10:36 AM.


      You are correct, rib tips are great in stock.

      I salt both sides. Never thought about it.

      I agree with panhead, maybe instead of more wood and smoke try the same amount of a more robust wood like hickory first. If you feel like you’ve tried hickory and the wife still wants more smoke add a little bit more, probably won’t ruin it.

      Welcome to the Pit
      Last edited by jhapka; December 19, 2020, 07:02 PM.


        I usually hoard up the rib tips over a couple cooks and then use them as the main or game watching snacks. Not the most lady like thing to eat, but who cares. I love them!


          You don't have to trim. If you do use for beans. Salt both sides. I only use hickory on pork, and we like a lot of smoke.


            To answer some of the questions - I like the hickory advice. The closest thing we have where I live is almond, which gives a thick smoke profile. I like almond on my Vision grill vs. lighter wood like oak for smoking.

            Second - no need to wrap ribs in a BGE. I wrap mine in my other smokers, but never in the Vision. A little spritz of apple juice will humidify the whole environment.

            I do season the entire rib - front and back. Why? I have no idea. Panhead John is likely right - you probably don't need to.

            Before pork belly burnt ends became a thing, I used to use the rib trimmings as candy. I now know I wasn't very original. I cook them at the same time and with a couple of hours to go, I make sure they are cut down and I begin dousing them in sauces with extra brown sugar. I started doing that because my kids liked BBQ sauce at a stage in their lives. I didn't like saucy things. So we came to an agreement. They could snack on the sauced-up rib pieces and even rub them on their ribs. They weren't allowed to grab any other sauces.
            Last edited by tbob4; December 19, 2020, 08:47 PM.


              - Agree with tbob4 no need to wrap while cooking on a Kamado. However its your preference.
              - Agree with the Hickory as a good choice for wood or maybe Pecan. If fruit wood is your thing I prefer Peach over Apple for pork.
              - Concerning placement of wood I randomly place them in the lump pile in my BGE's and Primo for shorter cooks like ribs. Lately I have been burrying my wood chunks in my Primo when doing Brisket. I have actually used more chunks of wood with no ill affects with this method on the Primo.
              - Lastly concerning more smoke. An easy way to get a bit more smoke is while lighting your fire put the "Guest of Honor" in the fridge or freezer until the fire is ready. This just lowers the initial temp of the meat, thus it will take the meat longer to get up to about 135-140°F when smoke absorption will be complete.
              Last edited by tiewunon; December 19, 2020, 08:45 PM.


                SheilaAnn Hit the nail on the head for the tips. I leave the tips on and use them as "chef's snacks" while I'm finishing and plating the rest of the meal. If you want to trim them before cooking, save 'em up until you have enough for a meal.
                As for how much wood is too much, you won't really know until you fall off that cliff. Then you'll know around and about where the edge is for your tastes.
                Last edited by willxfmr; December 19, 2020, 10:12 PM.


                  I cook ribs on a BGE. I rub both sides of the ribs just because that's how I was taught and all the pros do it. I try to place the wood mixed throughout the charcoal so I get a continuous smoke from start to finish. Trying to copy what I think a stick burner would be like.

                  I watched a Harry Soo video where he places the chunks under the charcoal. His theory is that the smoke will be cleaner as it passes through the charcoal and flames. Kind of like a Karbq.

                  I usually use apple or cherry for pork but recently have been using Maple. Try different woods, as suggested, to get a stronger smoke profile. I like to taste the smoke but not be overwhelmed by it. It's easy to add to much but it's all personal preference.

                  I do use a drip pan with some water just to keep things clean. I can effect bark formation if things get too humid so I go back and forth on that. I Never wrap on the Egg,


                  • Whiskeyman53
                    Whiskeyman53 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I have seen the technique of placing the wood under the coals used many times and never looked at it as the coals filtering the smoke, makes sense.

                  Way back in the ‘70s, when I lived in the Midwest, I would order tips because I didn’t have enough money for ribs. They were awesome.

                  When I get a full spare like you have, I trim the ribs and make the tips separately, and I use the tips as snacks, or as add ins for beans.


                    My answer is PBR.
                    You are on the right track in the right place.
                    We all learn from the answers to the questions.


                      You have already got a lot of great tips. Just to add my two cents worth. I always salt and rub both sides. All wood is not the sand so you know how yours comes out so go with your gut. Also I have always just thrown my smoking wood on top, never tried the layering. Just an FYI even though I have a kamado I still prefer to wrap, I feel it gives more tenderness to the meat.
                      Sounds like you are already off to great start, and you found Amazing Ribs which will make your transition to a top flight backyard chef even easier.

                      Keep Smoking!


                        Lot’s of great advice here. I cook 5 hours, then wrapped for an hour or so, on the end. I also think the rest is kind of important. Most importantly, make sure you add, having fun to your recipe. Oh, I love pecan.



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