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All things Pork Ribs

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I've had good ones and I've had them come out mush.  I've played with rubs from the grocery store and things that I've made.  I've cooked them 3-2-1, 2-1-1, and hung them on a Pit Barrel Cooker.

But consistency on the WSM, wrapping them, has been hit and miss.  On the PBC, as long as they don't fall into the fire, they tend to turn out really well.  Last Sunday, I did a 2-1-1 on the WSM with a rack of St. Louis cut spares and ended up with mush.  Was running a consistent 250 F on the lid, which I figured was plenty low and slow. 

As for the rest, I've had the best luck with our local place's rub I've bought in the store and using a combination of store bought sauce, a pepper glaze, and a few other additions. 

So what's your method?  What's your rub?  What's your glaze, if any?

Edited by dcbc

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I love spare ribs. When done proper are probably my favorite bbq cut. I have yet to find the perfect rub and glaze combo. I prefer a salty, spicy rub and a light spicy glaze. No sauce. I would love some recs for rubs/jelly peppers/glazes that fit those criteria. 

I cook mine hot and watch for color, wrap when they start to get dark. Usually a St. Louis rack is done in 2-2.5 hours. 

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Although I overcooked them, I was really happy  with the rub and glaze I used last time.

Rub was from Stanley's in Tyler plus some medium grind black pepper.  Stanley's uses more of a Memphis style rub.  Not sure how much sugar/brown sugar is in it, but it's not sweet or overwhelming.  Bark was better than it's been in the past.

Glaze was a cobination of store bought sauce, apple cider vinegar, dash of mustard, Worcestershire, red pepper flakes, and red pepper jelly.  Just wanted the glaze to stick a bit better than sauce, be less tomatoey sweet, more spice.  It got close.  Still haven't tried Rib Candy.

I've tried Franklin's rub in the past and don't get a good bark and don't particularly like coarse pepper on pork ribs. 

Edited by dcbc

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2 hours ago, dcbc said:

I've had good ones and I've had them come out mush.  I've played with rubs from the grocery store and things that I've made.  I've cooked them 3-2-1, 2-1-1, and hung them on a Pit Barrel Cooker.

But consistency on the WSM, wrapping them, has been hit and miss.  On the PBC, as long as they don't fall into the fire, they tend to turn out really well.  Last Sunday, I did a 2-1-1 on the WSM with a rack of St. Louis cut spares and ended up with mush.  Was running a consistent 250 F on the lid, which I figured was plenty low and slow. 

As for the rest, I've had the best luck with our local places rub I've bought in the store and using a combination of store bought sauce, a pepper glaze, and a few other additions. 

So what's your method?  What's your rub?  What's your glaze, if any?

Are you wrapping from start to finish? I do mine naked for 2 hrs and then another 2 hours wrapped in foil. I've never had any turn out mushy

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I wrap if I do them on the WSM.  Last Sunday, I did a rack of STL ribs.  I smoked for 3 hours at 250, wrapped for 1 hour, and then put them back for maybe 35 minutes.  They were mush.  They were probably mush after the wrap since they came apart when I tried to put them back on the grill.  But I did anyway because most of my experience is PBC and no wrapping. 

Very little liquid in the foil with them.  Just some spritzes of ACV.

 

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I do 3-2-1 at 225-250 with Stubbs BBQ rub. I add brown sugar, honey and butter during the wrap. Then I glaze with sweet baby rays bbq sauce when I unwrap. Let them cool a bit before cutting so they don’t fall apart during slicing. I’ve had many people say they are the best ribs they’ve ever had. They are on the sweet side which is what I prefer.

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I wrap if I do them on the WSM.  Last Sunday, I did a rack of STL ribs.  I smoked for 3 hours at 250, wrapped for 1 hour, and then put them back for maybe 35 minutes.  They were mush.  They were probably mush after the wrap since they came apart when I tried to put them back on the grill.  But I did anyway because most of my experience is PBC and no wrapping. 
Very little liquid in the foil with them.  Just some spritzes of ACV.
 
Sounds like you may need to go longer on the pit after coming after the foil. The foil will get them "mushy" and they need to firm back up. You could also go shorter on the wrap time.

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your first post you say you did 2-1-1 then you go on to say you pulled them after 35 minutes, which is it?

The last unwrapped part, is to firm them back up, leave them on longer

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If they are coming out mush after wrapping for 1 hour, then you need to change from 3-1-1 to 2-1 and then see how firm they are and either pull or leave for another hour.
I cook mine at 250-275 3 hours then wrap in butcher paper for an hour and then they are usually done by then. It also has to do with the meat itself. Sometimes it takes 4 hours.
I've run them for 6 unwrapped at 225 before and they came out great.
As far as rubs I normally use uncle Chris's and some brown sugar and glaze with honey.  Suckle buster's Hog Waller is really good too.

Edited by TXLNGHRN10

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I’ve had success multiple times on my WSM with the 3-2-1 method at 225F using apple juice. Smoke the full 3 hours, then wrap them for 1.5 hours. then they go back on for 20-30 minutes. Only got mush ribs once but I left them wrapped the full 2 hours. After trying several rubs I prefer to keep it simple with salt and pepper. To me, most rubs take away more than they add.

My biggest problem is finding a good knife that slices the ribs clean instead of tearing. Any suggestions?

Edited by Chilly Water

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There isn’t much better than a properly smoked pork spare rib. I like this thread.

My WSM spares were ending up overdone/mushy when I used 3-2-1. This last time, however, they came out perfect. Three hours on the smoke @ 240-ish, then wrapped till they started to feel loose but not floppy (ended up being 1hr in the foil, but this rack was only 2.75 lbs). I then sauced with Stubbs Sweet Mesquite and put them back on for 1hr. They were awesome. Perfect bitethrough, tender but not falling off the bone, and great flavor.

I’ve also been liking Meathead’s Memphis Dust on ribs (though I add some kosher salt to it) here recently. Good flavor and makes a good bark.

7470252066d3b9465f23535f1b35e0d7.jpg

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45 minutes ago, Chilly Water said:

My biggest problem is finding a good knife that slices the ribs clean instead of tearing. Any suggestions?

Use a sharp boning knife.  Champ suggested this to me on TOS, and it works really well.

Edited by Dutch

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17 minutes ago, Dutch said:

Use a sharp boning knife.  Champ suggested this to me on TOS, and it works really well.

I just use my brisket (roast) carving knife.  Get one with a serrated edge so it can cut through the bark easier.  Stand the rack up on end and slice downward letting the bone guide you. You'll put all the meat to one side of the bone that way, which makes it easier to eat as well as slice, IMO.

As always, it must be sharp to work properly.

Edited by utee94

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15 hours ago, dcbc said:

I wrap if I do them on the WSM.  Last Sunday, I did a rack of STL ribs.  I smoked for 3 hours at 250, wrapped for 1 hour, and then put them back for maybe 35 minutes.  They were mush.  They were probably mush after the wrap since they came apart when I tried to put them back on the grill.  But I did anyway because most of my experience is PBC and no wrapping. 

Very little liquid in the foil with them.  Just some spritzes of ACV.

 

If you're cooking based on the lid temperature of a WSM you're cooking them too long at too hot a temp. Based on my WSM, 250 on the lid would be about 300-325 on the grates.

Get a real temp gauge, put it on the grates, and do your St Louis 3-2-1 at 225-250. Ribs are one of the most consistent things I cook on the WSM, I rarely have wild variations in taste / texture, and it's easy to adjust time if needed if they aren't quite done, etc.

Also I'm not sure what you're doing with the sauces and glazes but if you insist on using that stuff, don't overdo it.

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1 hour ago, Dutch said:

Use a sharp boning knife.  Champ suggested this to me on TOS, and it works really well.

Seconded. Something like this (forschner 42610):

 

F42610.jpg

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16 hours ago, Smax said:

your first post you say you did 2-1-1 then you go on to say you pulled them after 35 minutes, which is it?

The last unwrapped part, is to firm them back up, leave them on longer

Initially intended to do 3-1-1, but I second guessed it.

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3 hours ago, TornACL said:

If you're cooking based on the lid temperature of a WSM you're cooking them too long at too hot a temp. Based on my WSM, 250 on the lid would be about 300-325 on the grates.

Get a real temp gauge, put it on the grates, and do your St Louis 3-2-1 at 225-250. Ribs are one of the most consistent things I cook on the WSM, I rarely have wild variations in taste / texture, and it's easy to adjust time if needed if they aren't quite done, etc.

Also I'm not sure what you're doing with the sauces and glazes but if you insist on using that stuff, don't overdo it.

I've got a good grate thermometer, but I was being lazy and for some reason thought the dome was hotter than the grate, which, in hindsight, makes no sense.

 

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Bump.

I've been a 3-2-1 method @250 on an offset smoker. Have always just used salt and pepper w ACV spritz, but am interested in glazes. What kind of wood are you glazers using? Any type wood to avoid?

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For a variety of rubs, check out Simply Marvelous: https://www.bigpoppasmokers.com/simply-marvelous-rubs

For Glaze, if you want something really thick and sweet with a little kick, try out Blues Hog Original https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Hog-Original-Smokey-Mountain/dp/B077ZMQ4ZD/ref=sr_1_6?hvadid=78340256887369&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=blues+hog+bbq+sauce&qid=1583335738&sr=8-6

I also did well in competitions using Daigles: https://daiglesbbq.com/shop/daigles-competition-finishing-glazes 

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George, the old pitboss at Archibald's in Northport told me he got his ribs off his big smoker at the 90 minute mark. I was stunned but his ribs were always without equal. I started experimenting with hot and fast after that conversation. I build a big hot fire (Oak, Hickory or Pecan wood) in my Weber flying saucer and put the ribs on the opposite side of the coals. I use the Best Stop rub and always remove the membrane from the under side of the ribs (spares.) Open the bottom hatch and the top hatch fully and let 'er fly. At the two hour mark the ribs are fully cooked and the bark has a serious crunch to it. No glaze but I do douse the ribs with sauce (usually Micklethwait's) after they come off the fire.

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Any idea what temp you're cooking at? Thats a pretty fast smoke. I've grown weary of stripping the membrane--I just crosshatch the shit out of it and saves a lot of prep time

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13 hours ago, Gambrinus said:

Any idea what temp you're cooking at? Thats a pretty fast smoke. I've grown weary of stripping the membrane--I just crosshatch the shit out of it and saves a lot of prep time

Not sure since my thermometer got "borrowed" but I'd bet around 400. I did low and slow for eons til I had that chat with George. Also, a boxcutter with a fresh blade is a great tool to get that membrane off.

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42 minutes ago, Cairn Horn88 said:

I'm too lazy to cook my own ribs.  Where are the best pork ribs in South Austin these days?  Thx in advance.

Pork spares at Brown's on S. Lamar are very good.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Cairn Horn88 said:

I'm too lazy to cook my own ribs.  Where are the best pork ribs in South Austin these days?  Thx in advance.

I like salt licks baby backs if I’m craving some and not wanting to smoke.

only available on Sunday’s 

Edited by Tailgate

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Smoked 3 racks of baby backs last night. Paper towel method for the membrane removal worked great! Thanks for helping me elevate my rib game. Had struggled with trying to cut it off. Was worried that pulling would tear the ribs.

3-2-1 on offset with mesquite.  Salt and pepper rub with apple cider vinegar spritz. So good.

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The membrane is a nuisance. I always remove it. But then I'm also never smoking more than four racks of ribs at a time so removing the membranes isn't an inconvenience. 

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Sometimes it can be pretty thick. Makes for a much more tender bite to have cut it up or removed it. Doesn't render down as well as the fat does

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Yeah the membrane can be chewy on side bites that pull off the backside. 

On the flipside, the membrane helps hold the rack together whenever you're moving it during cooking, for example when you're wrapping it for 3-2-1 method.

I typically remove it, but it's not a life or death thing and if you're not removing it that's ok too.

 

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23 hours ago, TornACL said:

I never bother to take the membrane off. What's the nuisance? 

I don't like to eat it so it just gets in the way. Is it even digestible? It only serves as a barrier between meat and seasoning.

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On 3/7/2020 at 6:27 AM, Baboontyme said:

I stopped pulling the membrane after I watched a Franklin rib video and he said he doesn't remove it. 

Before watching that video I rarely did ribs because I sucked at it. Now they are my favorite on the BGE.

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Any recs in how to make ribs using a gas (natural) grill? I’ve tried a couple times and ended up with meh.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/8/2020 at 10:02 AM, Sabalo said:

Before watching that video I rarely did ribs because I sucked at it. Now they are my favorite on the BGE.

I've done two rib cooks on my BGE (got it in Nov) and they've both been less-than-ideal. I burnt the bottoms the first go-round. This Saturday I put a foil half pan with water and beer in it and set it on top of the Conveggtor. Didn't burn the baby backs but over-cooked them using the 2-2-1 method. Was not happy with them at all.

Edited by C-Man

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On 3/8/2020 at 8:28 AM, Covri said:

Any recs in how to make ribs using a gas (natural) grill? I’ve tried a couple times and ended up with meh.

Bake them in the oven as you would a smoker (use a rack so air can circulate), sauce them up, finish on the grill.  Did that back when I had an apartment during my younger years.  Not offset-good, but not awful either and guests seemed to like them.  

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