BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Recipe Discussions => Meat => Topic started by: BigRich on January 14, 2014, 04:21:52 PM

Title: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 14, 2014, 04:21:52 PM
I can't seem to get these spare ribs to come out right.  They're usually over done but the last batch was both.  One rack was under and the other was over.  The only thing I do different that ten point, that I've figured out, is that I boat the ribs instead of using aluminum foil.

My buddy and I are cooking for our friends Super Bowl Sunday.  Him on his horizontal off set smoker and me on the Bradley. I'll be smoking a few more racks before then to be sure I kick his az. 

I'm going to post those smokes here and hope that you guys can pick up on what the problem is.  Otherwise, I'll have to tell him, in front of our friends, that his smoker is better then mine.  You know that's not going to go over well with me.(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/15/7a5y8a5u.jpg)
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: STLstyle on January 14, 2014, 04:33:29 PM
A lot of times for me the variance in doneness is caused by rib position in smoker and size differential of the ribs.  Rarely are they exactly the same size.  Don't be scared to rotate them consistently and pull them out individually as they all aren't going to finish at the same time.   I look forward to seeing your posts I'm sure everyone will help out as much they can. 

Good luck!


Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: Saber 4 on January 14, 2014, 05:48:21 PM
I seem to be the only one on here that does my ribs without foiling or boating, I like to marinate mine in a mixture apple juice, soy sauce and garlic overnight, then I take them out pat them dry and put on a spicy dry rub while the Bradley is warming up. I smoke at 220 for 2-3 hours starting with the ribs bone side down on the racks, I rotate the racks and flip the ribs at 2 hours and every couple of hours until they are done by look and using the skewer test I learned here. So far, knock on wood I haven't had a failure yet and the ribs go fast with everyone eating more than they normally eat.
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: KyNola on January 14, 2014, 06:02:07 PM
Without knowing what you are doing, as in how you are cooking them, it is going to be hard for us to help you.  Another question is "what do you consider ribs to be done?".  Fall off the bone? Over done for me.  Nice bite with a gentle tug and a clean bone left behind?  Perfectly done for me.

You're going to need to help us help you.
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: Saber 4 on January 14, 2014, 06:12:44 PM
Without knowing what you are doing, as in how you are cooking them, it is going to be hard for us to help you.  Another question is "what do you consider ribs to be done?".  Fall off the bone? Over done for me.  Nice bite with a gentle tug and a clean bone left behind?  Perfectly done for me.

You're going to need to help us help you.

X2
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: STLstyle on January 14, 2014, 06:12:48 PM

Without knowing what you are doing, as in how you are cooking them, it is going to be hard for us to help you.  Another question is "what do you consider ribs to be done?".  Fall off the bone? Over done for me.  Nice bite with a gentle tug and a clean bone left behind?  Perfectly done for me.

You're going to need to help us help you.

Yep.  X2.  If you take some tongs and bend the slab back over itself and they start to come apart = perfect for me.  Pay attention to what they feel like as compared to how you like them and you can repeat time and time again.

Saber, I don't foil my ribs every time anymore either.  Sometimes too lazy and I can get results I want without.  Just did 2 racks no foil yesterday in fact.


Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: Saber 4 on January 14, 2014, 06:14:16 PM


Saber, I don't foil my ribs every time anymore either.  Sometimes too lazy and I can get results I want without.  Just did 2 racks no foil yesterday in fact.

Glad to hear I'm not alone in the wilderness on ribs anymore. ;)
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 15, 2014, 02:38:09 AM
I also find that each rack has it's own characteristics, and rarely do all my rack of ribs finish at the same time. I remove the finished ones and allow the others to continue to cook. In the Bradley rotating is very important. I use a bamboo skewer to test for doness. When it slides in and out with a very slight resistance they are bite off the bone tender, if they slide in and out with no resistance then they are fall off the bone.
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: TedEbear on January 15, 2014, 04:38:16 AM
Foiling with apple juice or some other liquid is also called the Texas Crutch (http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/texas_crutch.html).  You'll find that this method is used in BBQ smoking competitions by the experts.  There must be something to it.

Anyway, try rotating the racks at least once during the smoking session to even out the doneness.
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: STLstyle on January 15, 2014, 06:50:46 AM

Foiling with apple juice or some other liquid is also called the Texas Crutch (http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/texas_crutch.html).  You'll find that this method is used in BBQ smoking competitions by the experts.  There must be something to it.

Anyway, try rotating the racks at least once during the smoking session to even out the doneness.

X2.  Although I believe this is mostly used for color (if you don't wrap your ribs they can get too dark for ideal appearance scores.  Judges like that mahogany color). Also to speed up the cooking process / moisture retention.  But you sacrifice the bark!  Can't have it both ways.  For my house, I'm leaning unwrapped as of lately...  Subject to change of course!  Looking forward to seeing some pics...





Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: pondee on January 15, 2014, 10:02:10 AM
So 3-2-1 can also be 3 hours smoke, 2 hours cook no smoke and 1 hour cook with sauce?  All at about 225*?
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: Grouperman941 on January 15, 2014, 01:36:52 PM
So 3-2-1 can also be 3 hours smoke, 2 hours cook no smoke and 1 hour cook with sauce?  All at about 225*?

This is what I do. I like the texture better.
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: Pachanga on January 16, 2014, 02:53:43 AM


Saber, I don't foil my ribs every time anymore either.  Sometimes too lazy and I can get results I want without.  Just did 2 racks no foil yesterday in fact.

Glad to hear I'm not alone in the wilderness on ribs anymore. ;)

x3

I us a very simple process for Saint Louis Cut or Spare Ribs.

Lay the ribs out for a while (still sealed) until they get closer to room temp.
Fire up the Bradley to preheat to 245 - 255 (the ribs will knock temp down) with half steam table pan full of boiling water to catch pucks
(I use a foil shield to push the temperature toward the middle of the Bradley and equalize front and back temps; no rack flipping))
Remove the membrane (I leave the flap)
Season liberally with rub on both sides
Slather with a thin layer of mustard slather mix of choice (think of it as a long term mop)
Bone side down on the second from the bottom rack
Smoke with apple at 220 - 230 rack temperature for 5 (optimistic) to 6 (close), maybe 7 hours (temp was too low)
4 hours minimum on smoke
If you like to mop, go a couple of rounds after the four hour mark when the bark has set.
When ribs start to bend when lifted in the middle with tongs and loosen up, check for done.

What is done?  For me the ribs need to still have a little tug from the bone.
When the ribs are limber, stick a fork between two bones; twist.  If the fibers have a little tug but still break apart easily, I pull them.
If you lift the middle with tongs and things start to fall apart, well for me, that's too much; still good but I am not a fall off the bone cowboy.  When I lift the middle with tongs and feel like they are about to break, they are out of there.  Loosely wrap in foil for a few minutes and serve.

If the bark is not as dry as you like or if you want to set a glaze, apply and put under a broiler for less than a minute on both sides.

6 - 0 - 0.  Simple. Works for me.  But to each his own.

Good luck and slow smoking,

Pachanga

Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: Saber 4 on January 16, 2014, 09:35:43 AM
Pachanga,

I'll have to try the mustard slather when I'm not marinating first, do you have a picture of your foil shield, I'm having a mental block on picturing how you would do it and I'm always interested in new tricks.

Thanks,
Robert
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: Pachanga on January 16, 2014, 11:40:18 AM
Pachanga,

I'll have to try the mustard slather when I'm not marinating first, do you have a picture of your foil shield, I'm having a mental block on picturing how you would do it and I'm always interested in new tricks.

Thanks,
Robert

I was afraid that would come up.  I don't have any real good photos but there is one in this post. 

http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=12061.0

I have since modified this so that the foil is in a V with the point of the V looking straight at the door; the long point running parallel to the floor; right to left.  I use a crumpled up, folded over, half steam table foil pan now.  This way heat slides up the lower leg of the V and to the middle with drippings sliding down and toward the middle by depressing the top center foil leg of the V to funnel dripping to the center heat shield and vent hole.

I placed four rack probes in the Bradley before the shield to check for hot spots.  As would stand to reason, the rear of the Bradley was always much hotter than the door side; heat from the element takes the shortest route to the chimney.  Hence the heat shield.  It pushes heat toward the center; it rises, hits the meat dead center bottom, then deflects to the door, rear and sides more evenly.  This was verified by multiple rack probes.

I don't twist, flip or rotate except to move racks down as each lower rack is done.

This is not approved by Bradley and may be frowned on by others but it works for me with no problems for years now.  Do so at your own risk.  That should about cover the danger replies.

When the perpetual laziness wears off, I will weld something up more permanent.
Sorry I have not been more thorough in the explanation and photos.

Good luck and slow smoking,

Pachanga
Title: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 16, 2014, 02:23:36 PM
I like the ribs to be tear off the bone.  I'll take them out if the fridge for an hour, smoke them for three hours at 220, then boat them with AJ meat side down for 2 hours, then sauce them for 1 hour, lastly FTC for 2-3 hrs.

Here's a link to one of my old posts where they came out overdone. http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=32118
 
Here they are.  On the right is Jan's and on the left is Iceman's.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/17/ygydapav.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/17/ytadyga6.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/17/ady9yjen.jpg)(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/17/8a5e7edy.jpg)

They're wrapped in cellophane and in the fridge over night.
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 17, 2014, 09:09:25 AM
Into the smoker for three hours at 220.  Current temp after being loaded is 189 on the Bradley sensor and 171 on the remote sensor in the middle of the cabinet.  It was 230 before I opened the door.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/18/ama2u8uz.jpg)
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 17, 2014, 12:03:13 PM
And now they're boated.  Do you guys think I should have a look at them in 1 hr instead of waiting for the 2 hr mark?  If so, what am I looking for?
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/18/myjaze6u.jpg)
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 17, 2014, 01:41:05 PM
Here they are after 1.5 hrs in foil.  They were already pretty soft and could be pulled apart.  I sauced them and put them back on the rack.  My temp dropped to 192.

(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/18/a7abesuz.jpg)
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 17, 2014, 02:52:42 PM
I forgot to take a picture when I took them out.  They looked good.  The meat had pulled back just a little, maybe 1/2".

 I put the tray back in the smoker empty after the foil part.  Now, they're back in the tray with the same juices ftc-ing.

I think the 2 hours in foil is what the issue is.  They just cook so fast in there.
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 17, 2014, 05:54:02 PM
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/18/a6upahys.jpg)

So this is 3-1.5.1 with 2 hrs FTC.  They were the best I've made in the recent past.  They we're tear off the bone.  They could have been moister.  I was short on aj.  I only added maybe half a cup.  Interestingly, there also was not a large difference between the rubs. 

I'll be making these 1 more time before Super Bowl sunday.  Any suggestions ?
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: KyNola on January 17, 2014, 07:20:43 PM
Iceman and I both SCORE! ;D
Title: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 19, 2014, 07:03:48 AM
I'll be trying Pachanga's 600 method today except I'll be smoking with mesquite instead of apple.  I split the rack and rubbed one side with Jan's and other with Iceman's to see if I could tell the difference again since I couldn't last time.
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 19, 2014, 07:06:16 AM

Foiling with apple juice or some other liquid is also called the Texas Crutch (http://www.amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/texas_crutch.html).  You'll find that this method is used in BBQ smoking competitions by the experts.  There must be something to it.

Anyway, try rotating the racks at least once during the smoking session to even out the doneness.

I'm a little confused by your post.  You like the crutch but you linked a site that's pretty firmly against it when cooking at home.
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: TedEbear on January 19, 2014, 10:06:45 AM
I'm a little confused by your post.  You like the crutch but you linked a site that's pretty firmly against it when cooking at home.

Just giving everyone the option.  Some people shoot for perfection, others are just okay with mediocre.
 
Title: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 19, 2014, 02:20:25 PM
The thicker part of the rack is still not finished.  The meat has only slightly pulled back from the bone.  My temp never dropped below 200 and was fairly steady at 220.  I believe I they've been in for about 6:45.  These ribs are the real meaty ones you can buy from restaurant depot.  I think they said "3.5 and up" on them.   How long should I let them go for?  I don't want them to be dry.  I have a big water pan that I put in after 3 hrs of smoke.
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: Saber 4 on January 19, 2014, 02:31:37 PM
Be patient Grasshopper and use the tong bend test and skewer between bones test and remember that each pig cooks differently. :)
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 19, 2014, 03:20:55 PM
Damn.  They're finally starting to give it up and get pliable.  I've never heard of ribs taking 7:30-8:00 to cook.  I started around 11.  It's now dark out.  Never would've thought it...
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: Pachanga on January 19, 2014, 05:04:17 PM
Temperatures fluctuate in the Bradley depending on the placement of the gauge or probe.  I always place a chamber probe on the lowest rack that holds meat near the front door.  A rear reading is normally much hotter unless you deflect the heat toward the middle.  The built in gauge will pick up hotter heat at the back without a heat deflector.

I agree that is a long time on ribs.  7 hours is on the outside at 220 - 230, but as you stated, you have a thicker cut in your possession.  They will be ready when they are ready.  They should still be moist with the slather and water pan.

Pachanga
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 19, 2014, 05:21:20 PM
(http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/01/20/ede8ebyg.jpg)

These were the best ribs to date.  The wife and I both liked the bark better than when they were boated.  We could also taste a distinct difference in the rubs.  Originally we both favored Iceman's.  But after I told her which one was Jan's she changed her mind (I think she has a hard on for Jan). 

The ribs were moderately moist.  Next time I'll use a full water pan the entire smoke and close the vent some.  Other suggestions are appreciated.

The bark was dark which I like but I would like to have it a little stiffer.  Not sure if we can do anything about that or not.

I don't know what to call it but it wasn't tear off the bone or fall off the bone.  The meat was hard enough to hold together when you tried to break the two bones apart but soft enough where the bone cleanly separated from the meat.  The meat didn't break apart easily either.  I guess maybe it was fall of the bone then but I wouldn't want the meat any tuffer.


Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 19, 2014, 05:24:56 PM

Temperatures fluctuate in the Bradley depending on the placement of the gauge or probe.  I always place a chamber probe on the lowest rack that holds meat near the front door.  A rear reading is normally much hotter unless you deflect the heat toward the middle.  The built in gauge will pick up hotter heat at the back without a heat deflector.

I agree that is a long time on ribs.  7 hours is on the outside at 220 - 230, but as you stated, you have a thicker cut in your possession.  They will be ready when they are ready.  They should still be moist with the slather and water pan.

Pachanga

Right.  I've noticed about a 20 degree difference.  So with the DBS probe on the back, and element not turning on until the temp falls to 200, I wondered if I should look into a way to get that element to turn on sooner. 

Then I though, naw, that's just the OCD talking.
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: BigRich on January 30, 2014, 06:06:57 PM
After much trial and error, cooking them without foil is the way we like round here.  Finishing them with sauce took first place but without sauce at all was a close second.  I'll be cocking them with sauce, no foil, Iceman's rub, 2 steaming pans of water, with the vent half open, for somewhere between 5-6 hrs on Super Bowl Sumday, 
Title: Re: Hellava time cooking ribs...
Post by: Pachanga on January 30, 2014, 06:45:14 PM
Experiment, mess up, change it up, try again, make it your own; that is what is all about.

When you and the kin like it, that is when it is perfectly right.

Good luck and slow smoking,

Pachanga