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Upping the rib game. Help needed

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RobinW

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Ok, I took the kids to a pork rib restaurant during the sailing vacation. They liked it. In fact they liked it better than my homemade and now ask if I can do the same style as the restaurant... Huge fail on me.

Framework:
- Home kitchen
- no smoker
- grill available

What I am looking for is a juicy rib with a sweet, slightly smoky, sticky sauce.

I normally boil the ribs before grilling them to get the" fall of the bone" meat texture. Never managed to get that with only the grill.

Please tell me your secrets and recipes!

Thanks
 

RobinW

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Mods, just discovered the recipe part. Please move and possibly label recipe wanted.

Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience
 

AT5760

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What kind of grill do you have, gas or charcoal? I've had very good success with ribs and pork butt on a Weber kettle. Snake method, post oak hunks, and a water pan. I don't sweat temperature and just keep it in near 250F. Smoke and Spice is a great read on technique.

For a sauce, start with ketchup, cider vinegar or white vinegar, minced onion, and garlic. Then experiment with things like mustard, brown sugar, molasses, chipotles in adobo, cayenne, sriracha, soy sauce, liquid smoke, honey.

I've never boiled or sous vide(d)? ribs before putting on the grill. Will they still take on smoke if they are cooked? From what I've read on BBQ forums, meat stops absorbing smoke at a certain temperature.
 

Colin

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Low and slow on a grill is key. 225-275 degrees Fahrenheit for between 4 and 6 hours. Your goal is to melt the collagen into gelatin. I test my ribs by picking the middle up with tongs and slowly raising off the grates. If the bark starts to crack in the middle while both ends are still on the grate, it's done. The 3-2-1 method can also be used to help ensure tender and juicy ribs. The sauce goes on the ribs in the last 30 minutes to get that sweet sticky texture.
 

MowgFace

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Maybe spice rub, foil wrap, pour in liquid, braise in oven, finish on grill.
 

Colin

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More specifically, here is my recipe that I used when I was the pitmaster for a local bbq joint:

Ingredients
1 (12 count) rack of spare ribs (St-Louis style cut)
2 tsp yellow mustard
3 tablespoons barbecue rub (typically contained salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, brown sugar, cayenne)
2 tablespoons bbq sauce (can provide the sauce recipe later, upon request)

1. Preheat grill to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, with half the grill not on (for indirect heat).
2. Take membrane off of the underside of ribs.
3. Slather ribs in a thin coating of yellow mustard.
4. Cover ribs liberally all over with barbecue rub.
5. Place ribs bone side down on the "cold" side of the grates.
6. Cook ribs for about four hours, or until it passes the bend test (described in the above post). When just about 30 minutes away from being done, coat the ribs in a thin layer of barbecue sauce.
7. Remove when done and wrap in foil. Rest the ribs for at least 30 minutes.
8. Enjoy!

Less easy than boiling/sous vide/braising, but in my opinion has a better overall texture and is more authentic to the "restaurant-style" you are looking for. If the ribs look like they are starting to dry out on the grates, wrapping in foil with a touch of apple cider/ apple cider vinegar mix helps.
 

Kgp

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Second the suggestion of sous vide. Serious Eats method. I did 12 hours at 165 and they were as good as any I'd made on my BGE.
 

RobinW

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Thanks for all suggestions.

I have both gas and coal and I`'ll try the different advice.

@Colin please share bbq sauce recipe.

Might get going already this weekend 😊
 

Colin

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This recipe comes from Aaron Franklin in his book Franklin Barbecue: A Meat Smoking Manifesto. A great book to read when it comes to barbecue. It is a mixture between a Carolina vinegar bbq sauce and a Kansas sweet bbq sauce with a punch of Texas flare.

Franklin's Original Barbecue Sauce

Makes about 3 cups of sauce

Ingredients:
1 ¾ cups of ketchup
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp water
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp white vinegar
¼ cup plus 1½ tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp plus 1½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp chile powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1½ tsp kosher salt
1½ tsp coarse black pepper

1. Heat all the ingredients in a saucepan until slightly thickened.
2. Remove from heat and cool. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.
 

Bodine

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Colin knows ribs, except I never add sauce until it hits the plate, some like them with just rub on them. I like Memphis style rubs with no sugar on ribs, I like some sugar in my butt rubs.
If you foil them on the smoker for an hour you will get the fall of the bone you desire, I like mine with a bit of texture so I never foil.
 
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tostadas

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For St Louis Style Ribs, I used to do 8hrs wrapped in foil at low temp.

I've since changed to a much faster cook by doing 20mins @500deg uncovered followed by 1hr40mins @350deg wrapped in foil. Then finish it by saucing at the very end and putting it under the broiler for 3-5mins, just until the sauce starts bubbling. The result is a rib that is tender with still a bit of chew. I can literally pull the bones out by hand.

Dry rub is up to you.

The sauce I've been using is a sweet and slightly smokey one. When broiled it gets a bit sticky, and I put some on the side for dipping. This recipe is good for about 5 racks.

1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons liquid smoke

Simmer it on the stove for 5-10mins until it gets to the consistency that you like.


Alternatively, I sometimes like a Carolina Style vinegar sauce instead of the ketchup based sauce. However, this way isn't sticky like you mentioned you wanted.

1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce (texas pete, tabasco)
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons finely ground black pepper
 

esoo

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Get yourself a charcoal water smoker. Small footprint, can be had for cheapish and you can get good results - I'm using an older one with no adjustable vents with a temperature gauge that simply says "Warm/Ideal/Hot".

I can still pull off this - 6 hour smoke over pecan wood, then pulled for a 10 minute finish on the gas at which point I sauce.
20200725_185351.jpg


Family just gave me a Weber 18" Smokey Mountain Cooker so I'm guessing they want me to up my game a bit.
 

Bodine

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This is the rub I make as a base, I use it as is for ribs, and add brown sugar and ancho powder for pork butts. It is as close to the Rendevous rib rub as you can find.

LD: 2 cups

UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS
Nutrition

Here is another variation as well Meathead's World Famous Memphis Dust Rub
 

DitmasPork

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Ok, I took the kids to a pork rib restaurant during the sailing vacation. They liked it. In fact they liked it better than my homemade and now ask if I can do the same style as the restaurant... Huge fail on me.

Framework:
- Home kitchen
- no smoker
- grill available

What I am looking for is a juicy rib with a sweet, slightly smoky, sticky sauce.

I normally boil the ribs before grilling them to get the" fall of the bone" meat texture. Never managed to get that with only the grill.

Please tell me your secrets and recipes!

Thanks
Personally, I don't like boiling ribs, too much flavor gets lost. What's worked for me for baby backs—if too rushed to do low and slow—is wrapping baby back ribs in foil, baking at 325–350 for an hour; saucing then, an additional 1/2 hour uncovered.
 

RobinW

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That is a nice site. Another thing to test.
Thanks
Reading up I should say that I seldom boil thin ribs, but it has been known to happen.
 

riba

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ChefSteps (haven't tried this)

Usually I am way too lazy. I just rub them with Plowboys Yardbird's rub, throw them low and slow on the kamado and depending on the mood sauce them with Sweet baby ray's honey chipotle barbecue sauce. (Note, as I am in Europe I haven't tried much proper american style bbq.) Tasty.

Did once or twice sous vide them and finish them sauced in the oven. Didn't float my boat. When it isn't bbq weather (for me that's mainly cold rain) I rather cook something else.
 

Bensbites

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I like baby backs over STL ribs personally. Less fat, shorter cook time. Of you are using STL, you need ~25-33 % longer cook times.

1) rub the dry meat. I start with equal parts salt, pepper, sugar, onion powder and garlic powder. Add other spices to taste. Option are limitless, but poplar choices are cumin, coriander, rosemary, basil, paprika, chili powder, honey, mustard, ect... you can rub the ribs 0-24 hrs ahead of grilling. This is essentially dry brining. You can wet brine as well if you like. I have moved away from that.

2) coking. I like to cook covered over indirect moist heat. In my old Weber charcoal grill, I would put a large water bowl under the ribs and keep 3-5 briquettes lit on either side of the bowl for about 4 hrs. You can add wood chunks too. This would give me about 250 F.

option 2- start with above. Wrap the ribs in foil after 2-3 hr. You want the bark to be set to the point you can’t scrape it off with your fingernail. Add flavoring to the foil. I like beer and honey. Others add more dry rub. Done add butter and coke.

The last 30 minI sometimes glaze my ribs. BBQ sauce, 1:1 mustard molasses,1:1 honey mustard, or even 1:1:1 honey:mustard:catchup.

Rib rules

1)if you ribs are dry you undercooked them
2) keeping temps below 300 F will prevent sugars from burning. No sugars, (salt and pepper only) you can go higher and faster).
3) I know there are more, but I can’t think of them. Blaming lack of sleep due to kids.
 
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