I did a cooking/tasting in the rib area this weekend. I thought I might give some light to the process. I'm looking for a winner for the SC State Championships in Greenwood, SC in mid July.
Cooked 7 racks of spares and 1 rack of Baby Backs. The fellas at work like the meat on spares. My wife flat refuses to eat anything but backs. I use these guys to help me fund the cause. They pay me 20 bucks a rack to prepare the ribs as I see fit. That includes ribs, rubs and sauces. They are not afraid to tell me the truth and I really want their input. I'm really sorry I don't have any pics. The digital is out of batteries.
I trimed the brisket bone and the back flap (they make tasty nibbles during the cook) off of the spares and removed the membranes from all. Washed them under the tap and coated them with a thin coating of cheap yellow mustard. Coated with a fair sprinke of a tweaked version of John Willingham's mild seasoning rub and wrapped for the fridge.
At 5am I fired up the OK Joe which looks strangely like this:
(now the Brinkmann version) She's presently a OK Joe Classic.
I used a 20 lb bag of Nature Glo lump with 2 logs ea. Hickory and Pecan.
Fired it up and let it settle for 2 hours. Coffee and sunrise. My favorite.
When the temp got right (250 or so) on went the ribs. 3 hours with a clean fire adding logs of cherry and apple as needed to keep the fire clean and steady. The Joe chugged like a champ. Thin blue smoke only. After about 3 hours of yard work they were rotated and mopped with apple juice. Then into a tight rap of F**L. I would guess they stayed in f**l for about 1 1/2 hrs. I don't have a time rule here. I like them to pull back about 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch then out to smoke again. Still feeding a clean fire with pecan, hickory, cherry and apple woods. Mopping every 1/2 hr or so. If anyone wants a F**L discussion I'll be happy to oblidge.
When they were deemed done by the pick up test. I started glazing them with a simple kicked up Tommy Bowen cut in 1/2, each half seperatly mixed with Pineapple Habanero and Peach Habanero jelly from the Texas Pepper Jelly folks. 1/2 the rack glazed with each for taste test puposes. Total time on the pit about 7 hrs.
Off to their owners for comparison.
The results were great to off the hook. The common thread was when are you going to make more. Everybody seemed to like the pineapple side better not because you could tell the difference in taste, but the peach side was too sweet. To date I've never got too sweet as a problem with rib tests. I'm still in the hammock on that one.
The backs sucked. For some reason they got dried out. (I know, 7 hrs? Hello!!)
Cappy...Did you use Wally Smithfields this weekend?
Served with a recipe called Beans from Kurtopia, fresh corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, and some Q left over from a cook at the SC State Championships at Ladson in March. The Q missed 1st place by 1/10 of a point. I must say the Q was pretty good. You never get to taste the real thing at cook offs. Your head is always full of tension and smoke.
That's the skinny of it. I still got some work to do. But I thought it was...