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Quick -- what's the point of foiling the ribs?

Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
edited 12:47AM in EggHead Forum
I've got four big slabs of ribs smoking away nicely, and I'm doing my usual 3/1/1 technique, with the first "1" being an hour at 250 in foil. The rest of the time, both before and after, is indirect at 250, except for the last few minutes, which are direct.[p]I've always done it this way, because several people (whose opinion I respect) have said that it's the best. But I never thought to ask: what's the point of the "foil interlude"?[p]Is it to make the ribs more moist, because they steam in their own juices? But if that's it, then how come they don't dry out during the rest of the time, when they aren't covered?[p]Is it to make the fat drip off, because the foil intensifies the heat? But you'd think that since the temperature both before and after the foil is still 250, the fat would drip off anyway. The foil doesn't increase the heat, since the heat passes right through the foil.[p]Being a basically lazy person, I'm hoping to skip the foil step, but I don't have the guts to mess with a tried-and-true recipe.[p]Your collective wisdom, as always, is greatly appreciated!


  • Prof Dan,
    The foiling step steams the ribs and helps to tenderize them.

    The Naked Whiz
  • Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
    TNW -- so why don't they dry out during the rest of the cooking? I'm puzzled.

  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    Prof Dan,[p]I don't foil every slab, I cut in half and place in a aluminun pan with foil. This should help with not foiling every slab.[p]I also found out than when cooking ribs and foiling I place a 1/4 - 3/4 mixture of BBQ sauce and apple juice. Moist and tender.[p]ribsinfoil.jpg[p]Finishing up with a little more sauce.[p]Ribs3pk.jpg[p]CWM
  • Prof Dan,
    The steaming isn't supposed to make them moist, just tender. Assuming you don't add any liquid to the foiled ribs, they aren't going to absorb any new moisture from anywhere, and they don't dry out during the cook if you don't foil them, so I guess I don't see why you would think they would dry out.[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • RRPRRP Posts: 16,788
    The Naked Whiz,
    for a man who consumed a beer today you sure make a lot of sense. LOL

    Dunlap, IL
  • RRP,
    And that was a WHOLE beer!

    The Naked Whiz
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