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Purpose (theoretical or not) of Foil

edited 6:34PM in EggHead Forum
What is one trying to achieve when using foil during the cooking of ribs ?


  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Dr.Seuss, IMO, no, I decline :-) This question will draw the crowd. (just a tease tho, short cut to a more tender hunk of meat) :-)

  • ChuckChuck Posts: 812
    What will foil achieve? The wrath of some, the praise of others, the pity of some, the envy of others (if you post a picture of the final product), a lively debate on the pros and cons of foil, and just possibly some of the best ribs you have ever eaten, if, imo, not "over-foiled". [p]Chuck

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    <p />Dr.Seuss,[p]Wrapping the ribs (or corn, potatoes, veggies, etc) in foil allows it to steam itself. Chuck was correct, it draws praise from some and pity from others so some love it, some don't, but there are many ways to cook ribs and this is just one of them.[p]When referring to the <FONT COLOR="#007F00">3 - 1 - 1.5 </FONT> method of cooking ribs, the first part is 3 hr indirect. Nothing different here, just a normal indirect cook over ceramic or drip pan. Then comes the foil wrap part for 1 hr or so. One advantage to the <FONT COLOR="#007F00">3 - 1 - 1.5 </FONT> method is that you can hold the ribs in limbo while they are in the foil. It seems to me that there is little difference in 1 hr, 1.5 hr or even 2 hr in the foil. I have found it is nice to be able to put a 5.5hr rib cook on hold for 30-45 min without worring about if the ribs will over cook before the guests arive. When they do arrive - late (don't you hate that) you can remove them from the foil and go direct for 1 hr or 1.5 hr and usually the party moves to the deck to watch and smell. The last 45 min to 1.5 hr is to dry the watery ribs and firm up the meat after being steamed. Its also when I burn on some sauce at the end. Resturants do this and hold the ribs in steam trays for hours before you order them, ever wonder how your ribs are served in 10-15 min after you order them?[p]So, to answer the question, the foil steams the meat inside and does not allow it to dry out while cooking. It also speeds up the fat rendering process while in the foil. I always place the ribs in the foil with the ribs in an arch shape rather than upside down like a bowl so the meat is away from the drippings that pool in the bottom of the foil wrap. The <FONT COLOR="#007F00">3 - 1 - 1.5 </FONT> method also seems to produce more even results from the end ribs to the middle ribs where sometimes the ends are more done than the middle ribs after an indirect cook. It is more work but not that much more and the results are very good. I must admit that I have only tried the <FONT COLOR="#007F00">3 - 1 - 1.5 </FONT> method with baby back ribs.[p]pictured are 3 racks in the last 30 min stage cooking direct

  • ChuckChuck Posts: 812
    Tim M,
    Great answer, great photo and great looking ribs. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.[p]Chuck

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