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Ribs. New conclusion.

Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
edited 8:38PM in EggHead Forum
Finished up the lunchtime ribs, and have a new client. They cooked 4.5 hours direct 225-250 dome. Nice smoky flavor, but not near as moist as the indirect method. [p]After 8 months of cooking ribs at least once every 2 weeks, I'm finally getting a grip on it. In the future, I will cook indirect most of the time. I believe the results are always juicier. One of the problems with a low/slow direct, is that with a small fire, it is often concentrated to one section of the firebox. Overall the egg is at 225, but the area directly over the coals is substantially hotter, and it is harder to get even cooking, even with frequent flipping (which unfortunately increases temps due to added oxygen from opening).[p]Just my opinion, but 300 dome, indirect, drip pan with liquid, yields the most uniform cooking, and juicy-pull-off-the-bone results. I would like to try 250 dome indirect for 5 plus hours sometime.[p]How y'all feel bout dat????[p]NB
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Comments

  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    Nature Boy,
    Before you give up on the direct method, try rolling your ribs and cooking one rack on your small. You may be surprised at the results.[p]When I get a chance I am dying to make your, ginger ribs. I will try the indirect method on Mr. Big while I have a chance.[p]Happy Smoking,
    RhumAndJerk[p]

  • BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
    Nature Boy,
    I think you would end up with excellent results, but that is just my opinion. My wife is the opposite, she always complains when I go indirect, because she prefers a dry, chewy rib. That's just a personal preference. I recently bought a slab of side ribs that were the leanest looking I'd ever seen. I figured that this would be the perfect slab to convert her to juicier, indirect-cooked ribs. Her reaction, "They're okay, I guess, but not your best. I like em the other way (meaning direct)" To each their own, but I would like to hear how ribs cooked by the method you propose would turn out.[p]

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    RhumAndJerk,
    Yeah, give the indirect a try and let me know how you feel about it. These were greast ribs, and I have had great results with direct, just not as juicy and tender. I'll try rolling them and doing on the small. I guess that works better with babybacks than spares??[p]NB

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  • RhumAndJerkRhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
    Nature Boy,
    It works equally well with spares or baby backs. I noticed that the dome being closer to the ribs cooks the outside top of the meat in about four hours at 225 on the small BGE.[p]Good Luck,
    RhumAndJerk[p]

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Nature Boy,
    I will agree but have you tried slicing 1 hr off that time for direct? I like to do babies at 225-250 for 3.5 hr. I will also sauce them the last hr and I guess that will prevent alot of drying out. I agree that indirect is jucier-no doubt in my mind either. The main reason I don't do much indirect with ribs is I don't have a big enough drip pan. I need an old pizza pan I guess but it won't fit in a plate setter.[p]Tim[p]

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Tim M,
    Good point about the size of the drip pan. When I do ribs, it is usually only a slab, sometimes 2. [p]Actually, these ribs today could have been done more, so reducing time isn't the answer. I did brush with Shake's sauce the last half hour. I have done better direct ribs than these for sure...but my mind keeps going back to those juicy indirect guys I did recently.[p]I'll keep trying direct on occasion, and see if I can't improve the results to compete with indirect.[p]NB

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  • Dr. ChickenDr. Chicken Posts: 620
    Nature Boy,
    I would tend to agree with you 1000% on this! A buddy of mine that got me interested in the Egg's, figured this out too. When I tried to duplicate what all the others have been doing, it wound-up being a miserable FLOOP! Dennis got my head on straight! "Who says you can't use water or liquid in a drip pan?" he would tell me! He's right! The water keeps things from drying out! The water extends the cooking time at lower temperatures, but who cares? You just add more time to the cook! That's easy to solve! You're right about the fire being concentrated in one small area with a low temp burn. The difference between 225 degrees and 280 degrees is amazing. You sure get better smoke generation with the hotter fire and a better smoke-taste. 280 degrees is easier to maintain too. You've got a deflector shield under the meat, and the meat is in a drip pan (at least the way I do mine!) so its insulated from the higher temps. The liquid in the drip pan is generating steam/moisture/humidity into the cook, so you've got the best of both worlds. "Pull-off-the-bone-tender" is everyones goal! What difference does it make how we reach it as long as the taste is there and we can reach it within a reasonable time frame. I've gone back to cooking ribs totally indirect. I've also gone back to marinating my ribs over-night! I know there is a "dry rub" out there that will fit my taste buds and other criteria! I just haven't found it yet! In the mean time, I practice with dry rubs on ribs just for my wife & me and if I'm having guests over, I use the marinated method! One of these days Cat, KOC, Tim M, Guru, Gretl, Spin, C~W, E-W, Bama Fire or someone will come up with a dry rub or the basis of one that will work perfect for me and I can quit "soakin'" dem bones all night! Maybe even someone from one of them other "forums" will get me on to a recipe that I can live with and "Crow" about! Until then, why mess 'em up? It ain't worth the grief!!!! Just MHO though![p]Thanks, Dr. Chicken

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Dr. Chicken,
    Great points. As far as smoke penetration being better with a hotter fire, I can't agree there, and find that the low/direct ribs absorb much more smoke. Just my observations though. [p]Right on with the marinade. I also enjoy the marinated ribs immensely, and do them that way 75% of the time. Cat's marinade inspired me to create the Ginger Mahogany Recipe. Can't wait to try Cat's Babybacks with the vaccuum-turbo-marinade-freeze method. (actually one batch of Cat's ribs were vaccuum sealed, but not frozen, and I will cook them tomorrow.[p]Man, ribs are good.

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  • CatCat Posts: 556
    Tim M,[p]You can do indirect with a drip pan slung under the grate - no plate setter needed as long as you keep the pan filled with water.[p]It's easy to fashion one with a sturdy cake pan and three L-shaped brackets - just bolt the latter onto the former, so the brackets rest in the depressions around the fire ring's top. If I can do it, anyone can! If the cake pan isn't too heavy, you don't even need a drill; I just punched holes with an awl and hammer.[p]This takes almost longer to describe than to do. There's a diagram in the archives somewhere, but you don't need it. Just be sure there's an inch or so clearance between the pan's perimeter and the Egg wall.[p]Cathy
  • Dr. ChickenDr. Chicken Posts: 620
    Nature Boy,
    You've got that right! I use to not touch ribs. I couldn't do them justice, so I left them alone! Now, the whole family calls on the phone, wanting to know when I'm gona do ribs! My wife's Dad told her Mom one time "he'd never eat ribs again!" Now, ever couple of months he calls on the phone and asks when I'm doing ribs? He'll even spring for buying the ribs! But, so far my ribs are the only ones he'll touch![p]Ain't it great having so many crazies like yourself with so many different ways to cook things?[p]Dr. Chicken

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Dr. Chicken,
    Yep. Great being a "crazy" like myself, and having so many great things to cook. So much great meat. So many great veggies. So many great spices. Buy it. Invent it. Cook it.[p]YFH
    NB

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  • JimWJimW Posts: 450
    Nature Boy,
    As you know, NB, I did your ginger ribs last weekend and they were great. They were really the first indirect method ribs I've ever done. But I have been weened on the direct method which does yield a drier, chewier rib. I think that I can have the best of both worlds by doing whichever method I have a hanker for that day. Both are great and I really enjoy them. I really don't want to pick one or the other and confine myself to that.
    JimW

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Cat,
    What size is the cake pan that leaves a 1 inch clearance between the pans perimeter and the eggs wall?? Where might I acquire this pan. I am doing this.[p]I saw you post this months ago, but didn't want to put a drip pan so close to the coals. But you are right. Who cares as long as you keep liquid in it.[p]How often do you add liquid when it is so close to the coals??[p]
    Thanks
    Chris

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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    RhumAndJerk,
    I need to get my little baby out more.
    Still getting used to it, so even when I have something small to cook...I have been going for the familiar comfort of my large. Need to ccok more on the small to master it. Thanks for the motivation!![p]You must be having a blast with the new (and quite different) environment of cooking on the large. You'll have fun with the space available for indirect setups. Keep us posted on your large eggventures.[p]NB

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  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Jimw,
    What a great point about going with your hankering for the day. I too enjoy the direct results, and plan on doing it more. Much more smoke flavored, and with a character of their own. I love the crust. [p]Would hate to confine myself, but right now I am leaning toward cooking indirect a majority of the time, and using the direct version for variety. Maybe next year it will be the opposite.[p]At least we have a choice.[p]Cheers
    NB

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  • Kona TimKona Tim Posts: 35
    Nature Boy,
    I'll let you now on Monday----your plan sounds good enoughfor me!!! Will try it this Sunday![p]Tim

  • CatCat Posts: 556
    Nature Boy,[p]I have two. One Mr. Toad had made from a 14" heavy-duty pan. The other I bolted together myself, using a lighter weight 12" pan from a housewares store. Both are 2" deep, and both work fine. If you have trouble finding a suitable pan locally, try Bridge Kitchenware - it's a terrific restaurant supply place that stocks everything and sells online. Link below.[p]Refilling intervals depend on cooking temp. I did a pork butt at 220 dome, and the pan ran dry after 9 hours. At 250 dome, check every 4 hours or so. I use a plastic watering can for refills. [p]
    Cathy

    [ul][li]Bridge Kitchenware[/ul]
  • MACMAC Posts: 442
    Nature Boy,
    Hay
    Do you still get the crust with indirect? got to be quick. MSU is about to kick Valpo's butt. Your becoming the rib guru.[p]MAC

  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    Nature Boy:[p]I do like Tim M and cook for 3 1/2 hours. I try to keep my dome temperature at 200*, turning every 30 minutes. Seldom do I baste or mop with sauce. I have also done ribs indirect with drip pan sitting on a pizza stone (no liquid) for the same time and temperature.[p]My direct come out moist, but not near as moist as those done indirect. The indirect do not have near the flavor of the direct. I am sticking with the direct as my preferred way of cooking ribs.[p]The link below is to Alumaworks. Their pizza and bakeware pans (check the different diameters and depths) make great drip pans. The cutting edge is real shallow at 3/4", other pans are 1" or 2". If you look around, I am sure you can find a restaurant supply house locally that has something similar.
    [ul][li]Source for drip pans . . .[/ul]
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    Cat,
    Thanks. I have learned so much from you since July it boggles my mind. Your answers are always very informative, and your ideas always innovative.[p]Not to mention your babyback recipe.[p]I doubt I am alone in appreciating your input.[p]NB

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  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    NB:[p]Just want to stress that the link previously posted shows you what is available. These folks have a $100 minimum, but restaurant supply houses should have products with similar dimensions . . .

  • CatCat Posts: 556
    Nature Boy,[p]Wow, Chris, thanks. You're a pretty mind-boggling source of information/innovation yourself! Not even counting the squid. ;-}[p]See you soon -[p]Cathy
  • TJinBhamTJinBham Posts: 24
    MAC,
    Be careful to use a little "g" in guru now. There are still some of us ol pros out here...not me...JJ, JSlot, and even our Yankee fried Cat hehehe

  • CatCat Posts: 556
    TJinBham,[p]I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume 'Yankee fried' was a typo...;-}[p]Nice to see you post -[p]Cathy
  • TJinBhamTJinBham Posts: 24
    Everyone,
    I did not mean to take anything from the wonderful post and experments of NB...before the .... starts.[p]

  • TJinBhamTJinBham Posts: 24
    Cat,
    Thanks for the correct, typing and young Chivas don't mix. At least I'm not hot rodding..hehehe (dont have to give me another spell check do ya?)

  • Nature Boy,Keep pushing the limits. Some of the bet ribs I've had were wood-smoked szechwan-style baby backs at Roy's in Maui. The recipe calls for marinating in miso, hoisin, ginger, garlic, sugar, sake, and chili paste. Then, (gasp) they are parboiled in stock with ginger, garlic. Then slathered with more marinade and smoked for a very short time - 20-30 minutes. Unreal.

  • TJinBhamTJinBham Posts: 24
    Cat,
    BTW, you did express an interest in that fryed turkey thing awhile back, didn,t ya? hehehe

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,399
    MAC,
    Far from guru status, thanks.
    Yep, you still get a crust indirect...especially if you finish them up direct. Different kind of crust, but still crust. My UM Terps are up by 19 early in the second half. GO TERPS!!

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  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    djm5x9,[p]We have experimented in the same ways. Prior to the EGG I always cooked wet (sauced) ribs. Since then I prefer to cook ribs dry and provide a dipping sauce when served. It is easier to judge the cook as it proceeds.[p]Indirect does produce a juicier rib, but I do agree with you. A rib is cooked with the intention of being sauced and thus should be cooked to produce a flavor. The meat should be cooked to the point that it is (after slight resistance) pulled cleanly from the bone. The meat should be moist, chewy, and flavorful, not dry but certainly not juicy.[p]Spin[p]
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