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Country Pork Ribs-not ideal

Charleston DaveCharleston Dave Posts: 571
edited 7:28PM in EggHead Forum
i did some country ribs for the Super Bowl and wasn't entirely pleased with the results. 7 lbs from Costco, prepared with salt and brown sugar rub according to the super-easy forum recipe by Gerard Knorr.


Setup was indirect, with Royal Oak lump, 3 pieces of hickory, spider, pizza stone, foiled dry pizza pan for drip, and the TJV adjustable rack with two sliding oval racks to hold all ribs. Dome temp was held at 220ºF for exactly six hours with Guru probe clipped on BGE thermometer. Ribs were turned every couple of hours, with racks rotated. At hour five, I applied a generous brushing of Carnivore to all ribs except two that were given a milder Kraft honey sauce (marked with toothpicks).


After a rack rotation and rib turn:

Hour 5-sauce applied

Pulled at hour 6 and ready to serve:

I think I may have applied the rub to ribs that were too wet, as there didn't seem to be much rub left when the ribs went on the grill and there was "instant molasses" on my carrying tray. Next time I'll make sure to dry the ribs with paper towels before applying rub. The flavor was OK, but six hours might have been a bit too long as the ribs were somewhere between just right and dry. The recipe called for a time cook, not internal temperature, so that left me a bit uneasy. I felt that the meat was a bit too chewy, and the flavor was more smoke and sauce than meat. Still, I polished off a few and the rest were perfectly tolerable leftovers.

Another possible error was that when I removed the ribs from the frig, I realized they were not completely thawed. I chose to nuke them on a very low-power defrost cycle, and then separate them under warm running water, but it's obvious in the first picture above that there was some uneven pre-cooking going on.

Can anybody offer advice for next time? I'd like to feel comfortable in my technique before dropping $8-10 a rack for babybacks.


  • muklmukl Posts: 66
    I really like this cut...but I've always cooked it fast.

    When I first found it, I asked the butcher what to do and he said to grill it like a steak. He said that while there's fat in there, it's too small to go too low and slow.

    I grill them around 350 or so until medium and they are juicy and taste great.

    I will generally grab these before a loin cut.

    DP Red Eye Express is my favorite rub on pork.
  • Dave,

    Did you ever check the temperature of the meat when you were done cooking or towards the end?

    For me time cooking is problematic and I only use it as a guide.

    My cooks got a lot better when I finally got a Thermopen and cooked more to temperature rather than time.

    My experience with country ribs is much like mukl's.

    I have also had great results in taking a Dutch Oven, a light brown on the country ribs then put some good q' sauce and the let the ribs cook in the sauce. Put some herb potatoes with a little cheese on the plate and that is a great meal.

    Babybacks will cook different than country ribs. I don't seem to be able to get a good result with the long times a lot of techniques say. I cook until the meat pulls and the ribs somewhat bend. I use a fork or tooth pick to check tenderness. Never had a bad rack.

  • Anything that has not thawed for me, I place in a cold water bath and they defrost rather quickly.

  • Jupiter JimJupiter Jim Posts: 2,433
    I cook mine at 220-250 indrict for about 3 hours and then I put them in a glass cake pan with a can of clasic coke cover tightly with foil for another 1-2 hours. They are alwawys very moist and we love them this way. After I take them out of the pan I sause and back on direct if I'm not lazy to get the pizza stone out. I also do ribs the same way.
    If I let them go to long they will be more like pulled pork so check them after an hour or so in the pan. Don't let them get to hot and boil all the coke away as then they will burn. :evil:
    Only use classic coke, and what ever rub and sauce you like. Lately I'm stuck on Blues Hog rub and sause.
    Some will say I'm steaming the ribs, but I like them this way.
    Good luck Jim

    I'm only hungry when I'm awake!

    Okeechobee FL. Winter

    West Jefferson NC Summer

  • Like you, I prefer cooking to temp not time, but this recipe specified a cook to time, not to temp.

    What internal temperature do you look for with the Thermopen?
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 20,691
    you might be happier with country ribs cut from the loin instead of the shoulder, cook them more like a pork chop or a small loin for temps and not by time. country ribs were origionally from the smaller fatty end of the loin, it has a darker meat section and more flavor than the loin but it doesnt look as nice so it usually gets ground up.
  • emillucaemilluca Posts: 673
    Yes. I am offended that the industry is taking butts and making them country ribs. Shame on them. You might as well grind them for sausage.
    Pork Rib Roast cut for Country Style ribs is the best and always will be. The butt muscle does more work and is tough unless cooked in one piece low and slow to break down the tissue. The butt is the muscle that helps the front leg and neck move. The rib roast [contry style ribs] holds up the back. It does less work.

  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,566
    here are a couple ideas on using the rig with sliding grids. It's easier to set-up in the dome than in the base. So, whenever possible, I use the rig extender for two grid cooks. Second grid on level 4.5, highest bracket setting. Then you can slide the lower grid for easier access. It's better visuals and airflow.


    With this set-up, you can put whatever indirect piece you prefer on level 1.5, lowest bracket setting. It's a good way to match the indirect piece shape and size to the meat or grid used: rectangular or round, 12 to 16 inches. With ribs, I use a rectangular pan with foil on the ends, as pictured below.


    I only use the spider to hold the indirect piece when necessary. I prefer the Rig to hold the indirect piece whenever possible. Just more room for airflow and indirect coverage. The only for sure time to use the spider on indirect cooks is with three grids or two grid pork butt cooks. The vertical spacing requires the spider.

    You can also use the bge grid on top of the rig with a pan and stone underneath. I talked with one fella yesterday who did not kwow this was possible. A bunch of folks prefer the set-up pictured below, as it provides space between the stone and pan.


    One cool thing about having the rig hold the entire cook is if you have to get at the lump, just lift the rig out and the egg is empty, not that hard to do.

    Feel free to email me if you need more help. T ACGP, Inc.
  • ChappyChappy Posts: 198
    Is that Rig something that you can buy or is that a homemade one? Looks like it would be very useful.
  • Thanks, Tom! Your equipment is so versatile that there are usually many different ways to set up a particular cook.

    I can see the advantages to doing it the two ways you have kindly illustrated, compared to the setup I was using. I will definitely try one of your recommended configurations next time!

    The unthawed ribs put me behind schedule and I didn't spend enough time thinking about the optimal setup. I'm learning it's hardly ever a good idea to BBQ in a hurry. :silly:
  • Chappy, tjv may not wish to toot his own horn, but the rig in my pics and his is a product he sells on his website

    His website provides excellent customer service, and tjv carries a solid reputation here for his thoughtfully designed and solidly crafted Eggccessories.

    I can assure you that anything that was amiss in this cook was the result of my impatience or errors, and not his equipment!
  • ChappyChappy Posts: 198
    Thanks Dave, I just looked it up. Great site. I will be putting my order in soon. Just have to wait till the wife gives the okay.
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