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St. Louis Style Ribs - A crash course?

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Comments

  • eggnitedeggnited Posts: 94
    when is it okay to open the grill and take a look at progress? I guess this would be the time to add more liquid. I can add water....already had the juice so I decided to use it instead. I almost hate to open a whole jar of Blues Hog to sauce just a few of these ribs...but can't think of any other cooks where I would use the whole jar anyway. Now kind of worried about running my liquid dry. Also wish I had more smoke action when I started. This really is a shot in the dark...fingers crossed!
  • SqueezySqueezy Posts: 1,101

    Once an hour is good. Just don't let the pan go dry. Leftover sauce should keep for months in the fridge. Go ahead add some more wood ... and have a beer!

     

    Never eat anything passed through a window unless you're a seagull ...
    BGE Lg.
  • eggnitedeggnited Posts: 94
    Thanks Squeezy....I just looked....they look freaking marvelous..and smell great! I think they may almost be done. In fact....too soon! I'm planning on eating in another 2.5 hours. The meat has pulled back from the bone close to a quarter of an inch...and the juices from the meat and the apple juice are bubbling away below....but not dry. Will cooking them longer be okay?

  • eggnitedeggnited Posts: 94
    Well, here I am....company has gone and it's late. Probably a little past the suspense part of the day on how the ribs turned out...but here's what happened. I let the ribs cook a total of about 7 hours. I picked a few of the racks up and they didn't pass the bend test...but we were hungry and decided to give them a try anyway. I sauced them with some Blues Hogg and cooked them direct for a few minutes to glaze the ribs. Verdict? I wasn't as impressed with the sauce as I expected I would be....but my wife and sister liked the sauce a lot. The ribs were tender in parts, tough in others...dry here...moist there....kind of a mix. Not as tender as I would have liked....but I'm not sure why. I thought perhaps I didn't cook them long enough...but perhaps I cooked them too long? I never let the drip pan go dry. My temps ranged between 235 and 268 during the cook...probably averaging around 255. At one point I questioned the accuracy of the Maveric...pulled my dome thermometer and checked it's accuracy. It was reading about 10 degrees too high. I found dome temps staying constant while the grid temps would fluctuate. At one point I observed the dome temp reading 325 (actually about 315)...and the grid temp was at 235. I thought 90 degrees was a bit much....but this was actually an 80 degree difference. And when the grid temp came back up to around 250....the dome stayed the same. Strange stuff. The results looked nice...probably not bad for a first go. Here are my pics...just to prove it happened....


    stlouis4.jpg
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    stlouis5.jpg
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  • eggnitedeggnited Posts: 94
    Okay...super quick update. I woke up today thinking...maybe...just maybe I really did overcook the ribs? I tried the bend test and they really didn't bend much. Again, some parts were tender....others a bit dry and jerky like....you know....in the thinner areas? I'm wondering if I cooked past the optimal point and even if I had cooked another hour...perhaps just would have been less tender. Again...there were pockets of tender meat....but overall disappointing. Does this sound under cooked or overcooked?
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,747
    Still a noob (haven't even done ribs on egg yet), but when I hear dry, I think overcooked. 
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
  • Sorry to hear that the results of your attempt wasn't as good as you'd hoped - I'm sure they were still good, and in fact you'd said that your family liked them, and that's all that matters. 

    I think some of us get overly "picky" (myself included) when it comes to ensuring that the food coming off the Egg is picture perfect in every way - from looks, to color, texture, flavor, smoke penetration, etc.  And when something isn't quite "right" then we get depressed. 

    Sort of like if you're a professional painter, and you've put a $5000 paint job on a custom chopper - there might be one tiny little blemish in the paint, on the bottom of the gas tank that nobody's ever gonna see - but you KNOW it's there, and it bugs you - everyone else just raves about how beautiful the gas tank is, but all you keep thinking about is that blemish.

    Same concept here, I believe.  Methinks we've become "conditioned" to just how good the food is off the Egg that if it is the slightest bit off, it consumes us, even though everyone else thinks it's perfect, and in most cases, is as good as, if not better than what we can get at a restaurant. 

    Moral of the story?  Don't sweat it, it's only food, and since we eat several times/day, every day, there will be plenty of other times to get it picture perfect - but hey, even if ya don't, it doesn't matter >:D<

    FWIW, here's my post about St. Louis ribs, and the results (btw, since I did the comparison of dry vs wet, I prefer the KISS method of dry): 

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1137087/st-louis-spare-ribs-first-time-results#Item_7


    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    dry tough ribs are undercooked ribs
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • eggnitedeggnited Posts: 94
    Okay...so far one vote for under and one for over. I know that next time I will do a bend test at about the 4.5 hour mark....and continue until they pass. HH...I hear ya...and I would say I'm generally guilty of striving for perfection...even to a fault...but in this case I think I'm being objective. I think just about any BBQ makes better than what I just produced. I'm just hoping to walk away with new knowledge of what I can do to get better results down the road.
    Fwiw....my observation was that the thinner sections of ribs were tougher and more dry. This is why I thought I might have cooked them too long. Ponderous man....really ponderous..
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,078
    stike be right. I tried to follow what you were saying about the temps but was confused as to where you were reading. If your dome thermo was high then your temp was low.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 441
    edited April 2012
    dry tough ribs are undercooked ribs
    They look more underdone to me in your pics.  Next time you're in doubt, try to leave a half rack on the egg and see if they get better or worse.
  • Not sure exactly what went wrong but Stike knows his stuff.  The main thing is to relax and have fun with the cook, have a beer, maybe 3 or 4.  I'm sure they will turn out better next time from what you've learned and it's best to do new cooks when your not having people over so your not stressed about the results. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,752
    In addition to the bend test (or in lieu of if you have cut the racks in half) is the toothpick test-probe the thickest meaty part of the rib and they are finished when there is no resistance both in and out. I find this to be a better indicator than the bend test.  FWIW-
    Louisville
  • eggnitedeggnited Posts: 94
    Not sure exactly what went wrong but Stike knows his stuff.  The main thing is to relax and have fun with the cook, have a beer, maybe 3 or 4.  I'm sure they will turn out better next time from what you've learned and it's best to do new cooks when your not having people over so your not stressed about the results. 



    I'm starting to see a pattern...hey maybe they were undercooked? LOL Maybe having my sis over was a jinx? I got over confidant half way into the cook...but warned her it was a first. I really appreciate you guys taking time to help. I can retry in the future...and will do better from your comments.
  • Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
    edited April 2012
    Eggnited - sorry, I didn't mean to make my post sound like you weren't being objective - and I agree, we can (should) always strive for perfection & always learn & adapt & become better. 

    Anyway, earlier you'd said that you weren't sure what the "bend test" was - crappy thing is I can't post pics here @ work (cue someone w/ a pic showing the results of the bend test).  Also I'm sure ya can go to youtube & see some vids on it - but that's a surefire way to ensure the ribs are done - when ya pick 'em up w/ your tongs & they "bend" (I think of it like "flop") over on ya. 

    Also, you'd asked when it was OK to open the grill to monitor the progress - my opinion is NEVER!! :P

    Well, not until AFTER 4-5 hrs, anyway.  Someone on the forum has a signature which reads "if you're lookin then you ain't cookin" and that's the truth!!  Each time you open the lid, you're introducing new, COLD air - so you're initially cooling the Egg, then when the new air reaches the fire, it'll get used to fuel the fire even more, so it'll make the temp higher!! 

    So just RESIST the temptation to continually open the lid every so often.  I also have learned, in my Egg-sperience, that I do NOT need to open & "spritz" w/ any sort of juice/vinegar, etc,  nor do I need to "mop" w/ any sauce...

    Others do & if they have good results, then it works for them, but it's not worked for me, and I've gotten the BEST results from a dry rub, no "v-rack" (just laying them directly on the grate), and just leaving them alone for @ least 4-5 hrs before ever opening the lid again. 

    Hopefully you'll have taken your Egg-sperience, along w/ the advice of those in this thread, and can come up w/ a way that makes your ribs AMAZING!!  (FWIW, I've gotten my ribs so good that my GF says they are better than any we ate @ the Reno Rib Fest - so I take that as a pretty high compliment!!) :x  ... And that was just using the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method I described above...

    HTH,
    Rob
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • eggnitedeggnited Posts: 94
    HH...no offense (or defense) taken at all...I'm just OCD when it come to communicating details. I appreciate your replies and will definitely use your advice...especially since you get terrific results. And again...I'm okay with a mistake as long as I can learn and get better. Next time it will be me and the wife...start my cook by 11am....no looking for at least 4.5 hours...bend test to the point they break...pull and eat.
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,747
    @eggnited: yes the pattern is (and always should be) don't listen to the noob. :)
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
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