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Newbie ribs? Looking for a first-time, idiot-proof way to cook them

acegg77acegg77 Posts: 84
Newbie here. Have BGE for 4 months. I'd like to try to cook a small rack of ribs (only 2 of us at home now.) I'm going to Costco tomorrow where I know they sell ribs. I thought I'd get a rack and cut it in half and freeze one half.

Would someone point me to a simple and maybe somewhat "quicker" way to cook ribs so that I don't screw it up the first time? There are a million posts here... which one will be helpful for a first-time rib cook? 

Oh, if I cooked a full rack, can you freeze half of it? Will it be any good later? 

Thanks.

Comments

  • Mr HollowayMr Holloway Posts: 2,013

    You can check out the turbo method, It works well.

     I would only cook what you are going to eat. Never tried but I am not sure cooked ribs would thaw and reheat well.

    Ribs can take a few attempts. Grab some beers and enjoy the cook

     

     Shane

  • Buy St Louis cut, use a dry rub of choice, put on egg at 250 about 5 hours later take them off and eat them. Use BBQ sauce of choice or none.
    Simple enough for even me to get them right.
    Bob
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,686
    @Coastalcooker has it right-the finish-line is best defined by the bend test (full rack-pick up on one end and get >90* bend) or tooth-pick test (find the meatist part of the ribs-toothpick in and out w/o any resistance and done). Regardless they will be great-however, just to ruin an eggcellent cook, if you want "fall-off-the-bone" ribs then you need to foil.  But that process is beyond my band-width.
    Louisville
  • I wouldn't suggesting freezing.  Costco often has single trimmed St Louis style for a smaller cook through higher priced.  Like others said ribs take a little practice but that is part of the fun of egging.  Suggest spare ribs cooking 3-2-1.  Cook about 2-3 hours bone side down at 250.  Foil with some parkay butter, a little brown sugar or honey, and a small amount of apple juice.  Cook meat side down 1.5-2 hours.  At this point you should see pull back on the bones and can test as outlined above.  They look poor due to the brazing process.  Then I place back on the grill for any where from .5 to an hour checking every 10 min.  I them let rest for at least 15 mins with a loose covering of foil was they will be pretty tender.  The process works great for me every time.  You can bump the temp up 275 it cut some time.  Foiling is not pure BBQ but will cut your time, provide great rib results.  I smoke with apple, cherry, or oak wood.  last tip is less is more...
  • acegg77acegg77 Posts: 84
    edited September 2013
    I started this thread last month but never got to cook the ribs. So today will be my first try. What is the difference between baby back and st. louis ribs? I'll go to store and get why you suggest. (We have a butcher not far from here with fresh meat.) 

    What are 'turbo' ribs? 

    My local grocery has ribs from a well known company (I forget the name) in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag. Would those be OK? I didn't see any fresh ones but maybe it was the day I was looking.  

    I saw a video on how to take off the membrane... I can do that.

    I really don't want to fail at this. I just need a simple, EASY methodology to follow for my first time. 

    How many pounds of ribs for just wife and I?

    I always appreciate all the good info on this forum. (Since getting BGE I've only had one failure... overcooked chicken wings... tasted like cardboard! Wings are cheap. Ribs are not so I don't want to screw this up if possible!) 

    UPDATE: I just saw Coastalcooke's post. Sorry. Looks like has given me all I asked for. Could I use baby back instead? Don't know difference.

  • ChillyWillisChillyWillis Posts: 43
    edited September 2013
    I happen to be doing my first BGE rib cook today as well. I'm doing baby backs, and the main difference (as far as this NEO can see) is that baby back are smaller and take less time to cook. I'm planning on rubbing the ribs down with a thin coat of yellow mustard, dusting on a bit of dry rub I mixed up and smoking them at 200 with a mix of maple and applewood. I'll toss a bit of cider in the drip pan as well just for kicks. I'm searching around right now for a good table sauce recipe to whip up. Good luck and take some pictures!
  • lousubcap said:
    @Coastalcooker has it right-the finish-line is best defined by the bend test (full rack-pick up on one end and get >90* bend) or tooth-pick test (find the meatist part of the ribs-toothpick in and out w/o any resistance and done). Regardless they will be great-however, just to ruin an eggcellent cook, if you want "fall-off-the-bone" ribs then you need to foil.  But that process is beyond my band-width.
    Do as suggested. Don't overthink it! Have fun and enjoy.
    Hendersonville, TN.
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,087
    acegg77 said:


    UPDATE: I just saw Coastalcooke's post. Sorry. Looks like has given me all I asked for. Could I use baby back instead? Don't know difference.

    yes.  they cook the same.  just do the bend or toothpick test as suggested @lousubcap

    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • Hmm. I posted a report on my cook but it said it would have to be reviewed. Never saw that before.
  • Well I hope it turned out good. My ribs ended up fantastic even though I had a tough time regulating the temp in my egg.
  • I wrote a long and detailed review. But where did it go? Why the review? I wish I had saved a copy of it.
  • acegg77acegg77 Posts: 84
    edited September 2013
    I'll write it again... this time keeping a copy.

    I give the ribs a grade of B to maybe B+ .

    Here is what I did.

    I bought some Swift's Premium St. Louis ribs. These come in a vacuum-sealed bag and say "Previously frozen" on it.

    I pulled off as much of the membrane as I could. Was not as easy as the videos out there! I got most of it.

    I coated both sides with some French's yellow mustard and then put on Dizzy Pig "all purpose" rub.

    I soaked two handfuls of hickory chips for about 10 minutes and put them on the fire when it was at 350 when meat went on. There was a ton of smoke for the first 10 minutes. (Yes, I should have soaked them longer but forgot!)

    I put a drip pan with some apple vinegar on the platesetter.

    The rack was on for an hour at 350. I then basted each side with some apple vinegar and flipped the rack.

    At the end of the second hour I put on a light coating of KC Private Reserve sauce for about 15 minutes. 

    I put the ribs on a platter and covered it with tin foil for about 15 minutes.

    The ribs were done... pulled off the bone, tender and juicy 

    There was a hint of sugar from the glaze, but there was no smoke flavor. We thought they were good... but 'bland.' It was nothing near "out of the world" like the steaks and chicken we cook on the BGE.

    We enjoyed the meal but were disappointed that it did not meet the expectations we had. I guess I left out something in the prep or the cook. 

    Or maybe if I had bought fresh ribs the result would have been better. 

    Next time I'll try the low and slow five hour method with some wood chunks and not chips. Maybe that was the key?

    Thanks for all your help on this. It was not a cooking failure, but definitely a disappointment. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,686

    @acegg77- we are our own toughest critics.  That said, there are many ways to cook ribs.  Eggsperiment and find a method that works for you.  You will read about the X-X-X method:All rib cooks are some variation around X-0-0 which translates into the following: Basically ribs are cooked as usual (bone side down for me) for the first X hours. Then they are removed from the cooker and wrapped with liquid (Q sauce, some other liquid for flavoring etc) in a foil pouch with the meat side down. This becomes step -0- mentioned above. The sealed ribs are then returned to the cooker.  At the end of the "0" time-frame, the ribs are removed from the foil and then put back on the BGE for the final "0" time-frame.  This is when sauce is added if your desire.  X-X-X defines the cook cycle. 

    You will find your process.  Meanwhile enjoy the journey.

    Louisville
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,087
    acegg77 said:

    There was a hint of sugar from the glaze, but there was no smoke flavor. We thought they were good... but 'bland.' It was nothing near "out of the world" like the steaks and chicken we cook on the BGE.


    Next time I'll try the low and slow five hour method with some wood chunks and not chips. Maybe that was the key?


    I think that is your solution.  Meat absorbs smoke below about 140*.  When you cook at 350* the outer meat heats up faster.  Bigger chunks, including putting one in the fire just as you add the meat, may help.  Chips work, just got to use enough and be sure they are well spread around so the fire can find them.  Anywhere in the 240* - 275 temp range will giving it more smoke time.

    I don't use mustard so I don't know if that limits smoke absorption or not, but I add dry rub and it sticks just fine on the meat. 
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • Thank you for taking the time to help on this. Next time I will buy some wood chunks and do the slow/low method. The problem is that I'm both lazy and impatient. With slow and low there seem to be a lot steps in basting, tenting, etc. With turbo it is "set it and forget it." 

    I guess the results are proportional to the time and work you are willing to put into your cook. Everyone else had great result with the turbo method so I thought I would too.

    For a first time try, it really was OK. But you know how when the first time you made a steak or chops or chicken or fish on the BGE and there was this total "WOW... this is incredible" factor when you took that first bite? It wasn't there with these ribs. At least they really looked nice on the pate... just like the pix some of you have posted here.

    Maybe next time with low/slow, better meat, and wood chunks the "wow faction" will be there. 

    This is a great group of helpful cooks. Thanks again for the time and tips.


  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,087
    edited September 2013
    acegg77 said:
    Next time I will buy some wood chunks and do the slow/low method. The problem is that I'm both lazy and impatient. With slow and low there seem to be a lot steps in basting, tenting, etc. With turbo it is "set it and forget it." 


     A lot of people swear by recipes requiring mustard, foiling, spritzing, etc.  However, a low and slow can be the simplest of cooks.

    I simply remove the membrane and any bid pieces of fat, put some rub on, and let them go for 5 - 6 hours depending upon what temp the egg settles in at.  I aim for 250 - 275*.  I don't care where in that range it settles in because I know the egg will hold nicely and not require supervision.  225* - 240* works, but I feel the need to periodically check to make sure the temps are holding when it is below 240*. 

    I typically make 3 slabs at a time.  1 slab is sauce free.  The other two get sauce at the end.  I'll bring the temp come up to 325* - 350* so the sauce caramelizes a bit on the ribs.  Coat. cook for 10 -15 minutes.  Coat again.  Pull and serve after another 10 - 15 minutes depending upon how close to 350* I got.   They come out good and and require no attention for the first 4 - 5 hours.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • NOTHING can be fool or idiot proof, only resistant.
    You know how I know this....
    Hood Stars, Wrist Crowns and Obsession Dobs!


  • Thanks, Ragtop99 for the help. I saved your post to my iMac "notes" so I can refer to it later.  This is how I will do another set of ribs in a week or so. Nice to know there is someone who is as lazy a cook as I am  :))
  • Going either amazingribs.com direction or Aaron Franklin's methods work wonderful for me.
    Bruce
    L BGE
    Kennesaw, GA
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