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Turbo St. Louis vs low and slow

Hello everyone,

So I tried my hand at some St. Louis spareribs about 3 weeks ago and decided I would do them turbo (since the butts come out so great like that). in the end I thought they came out pretty decent. Well since Publix had St. Louis spareribs on sale again for the 4th I decided to try doing  more, but low and slow (my first low and slow). I did them for around 6 hours between 225 and 250 until they passed the toothpick and bend test and I have to say they were FAR better than the turbo ribs I did. They were more tender and juicer. Has anyone else experienced this? I don't think I'll ever do a low and slow butt since the turbo ones I've done are honestly the moistest, best pulled pork I've ever had, so I was kind of surprised that didn't seem to hole true with ribs. Thoughts?
Medium BGE, Weber Q120 (The traveller)
"I claim artistic license, it has a good beat, I can dance to it"

Comments

  • SoCalTimSoCalTim Posts: 1,807
    I agree with you. I've done 'Turbo' and while the ribs come out really good ... there just isn't anything like a 'low and slow' cook ... in fact, isn't 'low and slow' cooking what the egg does best?
    Chatsworth Ca.
  • NanookNanook Posts: 846
    @Helmet‌. I'm curious to see what the more experienced Eggers have to say about this as well. I have only done baby back ribs so far, and am thinking about trying St. Louis style ribs next.
    GWN
  • HDumptyEsqHDumptyEsq Posts: 1,095
    I did some St. Louis ribs turbo - 350, indirect for 1 1/2 hours over the holiday weekend and probably won't go back to low and slow again. After the first hour I sauced them with Williamson Bros Original and wrapped them. Best ribs I or my guests ever ate. Sorry no pix - the egg was busy all day.

    Tony in Brentwood, TN.

    Medium BGE, New Braunfels off-set smoker, 3-burner Charbroiler gasser, mainly used for Eggcessory  storage, old electric upright now used for Amaz-N-Smoker.

    "I like cooking with wine - sometimes I put it in the food." - W. C. Fields

  • corey24corey24 Posts: 359
    I know some will disagree but I think low and slow remains supreme.  Turbo works and turns out a great product but I prefer low and slow.  On shoulders you get a similar tenderness on the inside but I don't feel the bark is as good.  On ribs I just feel you get a better end product with a 250 cook.  I know others my disagree.

    XL Egg Owner Since Dec 2013 - Louisiana

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,116
    I see no reason to go "low & slow" anymore after going Turbo. This is hard to say as being retired all I have is time. I (once more me) do go get any better cook in 6 hours than 2 or 3. I cook BB's, St Louis, and butts turbo as well as beef ribs. 
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • SoCalTimSoCalTim Posts: 1,807
    corey24 said:
    I know some will disagree but I think low and slow remains supreme.  Turbo works and turns out a great product but I prefer low and slow.  On shoulders you get a similar tenderness on the inside but I don't feel the bark is as good.  On ribs I just feel you get a better end product with a 250 cook.  I know others my disagree.
    100% Agree.
    Chatsworth Ca.
  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    I prefer low/slow simply for the time I don't have to stand by my egg. Retired five years ago at 55, I let the Egg do its magic while I goof around someplace...I agree the bark is better!
  • SGHSGH Posts: 22,803
    @‌Helmet
    I'm not one of the more experienced eggers but I will offer my thoughts nonetheless. I think for the biggest part it comes down to personal tastes and feel. If done correctly the taste should be very close but the texture and feel will be a little different. In my experience the turbo method produces a tighter end product. This is a direct result of having to take the internal temp a little higher to render all the fat from the meat to compensate for the rate at which the meat cooks when using turbo. That being said there are circumstances where I prefer the tighter feel. Example- Baby back ribs. On spares me personally I prefer the low and slow to render them down more. It's simply a matter of personal choice. No right or wrong way. Comparing low and slow to turbo is the very same as comparing a wet cooking environment to a dry cooking environment. The taste should be comparable but the final texture and feel will be different. I cook all primals low and slow for obvious reasons. I cook the very large subprimals low and slow for the same reasons as well. The smaller cut subprimals I cook either way and see only a difference in the texture but not the taste. When you find what works best for you stick with it and you will always enjoy the results.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
  • KiterToddKiterTodd Posts: 1,802
    I have no idea what a primal, very large subprimal or smaller cut subprimal is...but I know I'm hungry and I'm cooking some pork this weekend! 
    I've never made St. Louis ribs (only BB)...so it'll be that or a small butt.   Yumm.

    Good thread, by the way.
    LBGE/Maryland
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 2,171
    I like to do in between - 280 - 310 - for both butts and ribs (usually starting near the low end of the range and drifting higher during the cook.  I get the accelerated cook time, but still have some of the waiting of low and slow.

    I find it easier to time my cooks this way (with a longer cook time it's easier to make adjustments), but it still eliminates any need to go overnight.  Both come out great.
    NOLA
  • SGHSGH Posts: 22,803
    @‌Helmet
    I will offer one last note if I may. There is kind of a middle ground between low and slow and turbo. You will get numerous opinions on where it lies but I find it to be in the arena of 275-300. In my estimate true low and slow is 200-250 give or take a little. True turbo is 325 and higher. Again this is just my own interpretation of the so named temps. Everything in between these set values is your wild card. You can err a little higher or lower and still be within the bracket. It's in this middle ground that you can benefit a little from both sides. It's faster than true low and slow and renders a little better than true turbo without the need to take the internal temp higher than normal. Everyday more and more comp teams are moving toward this middle ground. Why? Again you get a faster cook time and a well rendered final product. Low and slow will certainly all ways have a place in the cooking arena as will turbo. But this mid ground is certainly becoming mainstream and with good reason. Remember this is just my opinions and ramblings but I thought I would share them just the same.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,528
    Low and slow for me is  a rather high 250* - 275*, but I think things come out better than turbo.  The advantage seems to come when there is variation in thickness.  I did a slab of turbo spare ribs and the small end and middle came out fine, but the big end was really thick could have used a few more minutes.  At 250*, I think things heat a little more evenly and I would worry less about the small end being on too long.  At 350*, I was concerned that the small end was drying out and even burning in areas where the meat is thin. 

    I've notice the same thing on butts. I don't use foil. When trying turbo butts, I get more temp variation in the butt.  If I foiled, I think I would only do turbo since most of the juice is being retained and can offset any downsides from taking some of the butt to higher than desired temps.

    I'll turbo if I need too, but for now I'll do longer cooks when I can.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • HelmetHelmet Posts: 162
    Thanks everyone for all the helpful comments. Sorry for the delayed thank you post, I've been offline for a few days. @SGH‌ I really appreciate your thorough and informative posts, that all makes perfect sense. I guess I was just surprised that while the turbo butts came out so well, that the ribs really didn't seem to. Given what you've written I also think I might not have gone quite long enough on the turbo ribs to get the to the higher temp as you suggested. Much appreciated everyone!
    Medium BGE, Weber Q120 (The traveller)
    "I claim artistic license, it has a good beat, I can dance to it"
  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,315
    Low and slow 225-250F here has produced far better ribs here than turbo just as you state!
  • tactical_66tactical_66 Posts: 206
    I still am a low and slow fan.
  • SGHSGH Posts: 22,803
    @Helmet‌
    As always you are more than welcome my friend.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
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