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pork sparerib help

ampamp Posts: 8
edited 8:00AM in EggHead Forum
looking for some assistance in the future. i bought my BGE large about a month ago. i cooked, or attempted to cook one rack of ribs only to have them be to done and dry.
Prior to cooking I looked at many sites and even the forum for advice so i could make the perfect ribs. Here are the details so any advice would be appreciated,

placed dry rub on front and back the night before, sealed in plastic wrap and reynold wrap and placed in the refrigerator. I got the BGE going the next day and got my temp to 250 degrees, which seemed to be a good temp to use.

I used direct heat and placed hickory chunks in the BGE lump coal, placed the rack directly on the grate with bone down and monitored the temp to ensure 250 heat. After 3 hours, thinking the ribs would take 4 or 5, i checked the ribs and noticed the top looked pretty good than looked at the bottom and it was burnt looking. i removed the ribs, let sit for 15 minutes or so and tried eating some ribs knowing the bottom was burnt. The meat on the top pulled away from the bone nicely but the bottom was too done and dry.

Sorry for the dissertation but I was very disappointed in the outcome and am frustrated, thoughts... thanks!


  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    You want to do ribs indirect, and 3 hours is nowhere near long enough for spares. And you should normally only add any sauce the last 20 minutes or so of the cook, just long enough for the sauce to set.

    Spares should take 6-7 hours, maybe even longer. You want the meat to pull back from the bone 1/2 inch or so. Here are a few examples:



  • ampamp Posts: 8
    I will try indirect next time but have read where many people have had success with direct. I only used a rub but didn't add a sauce at all. I was expecting the amount of time you mentioned but was surprised when the ribs were done in such a short amount of time.

    Thanks and any other thoughts on why they would cook in only 3 hours at 250?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    those that go direct use very little lump, and place the ribs as high as possible (a raised grid for example). the idea is to get as far away as possible from the 1100-1200 degree lump (even though there's very little of it).

    the "direct ribs" trick is a bit of an advanced dance move. i'd suggest nailing ribs the good old indirect way, getting a feel for time and temps, before going direct. for what it's worth, my spares take 8 to 9 hours at 250, indirect.

    the blackened underside was a result of the direct line-of-sight to the lump. increasing the distance to the lump will help mitigate that. no sugar in the rub will help too. hard to say about the dryness. but one thing that takes folks a long time to wrestle with is that underdone ribs are tough and dry. those cooked longer will become moist and tender.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • At what point do you wrap the spare ribs or are they uncovered the whole 6 or 7 hours.

  • I agree with th other posts. I did some yesterday indirect for about 5 hours at 250. although good they would have been better if they had stayed on another hour or two.
  • It sounds like you didn't flip the ribs much if they looked OK on one side and burnt on the other. It's been a long time since I tried to cook spare ribs direct on the egg, but my notes say 225 degrees for 4 1/2 hours, flipping every 45 minutes.

    I agree with other posters: try to get the ribs as far away from the heat as possible and don't use much if any sugar in the rub. Use turbinado if you must (burns less).

    Or, you could master indirect ribs first, as others suggested.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i don't wrap them. and the best ones have been 8 or 9 hours.

    when i wrap, it's usually after an couple hours in smoke, wrap for an hour, then unwrapped for another hour or two. usually 5 or 6 hours in all.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    turbinado actually burns at a lower temp, believe it or not. lots of lore that it burns at higher temps, but it is actually less refined than sucrose (although it's technically 99% sucrose). point is, it is virtually no different than table sugar, but that 1% gives it a little flavor. unfortunately, that 1% of 'impurity' also gives it a lower smoke point.

    kinda like refined oils versus unrefined.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    There are an awful lot of people that will disagree with your statement, including some well known chefs.

    Not that they are always right.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    I have always heard/read/understood that turb sugar has a higher burn point.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i know that you have.

    now go find actual evidence to support the claim.

    i never have

    FWIW, turbinado sugar and table sugar are virtually identical, chemically.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    lots of folks repeat what they hear over and over without ever verifying it.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    I didn't say I disagree with you, but since you bring it up, where is the evidence to support your claim that it has a lower smoke point than regular table sugar?
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    So I guess the fact their a thousands of references that say it does burn at a higher temp and none that says it doesn't (other than you) is just thousands of people repeating a mistake.

    There is a reason Turbinado and Demerara sugars are the sugars of choice in Gourmet Recipes.

    Using your words.. Go find a source that says it burns at a lower temp.
  • Thanks. I will have to plan better next time to allow for the extra hour or so
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Hey Stike! (Happy New Year, BTW) ;-)
    I am very curious about this turbinado and melt/smoke point difference. This is not something I have heard. Could you please guide me in the right direction? I know we use it a lot for brulees and such for the deeper coloring, but I would like to read the smoke point differences if you could forward! Thanks!
  • ampamp Posts: 8

    You are correct, i did not flip the entire time, wasn't sure if i should or not as there are many different views. Based on the number of responses the biggest thing i need to due in the future is indirect and raise higher. Thanks
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i'm not making any claims.

    i know you have already spent the better part of an hour desperately googling to prove that it burns at a higher temp. keep looking.

    but... just for giggles. i'll say you are right. ok?

    now. are you saying that despite the fact that they are virtually the same sugar (and they are virtually the same sugar) the turbinado burns at an APPRECIABLY higher temperature? for it to make a difference, you must be saying it's 10 or 15 degrees higher, otherwise it's no real difference. surely the many claims of its higher temp resistance aren't talking about a degree or two, because otherwise the claims wouldn't be so fervent. it must be MUCH higher. but gee.... no one ever says what it is.

    as for the manufacturers of 'raw' sugars., they don't make the claim. the also say that others "claim" there are health benefits, etc. It's telling that the makers of turbinado don't make these claims.

    i don't have to prove it, i never made a claim that the two were different.

    good to have you back....
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i wasn't saying you were disagreeing with me. i said that i know you've heard it over and over. didn't say you said it over and over.

    big difference here. i'm not making a claim.

    i'm saying there is no evidence (which i've found) that it burns at higher temps, despite claims to the contrary.

    there is no scientifically accepted evidence to support the claim that we have experienced extraterrestrial visitors. proof isn't required that something doesn't exist. extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

    a relatively famous chef we all know has stated that he's found it burns at higher temps. if he chimes in with proof, we'll have proof. right now, i'm saying i've never seen proof.

    empirically, i'll say that extra virgin olive oil has a higher smoke point than other olive oils (which have impurities). motor oil smokes when i gets dirty. most anything that burns at one temp burns at a lower temp when impurities are included.

    it's entirely possible that "sugar in the raw" (which is not raw sigar), burns at a higher temp. but i have never seen any actual table in a cookbook letting me know that, or anything anywhere to support the claim
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    If only I had access to a crucible oven we could definitively settle this little conundrum.

    Maybe I'll put a tablespoon of each on a baking sheet in the oven and let it crank.

    You can explain to my wife the odor it leaves behind.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Quite frankly, to my knowledge neither is a chemist and neither has done a true test - so without some sort of reference or test results I can't know for sure if either of them is correct.

    I think stike makes a lot of sense in that they are essentially the same compound - but there are so many sources that state that turbinado burns at a higher temp then that info has to have some point of origin based on fact.

    I wish I knew the answer. I bet the meters are spinnin at Google HQ.
  • CrimsongatorCrimsongator Posts: 5,795
    I found a site where a writer claimed turbinado burned at 325* and regular sugar at 1658-170*

    I have not found another confirmation yet
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    as for me, in all things, i believe myself until proven otherwise. it's not that i don't believe folks, it's that you're one of a hundred people simply repeating something you heard from "a guy you know". friend of a friend of a friend. that's pretty thin ice you are all standing on.

    he stated something that's been asserted hundreds of times. i'm sure some day someone will actually provide proof. that hasn't happened yet, though, and stating something doesn't mean it is true. for example, an equally persistent myth is that smoke "pentrates" for only an hour or so.

    i don't WANT you to believe me. I want you to actually think critically for once instead of taking someone's word for it.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    keep googling. hahahaha

    for such an obvious and oft-repeated 'fact', you should turn up lots of legitimate references.

    .....>> we're still waiting

    for the record, i am simply saying there's no proof that i have found, and that a basic (i.e. not advanced) understanding of chemistry seems to imply the reverse would be true: that refined sugar should take heat better than turbinado.

    the point is moot anyway until someone tells me what temperature i'm safe to use turbinado at that i can't use white sugar at. not only is the assertion unproved, it's undefined. can i got to 375 safely? 400?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ZippylipZippylip Posts: 4,674
    Jeff the kick ya in yer sack (on its way) has both turbinado & brown sugar in it - I had no idea there was any difference in burn points of sugars, where does brown sugar fit into this matrix (actually think it is light brown sugar)?
    happy in the hut
    West Chester Pennsylvania
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i just got it. looks great and pretty danged oficial! where'd you get the shrink wrap tops and all?

    what do you recommend i try it on first?

    as for brown sugar. it's white sugar that has had molasses added back into it.

    dunno what claims there are about burn temps though.

    honestly, at the temps we cook, i think it's all good. i use turbinado myself. white sugar for baking only.

    could i tell a difference in my coffee or anything between turbinado and white? i don't think so. but i still use it!

    i just like to cause trouble. nothing brings out the hornets so much as 'attacking' a tried and true barbecue 'tip'.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ZippylipZippylip Posts: 4,674
    I remember one day passing a church & on the sign outside it said "Google doesn't have all the answers", but it did have this one, googling 'plastic containers for spices' brought me here:

    It was about 25 bucks for 48 of those little jars with sifters and lids, the shrink wrap things came in a pack of about 100 or so, think that was an extra 3 bucks maybe... use a blowdryer to shrik'm on, pretty cool

    I use the stuff on everything I put in the egg including ribs butts & briskets, & my once annual steak, but it seems best on wings & thighs, gives a nice color & flavor, here is a pic of some wings coated in olive oil then sprinkled with some kick ya:

    happy in the hut
    West Chester Pennsylvania
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    excellent. thanks!
    ("once annual steak?" do tell)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ZippylipZippylip Posts: 4,674
    yea, sounds strange I know, & its not planned, just works out that way, thing is that every time I fire up the egg I have some other crazy idea I want to try so steak gets bumped
    happy in the hut
    West Chester Pennsylvania
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