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Revised Rib Method- Long

JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Here's the revised version of my rib method as requested. I have also provided a link to the Word file, if you are interested. Have a great Monday, everyone! [p][p]JSlot's Rib Technique[p]Part I- The Preparation[p]Your ribs should be purchased at least 24 hours in advance of cooking and the following steps completed. The first thing you must do is select your ribs. I prefer to cook pork spares, but this method works on baby backs as well. I buy my ribs at Sam's Club. They are consistently good. Sam's carries them in the cryovac packages containing three slabs weighing about 3½ lbs each. You can get a better price if you buy them by the case. Ask the meat manager at Sam’s for the case price. Don't just buy ribs from any grocer. Do some investigating and find a good source. It will pay off in the long run. The first thing you need to do is cut the end of the ribs that contains the cartilage, or knuckles, off of the slab. Cut this portion off as close to the end of the rib bone as you can. Save these pieces to cook for family, not for presentation to guests. They eat just as well, but they don't look as nice! Removing this portion also allows for more even cooking of the ribs. Now, cut each slab of ribs in half to make two racks. This will allow more ribs to fit on the grill.[p]The next step is to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. The best way to do this is to slide the edge of a knife or screwdriver under the edge of the membrane on the first rib and pull gently o the membrane. A paper towel makes gripping the membrane very easy once you have it started, although I still prefer using catfish skinnin' pliers, since I keep them handy. With a little practice, you will be able to remove the membrane in one piece most of the time. [p]Now we are ready for the fun part!! Take each rack and rub generously, VERY generously, with French's mustard. Coat each rack of ribs with your favorite rub until you can't see the mustard any more. I have a crushed red pepper shaker (taken from Pizza Hut in my larcenous younger days, I must admit) with large holes that I use to dispense my rub. It works great! Place ribs in an airtight container, ziploc bags, or wrap in plastic wrap for 24 hours or until you are ready to place ribs on the cooker. The ribs can be prepped just before cooking if necessary.[p]
Part II- The Fire[p]Elder Ward covered the fire starting technique very well, so I will reference anyone who has questions to his text for assistance if needed. I'll quickly go over how I start my fire for the record.[p]First, I remove the grill and fire ring from the Egg. Then, I stir the remaining charcoal with the ash tool until all the ash and small pieces of coal have fallen through the fire grate. If needed, I then empty the ash from the bottom vent. I don't feel it is necessary to do this every time. I do it about once every two weeks and don't have any problems. Next, I fill the Egg with charcoal to the top of the firebox and place 3-4 fist sized chunks of hickory (not soaked) on top and spaced evenly around the outer edge of the fuel.[p]With the lower vent wide open and top up, I place a starter cube in the center of the charcoal and light it. I let the starter work with the top open while I go remove the prepped ribs from the refrigerator. This is a good time to arrange your ribs on the rack for cooking. I'll cover the arrangement in more detail in the next section. In about 7-8 minutes, the charcoal is burning well. Once your fire is ignited, reassemble the Egg. If you have a plate setter, place it on top of the fire ring with legs facing up, place a drip pan on it, and place the regular cooking grid on the legs. If not, set up as you usually do for an INDIRECT cook. The main point is to get ceramic between the fire and the food. I use disposable 9” x 13” foil pans ($5.75 for twenty at Sam’s) as drip pans, BTW. At this point, the bottom vent is still wide open. Now close the lid on the Egg, leaving the top vent uncovered. Allow the dome temperature to rise to ~300°, then place your daisy wheel or slide top in place with vents wide open. Allow temp to rise to 350° and then close vents to stabilize the dome temp. Your target temperature is 375°. This is wide open with my daisy wheel and half open on the bottom damper. Adjust as needed to maintain 375°. Now you can place the ribs on the grill!![p]
Part III- Cooking[p]By now you're probably all thinkin' that ol' Jim's done lost his mind and I would've thought the same thing a month or two ago!!! Cook ribs at 375°? What happened to 200-225°? Well, the pizza stone or place setter in the bottom of the Egg changed everything. So, just trust me and go with it!! It is extremely important to be sure your thermometer is reading the proper temp. Check it with the boiling water method if you have any doubts. If you haven't already done so, now you will need to place your ribs in the rib rack. I prefer the el-cheapo Home Depot rib rack (about $8) over the inverted V-rack. It holds five racks of ribs easily and they can't flop around as much. Place ribs in the rack and transfer to the Egg in the middle of the grill. If you have another rack or two of ribs, place them on the grill leaning them against the outer edge of the ribs in the rack taking care that all of the meat is protected by your drip pan.[p]Grab a cold beverage of your choice, or a glass of JD, and sit back for about 3-4 hours or so and watch the grass grow. DO NOT open the lid on the Egg for any reason!! I mean DO NOT even think about it, not never, not no how!!! The beauty of the Egg is the wonderful moisture retention quality and that is diminished by opening the lid, IMO. I never, ever, open the lid when cooking on the Egg until I feel the food should be done, or the Polder tells me to! OK, if you really feel the need to peek, go ahead! LOL. Close to 3 hours into the cook, check your ribs. The rub should have formed a nice crust and the meat should have pulled back about a ¼" on the bone. Try to twist a rib off of one of the racks (careful! it's hot!!). If you can pull one off easily, they are done. If not, close Egg and cook for another 15 minutes or until done.[p]Part IV- Serving[p]To serve the ribs, separate ribs into single bone pieces and place on a platter or in a pan. If your ribs are done properly, you should be able to pull them apart easily one rib at a time. You can use a knife to separate them if you like, but it should not be needed. Disposable foil pans work great for holding ribs if you are not going to eat right away (betcha can't keep from nibblin'!!!). IMHO, ribs done properly should never need sauce and I don't put any on mine. However, different strokes for different folks, as they say, so use sauce by all means if you want it. Apply sauce every 10 minutes during last half hour of cooking to prevent scorching. Enjoy!!!![p]
Notes from the Kitchen Table[p]I routinely cook 20-30 lb. of ribs at a time and have developed a loyal customer base for some small time catering. Any questions or comments are welcome and if you want some help, always feel free to ask!! I would also like to add a note of thanks to Char-Woody and Spin for pioneering the firebrick/pizza stone idea and all the resulting experiments that made this method possible!!
[p]

[ul][li]Rib Method[/ul]

Comments

  • Mr. HydeMr. Hyde Posts: 99
    JSlot,[p]Hi Jim...one question with the revised method: I thought that the old method was 375 indirect for about 2 hours. It seems that you increased the cooking time, but didn't decrease the temp. Is that a misprint, or am I just pulling the ribs way too soon?[p]Thanks
    Larry
    [/b]
  • Frozen ChosenFrozen Chosen Posts: 131
    JSlot,
    Its always good to post these basics for the benefit of the newcomers to the forum, thanks (maybe the recommendation to "Enjoy!!" was excessive). I'm in the habit of adding the rub before the mustard, and think it gets more to the meat that way. Also, your recipe has no use of hickory chunks or smoke? Aside from being able to buy "caseloads", why do you think Sam's is a preferred source for ribs? I seem to find they are poorly trimmed, making for a lot of waste. For the new egger, picking out good ribs from bad is challenging. My recommendation here is to look for meaty ribs, of course, but not so lean that they have no flavor and dry out in the porcess.

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    FrozenChosen,
    You missed it. In Part II, he puts 3-4 fist sized chunks of hickory on the lump.[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    "Aside from being able to buy "caseloads", why do you think Sam's is a preferred source for ribs?"[p]Well, FC, I prefer Sam's ribs because they are the best quality around here at the best price. For one thing, they are extremely consistent in size, weight, and trim. Consistency is of the utmost importance IMHO in producing repeatable results as often as I cook ribs.[p]"I seem to find they are poorly trimmed, making for a lot of waste."[p]I'm not exactly sure what you are losing, but I use the whole slab. The rib tips (knuckle ends) get cooked separately from the ribs or they are frozen and get thrown in a crock pot with some sauerkraut at some later date. The brisket flap and thinner trimmed pieces get laid on with the ribs and come off at various times throught the cook.[p]As for the hickory chunks, I believe TNW pointed you in the right direction on that. I thought I had put that in there. LOL![p]Best regards,
    Jim

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    Hi, Larry. No, it wasn't a misprint. 3 hours is an average time for nice sized ribs at that temp. I don't agonize over the temp like some folks do. As long as it stays between 340 and 380, I'm happy. One variable that makes a big difference is the thickness of the ribs you are cooking. Some sections will be done in 2 hours, others 3-4 hours. At Waldorf, I pulled off sections 2 sections every 45 mins or so. You should experiment with the temps and see what works for you. As with almost all grilling/smoking, my method is just a guideline and you need to adjust to your preferences. Good to hear from you and give Tonia a hug!![p]Best Regards,
    Jim[p]Ke

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    Check your e-mail, TNW.[p]Best to ya',
    Jim

  • The Naked Whiz,
    Oops; you're right. Now, I'm wondering why you would not want to soak the chunks. I thought that was std procedure; is dry better?

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    One of the only reasons for soaking chips in the first place is because they burn up quickly before producing a whole lot of smoke. You don't have that problem with chunks. Plenty of smoke for as much time as you need. You will probably find half of us are soakers, the other half aren't. Personally, I don't think soaking adds anything to chunks and may even take away from the smoke flavor, so I don't do it.[p]Best Regards,
    Jim

  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    JSlot,
    Not to be taking one side over the other, I used to always soak my chips and chunks, and after about my first 8 months Egging I quit soaking, and unless I am using CHIPS in HOT fire I never soak anymore. I like the smoke better from not soaking, and I almost always use chunks now..[p]Wess

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