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Baby Back or Spare Ribs

blukatblukat Posts: 353
Thinking about egging some pork ribs this weekend. I've always done baby back in the past, this will be my first on the egg. Any recommendations for baby back or spare ribs and best cooking process/recipe. I'm leaning toward trying spare ribs. Thanks in advance for the feedback, I will post pictures of what I end up cooking.


  • nick_banichnick_banich Posts: 110
    Personally I like doing what I know first to get used to doing it on the egg, then branching out
    -Large BGE since 6-13
    -Indianapolis, IN

  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,182
    I like spare, trimmed St Louis style. I think they taste better. I do think BB are often more tender (even when both styles are cooked properly). Kind of a filet vs ny strip comparison, I'm a strip guy.

    Both can, and likely will be delicious. Have fun, post some pics.

    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,015
    I typically do loin back ribs because the family likes them better(SWMBO thinks spareribs are greasy). Also, I get a bad gag reflex if I happen to bite into any leftover cartilage that was missed in trimming.
  • GrillmagicGrillmagic Posts: 1,546
    edited July 2013
    I like St Louie Style my self only because there is a bit more meat/pork on the bone, I do do Baby Backs and always buy the Biggest racks I can find. 3-2-1 for me, Pull the MB, mustard, dizzy dust meat up for 3hrs then butter/brown sugar/honey meat up in foil for 2 then air dry them meat up for the last hour. I do 275 dome indirect and pull the plate setter for the last hour and yes I may flip them. I always do 3 racks on my XL and often foil a rack or two for later. They are better the next day... Sauce if you like!
    Dimondale, Michigan XL BGE
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,779
    edited July 2013

    Here is the basic rib cook translation:  (choice of ribs-your call)-

    • 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.  Those of us X-0-0 run without any of the above extras.  It's all in what you like.
    • And to determine when they are finished-the bend test if you have full racks-pick them up on one end and if they bend around 90* they are finished.  Another method-use a toothpick and insert in the thickest meat-in and out with no resistance and finished. Also look for a good meat pull-back on the bones. 
      Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey!
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,986
    St Louis style... Trim your own and cook or save the extra for beans. 1.5 hours @ 275...coat with honey... 1 hour... Remove and finish, with sauce if you like. Perfect er time.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,945
    BBs tend to cook quicker than spares. The meat seems to be intrinsically a little more tender. But, IMO, they are not quite as flavorful as spares.

    My expectation for BBs is that they will be done in a little less than 5 hours, cooked raised and indirect via a drip pan, dome 250. Spares trimmed to St. Louis style, more like 6 hours. When I've done untrimmed, its taken around 6.5 hours. I haven't done many "turbo" cooks, but have raised my dome to 275, which shaves off 15 - 20 min.

    My standard method.

    Trim the spares. At this point, it takes me about 5 min. per rack, but the first few times took more like 15 min. Part of the time is that I am separating the fat and different portions of trimmings into different batches.

    Clean the Egg, fill w. lump w. hickory or oak mixed among the lump. Light w. weed burner. Place grill on fire ring, add drip pan, and place raised grill at felt line. Close dome, and leave bottom vent wide, and daisy off.

    Return to ribs, and brush w. a neutral flavored oil. Apply a big coat of rub, and mash it in.

    Check Egg. If between 200 & 215, shut bottom vent to 1/4" and put daisy on at half-petals. Wait for another 5 - 10 min, shut bottom to 1/8" and daisy just to slivers. Should stabilize very close to dome 250F. Wait till the heavy smoke clears.

    Lay the rack(s) on the grill, bone side down, and go away for 1/2 hour. Check back to see that temp has come back to 250, +/- 15F. If so, go away for a couple of hours. Otherwise, tweak the vent setting and check again in 30 min. Assuming its in range, go away.

    Around 4 hours into the cook, check temp. It may have crawled up another 20 degrees. Anything under 350 is not a big problem, mostly means a little mopping and a faster cook. Anything under 180 may mean that ash has clogged the draft holes, and the lump needs stirring.

    At that point, the bones will likely to be starting to show. If there are dry spots of meat, brush a little water on.

    Check again at hour 5. Sometimes the bones don't draw back as much as usual, but a tug on one should start to tear the meat. I brush on another light coat of oil at that point, and dust on some more sugar and black pepper. At about hour 5.5, I start doing a bend checks, waiting till they droop easily, or start to tear apart from their own weight.

    Good luck. I prefer the taste of spares, and the lower cost also doesn't hurt.

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,779
    edited July 2013
    +1 with @gdenby on the cost-for anyone in the Mid-west, Kroger is selling spares for $1.49/#.  Great deal unless you live in Texas I suppose,  since their cows (brisket) are so inexpensive I'm sure the poor pig is undervalued as well.  :)>-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • blukatblukat Posts: 353
    I decided on baby backs this time. 3 racks from Sams. Removed the membrane, rubbed the bone side, turned over rubbed with mustard and applied dizzy dust on 2 and 1 with Steven Raichlen's all purpose bbq rub. Put them in the fridge while I started the coal and wood (cherry). 225 for roughly 4 hours, grabbed the end of the ribs with a tong and it bended and slightly tore. Raised the temp to 275, put on my favorite sauce and let it cook for 30 more minutes. Pulled them off the grill to rest for 15 minutes then they were devoured! Definitely the best ribs I have ever made, and probably the best I've ever eaten! I have yet to experience a bad cook on the BGE. I'm so happy I finally got one after years of debate. I also filled my growler with a local Nashville brew, Yazoo's Gerst. What a night, now time for a cigar and some bourbon!

  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,182
    Very nice! Congrats. Which rub did you prefer? 

    Give the spares a go next time and tell us what you think. 

    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • blukatblukat Posts: 353
    Ate the Dizzy Dust one, thinking about freezing the other one for later. DD was really good! I will try the spares next time. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions!
  • SpringramSpringram Posts: 430
    I prefer St Louis style and and use the KISS method. I season the ribs with whatsthishere sauce (or mustard) and my rub. Put on raised grate indirect at 250* dome. Do not open until 4.5 hours and then check with toothpick or bend method. If needs a little more time then check every 15 minutes or so. Most of of the time, they are done at 4.5 hours. Ready for the cooler. Main thing is to keep close to the 250* temp and DO NOT open the lid to look.

    I prefer my ribs with sauce only on the side and do not like rib candy (honey, sugar, butter) but you can sauce them the last 15-20 minutes or so while in the EGG.

    This method I am sure works for BB but at a shorter cooking time. Don't know how long since I do not use BB.

    Spring, Texas

    LBGE and Mini
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,945
    Mmmm, the finished pic looks really good. I can see where the meat is beginning to come apart. Well done!
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