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First SLC Ribs!

ari_nari_n Posts: 7
Hey Eggheads!

I am the lucky owner of a new LBGE and have spent the last few weekends trying my hand at a different meats as a familiarise myself with the green beauty . Last Sunday was rib night - I had a nice big rack of SLC and followed the 'last ribs' recipe on amazingribs.com pretty much to the tee - including Meathead's Memphis Dust.

I cooked the ribs for close to 6 hours at 225 using hickory chips - no foiling/texas crutch. Temperature was pretty spot on  all the way through. Whilst the meat itself was well cooked, tasty and moist, I found it to be quite fatty and did not achieve that beautiful 'bark' I'd hoped for.

Whilst it wasn't a complete disaster I would have loved for the fat to have rendered more and was missing that elusive bark - just a layer of fat on top. Any ideas where I went wrong? Did I need to cook it at a higher temp? Or is it just the St Louis cut of meat which is more towards the belly? Thinking baby backs may have had a better chance of achieving the result I was after?

Any help for a newbie would be appreciated!

Cheers,
Ari


Comments

  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 10,555
    Temps too low IMO. 250-275. 
  • RedSkipRedSkip Posts: 1,294
    +1
    Large BGE - McDonald, PA
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,948
    As above, go hotter.

    Meathead favors standard metal cookers, like Weber's. The metal cookers seem to be producing much more heat. Consider, he recommends having 18 pounds of charcoal for the cook. I typically use maybe 4 pounds of lump, and have leftovers, and that's cooking between 250 - 275.

    Besides radiating away heat, the metal cookers also allow more moisture out. The surface of the meat will tend to be drier, so the bark will also be crustier.

    The fat remainder does depend some on how much was on the slab. It also can contribute to the bark. The cell walls turn to gel, and that gets crisp when hot enough.

    Don't pull bt time, but by texture. Use either the bend test, or the toothpick test. I do a variant of the bend test. I tug on the last bone of the slab, and when it starts to easily break free of the meat, and I can see the bone itself is dry, I know all the connective tissue has melted into gel.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,794
    Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.  Above all, have fun.
    Great suggestions above.  Tooth-pick test for the win every time.  
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • logchieflogchief Posts: 1,326
    Welcome, sounds like you're having fun.  +1 above
    LBGE - I like the hot stuff.  The big dry San Joaquin Valley, Clovis, CA 
  • DMWDMW Posts: 12,507
    Agree with the above. Sometimes I also trim some of the fat on top of spares before cooking.
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE - Akron Jr - BS SS36" Griddle
  • ari_nari_n Posts: 7
    gdenby said:
    As above, go hotter.

    Meathead favors standard metal cookers, like Weber's. The metal cookers seem to be producing much more heat. Consider, he recommends having 18 pounds of charcoal for the cook. I typically use maybe 4 pounds of lump, and have leftovers, and that's cooking between 250 - 275.

    Besides radiating away heat, the metal cookers also allow more moisture out. The surface of the meat will tend to be drier, so the bark will also be crustier.

    The fat remainder does depend some on how much was on the slab. It also can contribute to the bark. The cell walls turn to gel, and that gets crisp when hot enough.

    Don't pull bt time, but by texture. Use either the bend test, or the toothpick test. I do a variant of the bend test. I tug on the last bone of the slab, and when it starts to easily break free of the meat, and I can see the bone itself is dry, I know all the connective tissue has melted into gel.
    Thanks for the advice Gdenby and all! Looks like I'll have to up the temp for the next cook!

    Couple of follow up Q's:

    - if I cook baby backs would the temp be about the same?
    - I appreciate that I should judge when ready based on where the meat is at vs a set time but how long roughly would you expect a decent sized rack to cook at that temp? 
  • Baby backs could cook at the same temperature (225), but you could go much higher. Time is just one factor to use. Maybe around 5 hours you start testing if it is done. Ribs are tricky at first to get a feel for when they will be done. I still struggle with it.  
    Pittsburgh, PA. LBGE
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,948
    BBs and spares cook much the same, but BBs usually are done sooner. At the 250 - 275 range, I expect about 5 hours for BBs, 6 for spares. Part of the reason for that is the meat of the BBs has less connective tissue and fat.

    They can be cooked higher, up to 350. But because most pork rubs are high in sugar, there's a chance that the some of the sugar will burn at the higher temp. There amount of time the ribs spent out of the 'fridge before getting to the the grill also contributes to the time.

    Most pork in the US comes from just 2 related hog species which are typically sent to slaughter at about the same time and weight. The figures above are based on the standard racks so produced. I've come across some that was raised outside the commercial standards, and I had to take into account the thickness of the slabs, and how stiff they seemed before cooking.
  • ari_nari_n Posts: 7
    My pig comes from Australia so no idea how our standard compares to yours in the US. My SLCs we're super meaty though. 

    So many variables! Thanks for the tips guys - looking forward to more experimentation. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,794
    @ari_n - curious as to where in Australia you are located.  Spent a year down under in the mid'90's (lived in Canberra) but did extensive traveling throughout.  Great life experience.  
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • ari_nari_n Posts: 7
    lousubcap said:
    @ari_n - curious as to where in Australia you are located.  Spent a year down under in the mid'90's (lived in Canberra) but did extensive traveling throughout.  Great life experience.  
    I'm a little further south in Melbourne. Voted the world's most liveable city  ;) Never been to Canberra mind you. 
  • bluebird66bluebird66 Posts: 2,038
    Welcome to the addiction!
    Large Egg with adjustable rig, Kick Ash Basket and various Weber's
    Floyd Va

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,794
    Smart to avoid the politicians for sure.  Made a road trip to Melbourne and surroundings-even out to Phillip's Island.  Enjoyed every bit of the trip.  
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • ari_nari_n Posts: 7
    Yeah, politicians aren't my idea of a tourist attraction :)

    Phillip Island is lovely though. My in laws had a holiday house there. Good for something ;)

    Certainly good meat in Oz though. Although starting to get expensive, especially beef. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,794
    edited November 2017
    @ari_n - I gotta admit that I thoroughly enjoyed all the groceries that were unique to OZ. Croc, barramundi and especially the Moreton Bay bugs I had in Darwin.  I'm sure there were more but those top my list.  When I get back, Darwin is on the list and one more time at Kakadu.  Wonderful country and people. It was a great life experience. Got into the Canberra Raiders (being an Oakland Raiders fan) and Aussie Rules Football.  Even quasi-sorted out cricket.  
    Edit:  apologize for the hi-jack.  
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
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