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Ribs Throwdown - Paper vs Foiled vs Nekkid

BotchBotch Posts: 11,725
edited June 2020 in EggHead Forum

 
This is kind've a long video for what you learn (and I'll be spoiling the ending, below) but it had some interesting results.  Three 'que enthusiasts (one a competitor) cooked three racks of ribs, prepped the same way but two were wrapped halfway thru, then all three sauced and left bare the last 1/2 hour.  
 
SPOILERS:  The rack left nekkid was the tenderest of all three, kinda surprising (all three agreed on this).  All three also agreed that the rack wrapped in paper was the worst. (???)  Best overall was a tossup between the first two, although they agreed the nekkid was smokier (duh); guess it depends on how much smoke you like.  The guy who did the cooking also said (I think) "Well, we used oak, sorry, pine, and didn't let the bark burn off first".   I hope I was just mis-hearing that.  
 
I've never wrapped my ribs, but think will try this this weekend, one rack nekkid and one wrapped in foil, and see what I think (I don't have any butcher paper so that was an easy decision).  There's also the possibility (and I know this from cooking briskets) that sometimes you just get a poor-tasting critter, so that could've been it, also.  Might be something to argue about over the weekend.   :)
 
EDIT:  Oh yeah, the nekkid rack was closest to the firebox the first half of the cook, that may have had some impact on its tenderness (just cooked more).  
____________________________________________
"When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent."
  - Isaac Asimov  
        

Comments

  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 13,539
    Yeah lots of variables, not least of which is the Individual proteins. I’m a foil guy for comp style stl spares and almost exclusively nekked for BB’s. I leave the paper for briskets, maybe. The leaner bb’s just seam to overcook too easily when wrapped. If I do wrap them for adding flavor purposes, it’s a very short stint. I temp my ribs just like any other BBQ protein. 
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 10,402
    I never wrapped ribs until my last rack of BB and I got in a time crunch. I had been running 285 for 3hrs and they weren’t getting any bend to them so I foiled for 20 and that did it.  Sauce and ran nekked to the finish.  I was impressed with how soft and still had some bite they were.   

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 11,351
    I've moved to the no wrap crowd and just letting them go until passing the tooth pick test and using foil only to cover any real dark spots that are getting a bit too charred.
    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16 Large #2 11/20 Legacy from my FIL - RIP
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 8,891
    In line with what others have said, I only wrap if I'm copying a competition recipe where the ribs basically get saturated with stuff (some combination of brown sugar, honey, margarine, butter, maple syrup, etc - depending on the recipe) that makes them taste good - but more like meat candy than pork.  Sometimes I feel like meat candy.  Sometimes I rub and go nekkid because I want to just appreciate the flavor of the pork.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • bradleya123bradleya123 Posts: 386
    I could have told them that!  I never wrap, never will either!!
    Retired Navy, LBGE
    Pinehurst, NC

  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,769
    The guy who did the cooking also said (I think) "Well, we used oak, sorry, pine, and didn't let the bark burn off first".   I hope I was just mis-hearing that.
    I heard pine as well.  But what he actually said was pecan.  Timestamp 20:00 is when he made that statement. 
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • BotchBotch Posts: 11,725
    ^^^ Pecan!  Thanks, @jtcBoynton.  
     
    Four months into retirement, and I'm still saying "...think I will try this, this weekend"; it's ALL weekend!   =)  Last night I skinned and rubbed a rack with dry rub, put them on at 0800, foiled one at 0900 (smoke had stopped) and sauced/finished.  
     

     
    Nice shrinkage and passed the toothpick test, but not the "bend" test.  I was hungry, so... 
    I ate two wrapped and two nekkid ribs, and I'll be completely honest, I couldn't tell a difference; flavor, chew, fall-off-the-bone, or smokiness.  I won't be wrapping again.  
     
    I'm also curious about the type of rib I got.  Market had no full spares, but did have StL-cut spares, babybacks, and what I picked up was called "pork roast ribs", anyone hear of those?  They were thick, easily the meatiest pork ribs I've ever seen, over an inch thick at the end:
     

     
    Thanks for looking.    
    ____________________________________________
    "When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent."
      - Isaac Asimov  
            
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,769
    As a comparison test this had major problems and I would not use the results for any guidance.  They varied the foil - paper - nekkid variable to see what happens.  They also had another variable that was not controlled for that is far more important in the cook - the amount of heat applied to each piece of meat.  They seemed surprised that the nekkid one was more tender but it got more btu applied to it that the others.  I am not surprised that the more throughly cooked ribs were more tender.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 3,529
    Botch said:

     
    I'm also curious about the type of rib I got.  Market had no full spares, but did have StL-cut spares, babybacks, and what I picked up was called "pork roast ribs", anyone hear of those?  They were thick, easily the meatiest pork ribs I've ever seen, over an inch thick at the end:
     

        
    Did the "pork roast ribs" have bones?  If not, they sound like "country ribs", which are basically just rib shaped slices of Boston Butt.

    NOLA
  • BotchBotch Posts: 11,725
    buzd504 said:
    Botch said:

     
    I'm also curious about the type of rib I got.  Market had no full spares, but did have StL-cut spares, babybacks, and what I picked up was called "pork roast ribs", anyone hear of those?  They were thick, easily the meatiest pork ribs I've ever seen, over an inch thick at the end:
     

        
    Did the "pork roast ribs" have bones?  If not, they sound like "country ribs", which are basically just rib shaped slices of Boston Butt.

    Wellll, yeah (see photos above).  They were just incredibly meaty, thick pork ribs.  
    ____________________________________________
    "When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent."
      - Isaac Asimov  
            
  • pgprescottpgprescott Posts: 13,539
    Botch said:
    buzd504 said:
    Botch said:

     
    I'm also curious about the type of rib I got.  Market had no full spares, but did have StL-cut spares, babybacks, and what I picked up was called "pork roast ribs", anyone hear of those?  They were thick, easily the meatiest pork ribs I've ever seen, over an inch thick at the end:
     

        
    Did the "pork roast ribs" have bones?  If not, they sound like "country ribs", which are basically just rib shaped slices of Boston Butt.

    Wellll, yeah (see photos above).  They were just incredibly meaty, thick pork ribs.  
    Those are loin back or “baby back” ribs. They have been butchered in a manner that has left an ample amount of loin meat on the top. Our Kroger offered the same thing. Almost like having a little loin medallion on every bone. Good stuff 
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