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First Ribs Edible But Need Help

edited 10:14AM in EggHead Forum
On the 4th I made my first ribs on my large Egg using info from several of you experts. [p]First, I want to know if the grate you put firebricks on can be the regular Egg grid, with the raised extender over that. JSlot recommended putting a grate between the firebowl and the fire ring, but I don't have the strength to lift the fire ring, and anyway can't find a grate to buy of the correct diameter for that location.[p]Second, I didn't have firebricks, so I put a 13" pizza stone on the grid, a large round foil-covered pizza pan with a drip pan (filled with beer) on that, then the extender--and thanks to all for the description of how to assemble that!--and used a Weber grid with the two handles on top of that so I could lift it off easily at the end. The pizza stone cracked in two, of course, but I expected that and it is entirely usable in two matching pieces. Anything wrong with this so far?[p]I had 7 racks of prepared ribs on a rib rack and carried it out on another large round pizza pan. I forgot to remove that pizza pan and it was there for the whole 3-hour cook, I discovered at the end. The temp was pretty stable at 375° and I sprayed on apple juice a few times. [p]Third, the ribs were very tasty but cooking was uneven--some perfect, some a bit charred. I noticed the lump (when I could see it again at the end) was burning hotter on one side of the firebowl. I had started it using 1/2 Weber cube right in the center and the lump was very evenly distributed. What about the skewed burning? Can you wonderful people help me to be perfect like you all are???[p]


  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Judy , you laboring under a misconception. We're not all that perfect. We just enjoy eating our mistakes (and sometimes some crow!). Instead of a pizza stone, I normally use just a foil covered pan (to help with cleanup) on the bottom grill. You can either fill it with liquid (water, apple juice or beer are fine) or leave it dry. You are just looking for something to keep the flames and intense heat from directly reaching the ribs. I have made the mistake of setting a rib rack directly in the pan and then had my ribs touching the bottom of the pan. They may have just as well been sitting in the fire. They burned. Be sure you have something to keep the ribs about 2-3" minimum from the bottom of the pan.

  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    Judy , Were those babybacks or spares? I personally prefer babybacks and usually cook for about 4-5 hours at 225-250. I use a place setter on top of the fire ring then the grate on top of the place setter. Some people wrap their ribs and others don't, it is a personal preference. The mustard ribs are my favorite but a good friend of mine prefers the char crust.
    GFW gave me good words about 2 years ago. The best BBQ is what you like not what others like. Good luck.[p]CWM

  • BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
    Judy ,
    First step. Don't be intimidated by what you read here. There ARE some awesome cooks here, but the difference between what they come up with and what you produced first time out is just fine-tuning! This is from someone with plaques on the wall for award-winning ribs; so long as you aren't intimidated and are willing to keep trying, that's half the battle!
    Two things jump out on your post. One is the temp. 375 is a little 'happy' for ribs. Think about that nice slab o' ribs, a little bit of fat here and there (and who doesn't have that, right?). Just a bit of heat, (say 225-250) and that rib just starts to sweat and the fat starts to melt and lubricate the rest of the rib. Ahhhh, feels good, don't it, Mr Rib? Just basting in yer own juices, little puddles of juices forming....hardly even know yer on that night's menu for dinner...LOL The spices in the rub start to form a crust, the bark forming up on the outside. Oh yeah! Now you're on your way!
    As for a drip pan: sure get a big pan which can hold the rib rack. If not that, then cut back to 225 and go direct, spraying with apple juice to get that nice bronze glaze going....flip ribs or rotate the rib rack if you see a hot spot develop. Hey, it's irregular shaped lump charcoal Judy; no saying where it's gonna catch. I haven't met anyone whose been able to isolate the flame; that's part of cooking with charcoal! Some use a blow torch or some such thing and maybe they can control the burning point that way, I don't know. I use cubes too so I wouldn't know!
    Basically, what I'm trying to say here is, it sounds like you did well, doing a large volume cook with very little heat barrier. Keep it up and add a new idea each time out and soon you'll be one proud cook! My suggestion is, next time cut heat back to 225 and try your ribs in the rack direct, rotating away from the hot spot, if there is one, as deemed necessary, spritzing all the while with liquid (apple juice is great!), OH, and fer cryin out loud, don't be intimidated by what you read here!

  • Judy MayberryJudy Mayberry Posts: 1,991
    Loved the lyrical poetry of the fat rendering! Couple of comments. First, without firebricks or a plate setter, I didn't think I had enough of an indirect set-up for the low and slow. Just today have I located a place to get firebricks, am leaving as soon as I press "send." And the plate setter I ordered 3-1/2 weeks ago STILL hasn't arrived! So I opted to go with JSlot directions to cook at 375°.
    Second, I can definitely recommend a round 15" pizza pan to go under the rib rack. There was even room to stand up a few racks against the side of the loaded rib rack, and they can be switched around on the pizza pan very easily if cooking unevenly .
    And last, I'm a real slow starter in the morning and I didn't have several hours for the cooking. My own lazy bad.

    Judy in San Diego
  • Judy MayberryJudy Mayberry Posts: 1,991
    Car Wash Mike,
    Mike, I had spares that I trimmed like St. Louis-style ribs. I cut off the top-row meat and also the flap in the back, and put them in the freezer. I think they'll be good in a New Mexico style pork and green chile stew, and it just occurred to me that lightly smoking it before finishing in the stew will give it a whole new dimension!

    Judy in San Diego
  • fiver29fiver29 Posts: 628
    Judy Mayberry,[p]The only recurring themes I notice here and will reiterate are these. First, more indirect space is needed. And second, a lower temp so you can cook slower makes it sound ..oh, so tasty!
    Strongsville, Ohio

    Yes.  I own a blue egg!  Call Atlanta if you don't believe me!
    [I put this here so everyone knows when I put pictures up with a blue egg in it]

  • CornfedCornfed Posts: 1,324
    BBQfan1,[p]This post is sheer poetry. Finally, I've found another person that talks to his ribs.[p]Cornfed
  • ShelbyShelby Posts: 803
    Judy ,
    Got a bit of a debate going between myself and my friend on ribs. We bought our eggs together last year. He did some spares direct at 325-350 for a little over an hour the other day (accoording to the BGE cookbook!) But he marinaded them for over two days. Why he felt a need to marinade ribs, I don't know. Does anybody else do this?
    I, on the other hand, did mine for almost 3 hours at 300 direct. Mine were mighty fine but will make a few adjustments next cook. I left all the thin flaps on and those got a little too crispy. Also, think I'll use at least a drip pan to block some of the direct flames. Otherwise, I'm happy with my way.

  • Judy , The first time I did ribs, about 4 weeks ago, I sort of followed the 3-1-1 method. That is an indirect set up with the middle "1 hour" wrapped in foil and the last "1" half indirect and half direct all at 250. I am doing again today, and will drop to 225. Also, may not do the direct at the end. I read this method on this site somewhere or someone posted it. If you can find the method, give it a try, it seems to work good for the new guys/gals.[p]Omaha Mark[p]
  • Judy ,[p]Just a quick comment or three. Lower the temperature, 375 will cook the meat, but it will not be tender. The indirect 'barrier' is more important with higher temperatures, not lower temps. The idea is to keep the heat away from the meat. You seem to be off to a good start, keep at it and you'll be helping newbees real soon![p]Larry
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