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1st smoked BBQ pork spareribs in ECB

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 June 2008 at 18:46

1st smoked BBQ pork spareribs

20 jun 2008 2330

alright, guys - i've spent the evening trimming the membrane off my ribs and then cleaned and patted them dry, then popped them in the freezer for a few minutes to get good and cold. i slathered them down with a thin layer of plain ol' yellow mustard, then applied a generous coat of durkee's st. louis pork rub to both sides. they are now covered and sitting overnight in the fridge bone-sde down. there are 6 racks of ribs, each about as long as keyboard to the number pad and about the same width as from the space bar to the function keys; nothing big, but i'm hoping it will be good for a first attempt with the family.

tomorrow, i'll place them in my partially-modified ECB and see if i have any rebel blood in me after all. i managed to acquire some lump charcoal from kingsford (as opposed to briquettes) and intend to smoke with hickoy chunks using the minion method, which should allow me to keep a steady, slow fire, aiming for around between 225 and no more than 250 degrees. as per jeff's course, i'll consider them done at 172 degrees, however long that takes - i am expecting maybe 4 hours or so? i'll try to keep a detailed record.

while they are cooking, i intend to give them a decent mopping with whatever we have on hand. up here in montana, i've never heard of a mop before about 4 weeks ago, so i would be grateful for any ideas on the subject. we don't have much handy in the way of ingredients, i've heard of using dr. pepper as a mop or perhaps some sort of vinegar-based mop or olive oil or apple juice. if anyone can point me in a good direction, please do so.

that's all for now, will report tomorrow as i get the fire going.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RobertMT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 June 2008 at 19:48

Ron

I mailed those books off, you may find something in there.  Should take the post office more than a week to get them the 300 miles.

RC

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2008 at 05:20

robert - thanks for sending them - i agree about the mail situation; it's a little crazy but we only get our mail about twice a week, so i should see it monday when i get the mail. thanks again!

as for the ribs, at 10am i've got a few chunks of lumps charcoal burning on top of about twice as many unlit ones. if i am remembering my minion method correctly, this should keep the whole thing going on a nice slow burn for the time required. the temperature is not quite up where it needs to be, but i prefer to start with a "warm" smoker and with the ribs straight out of the fridge anyway. according to what i've read, and it makes sense, this will give much extra time for the chemical reaction between smoke and meat to take place, making a nicer "smoke ring" and hopefully producing what seems to be the goal where these ribs are concerned, which is something called "bacon on a stick."

i put the ribs on, bone-side-up, and intend to leave them completely alone for at least the next two hours; at that time, i'll turn them over and mop them. for now, i will  simply use dr. pepper unless i get a better idea between now and then. the smoke is not nearly as pravalent as it was when i was using wal-mart charcoal and too much of it at that. just thin wisps that seem to curl around the racks and the ribs, and i believe that is the goal.

the only dark cloud on the affair is that it seems there is a tiny pinhole in my water pan. i of course didn't notice it until i got going, and now have no time to repair it. the leak is tiny but i will have to keep an eye on the level. at the end of today's BBQ, i will plug it with some of that super putty or whatever it is called. it should do OK until i buy a new ECB, which should be next payday.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2008 at 06:25

alright, at 1130, temperatures seem good and things are smoking just about right - my confidence remains high that i just might be able to do this right.

these racks of ribs are smaller than normal, so i am figuring less cooking time. as i said above, i will turn them at noon and start mopping them every 45 minutes or so with dr. pepper until done.

the pinhole is causing me to lose water more rapidly than i would want, so i am keeping on eye on that and filling as needed, until the pan is about 1/2-2/3 full. when i filled the pan originally, i used boiling water; now as i add water i am just using hot water.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2008 at 07:05
ok, at noon, 2 hours into the BBQing, i turned them over, mopped them with dr. pepper from a spray bottle and rotated the top rack to the bottom and the bottom to the top. things are looking good so far!
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2008 at 08:03

just before 1300, i took a look at the ribs and mppped them with dr. pepper again. for a while, the pinhole in the bottom of the water pan had plugged itself somehow, but now it is trickling again. everything is looking good and temperatures are holding well. i also added a few hickory chups (not chunks), which might have been unnecessary, but oh well.

at 1400, i will check them for signs of doneness, including tempeerature at 172 degrees and meat pulling away from the bone, leaving it exposed. if i did everything right, they should be moist, tender and juicy.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2008 at 08:05
also, it just occurred to me that i could have screwed in a small screw to slow or more likely halt the leak as a temporary repair. something to keep in mind if it happens again after i make the permanent repair!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2008 at 09:41

alright, here's how it went down. probably 30 minutes before they would have been done, the pinhole in the water pan let go of whatever had been plugging it. it pretty much put the charcoal out, so i had the boys get the oven going at between 225 and 250 degrees and we finished them in there for for maybe 20-30 minutes. temperature readd 175 degrees, so we took them off.

results - all i can say is WOW! i've never had real BBQ ribs (mcdonald's mcrib is probably the closes thing i've ever had) and these were GOOD! they had a great smell and looked just like you'd expect BBQ ribs to look, and had a great smoke ring running nearly to the center. very tender, very juicy and very good. i see now where the term "bacon on a stick" comes from. smoke flavor was there but did not overwhelm at all, and though i was worried that the rub might be a little peppery for my wife's tastes, it wasn't. normally, she does not like any smoked food at all, but she was sure enjoying this. kids loved them as well and we had the tasunkawitko family licking their fingers.

we'll be trying this again soon with a repaired water pan. i think these cooked just a LITTE fast, but considering the complcations, i am satisfied. usually when i cook something, the family eats it, but will not often enjoy it. this time, everyone enjoyed them very much and i got compliments all around.

thanks to all who offered advice, help etc. on making my first rib BBQ a success!

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1894 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2008 at 05:55

 Sounds like this thread would be better with a pic or two

 

Ribs is good

 

Phil
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2008 at 19:30
that's some good looking q there!
TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kingpin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 October 2008 at 14:29
Tash, I smoke mine for about 4 hours with charcoal and then wrap them in foil so they can stew in their own juices for about two hours. At this time, be careful when you unwrap them because the bones can and do fall out. I also have a vinegar base sause that is so good, you don't want to get any on your forehead because your tongue will slap your brains out licking it off..........................Kingpin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 October 2008 at 02:32

>>>you don't want to get any on your forehead because your tongue will slap your brains out licking it off<<<

that's the way it oughta be!

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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