First rib smoke success - needs improvement

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bsw50, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. bsw50

    bsw50 Newbie

    I've been smoking chicken on my Chargrill smoker for some time, but have just tried spare ribs for the first time. I have the basic barrel-shaped cooking area with the sidecart heating chamber, dual vents. I read up on the process on several sites and did the standard process of removing the membrane from bone side and rubbing the meat the night before, setting the ribs out 30-60 min in advance, cooking at 225, and mopping with apple juice every hour or so. I cooked mainly with charcoal adding mesquite wood every so often. I also wrapped the ribs in aluminum foil and cooked them like that for the last 2 hours. The ribs turned out pretty good for my first time, they had amazing flavor and were generally tender. One thing I did notice however was that the meat overall had some sort of semi-tough coating even on the meat side. It wasn't that the meat was charred from high heat.... the color and flavor was all great. I could usually squeeze all the meat off of single rib in one easy motion but to bite off from that chunk took a little work because of this thin outer layer of the meat. I had to get a good grip on the meat with my hand and use good force to tear some meat away with my teeth.

    I'm trying to think of what I did wrong but it seems like I followed the standard process pretty well. If anyone knows what I'm doing wrong or has any suggestions, please let me know.
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    First off welcome to SMF please stop by roll call and post a little about you your smoker and experience kinda a tradition around here. Now a few thoughts on the ribs. How much smoke did you have thin and blue or white and billowing. Following the 3-2-1 for spares or the 2-2-1 for baby backs the foiling is the middle time and should be finished at the end by unwrapped time to firm them back up a bit. Also sometimes we all just get a lousy piece of meat.
  3. white cloud

    white cloud Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your right about getting a lousy piece of meat sometimes jerry. It has happened to me on occasion and usually when I am out to impress friends with great Q.
  4. bsw50

    bsw50 Newbie

    The smoke seems to vary. I've never been able to get a real consistent layer of smoke going. Consistent heat is no problem but the wood I add always burns out real quick. When I add the wood it stays thick and white for 10 minutes or so and slowly changes to where you can't really see smoke. Maybe this is the thin & blue smoke you're referring to - I always smoke during the bright Florida daylight so maybe I can't see the color there. Maybe I need to alter my heating/smoking method? What I've always done is use regular Kingsford chacoal for the heat, throwing Hickory or Mesquite chips tightly wrapped in foil with open ends on top. The wood seems to burn out real, real quick in this manner.
  5. white cloud

    white cloud Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Maybe you should switch to chunks and/or seal that foil pouch tight and just poke a few hole in it
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Ah another Florida boy what part? I'm in Crystal River. If you can smell smoke you are smoking. Lots of people here use lump charcoal. With your smoker you may be better off with chunks instead of chips.
  7. bsw50

    bsw50 Newbie

    I'm on the coast opposite you, in Melbourne.

    Thanks for the tips guys!
  8. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Almost sounds like you had a bark forming on the rib ?

    Welcome from Cedar Key.
  9. norrell6

    norrell6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like poor quality meat to me. It is to bad they dont grade pork the way that they do beef so that you could avoid things like this. Sounds like you did everything right. I personally like baby backs because they seem to be more forgiving and tender. Keep practicing, thats what it is all about.

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