My First Try: How Do I Get Crustier Baby Backs?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokininthewind, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. Hi all, Wyoming newbie here.

    I smoked my first baby backs today on my 30" Masterbuilt. I prepped them with a thin layer of mustard and rub, as pictured. I used the 2-2-1 method, which, after using my thermometer probe, turned out more like 2-2-0.5, finishing the job at 168*. I used a pan of water above the chips.

    Since I was only 30 minutes early, I re-wrapped it in foil, wrapped in a towel, and placed in an empty cooler for a half hour.

    The meat had a nice smoky-but-not-too-smoky flavor. It was pull-away-from-the-bone-tender, yet, not falling-off-the-bone-tender, just the way I wanted it (my pinky is starting to ache from hitting the hyphen key so many times).

    The only BUT to the story is that it tasted a bit too "steamed" and was not crusty, even though it looks crusty in the pics. Should I skip the water in the pan next time? Should I shorted the amount of time cooking in foil?

    I'd sure appreciate your ideas and suggestions! Thanks.
  2. bb53chevpro

    bb53chevpro Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Those ribs looks awesome. I have never had crusty ribs except on the Q with higher heat. So I will not even try to offer any sort of suggestion. I am sure someone will be along that will be able to help you.
  3. smoking gun

    smoking gun Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I did some spare ribs and baby backs last weekend and did the 2-2-1 on the baby backs. The baby backs were tender but as you said mine didn't have that "crust" like the spare ribs did. I think it's just the time exposed to the heat in the smoker along with the time wrapped in the foil tenderising the surface. If you had left them on longer than the 0.5 you probably would have gotten a little more "crust".
  4. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    To get a crispy finish on them, you could just throw them on the grill for a few minutes. They retain the smoky flavor, but just need to dry a bit more.
  5. jaynik

    jaynik Smoking Fanatic

    That rest in the foil softened things up a bit. Eat them fresh off the grates next time and I bet they'll be like you want them.
  6. justsmoke2

    justsmoke2 Smoking Fanatic

    Ditto what Jay says. Cut your foil time back to an hour next time but if ya foil and put in cooler to stay warm the may soften up again. The worse of two evils.
  7. vince

    vince StickBurners SMF Premier Member

    I'm no expert but have grilled and smoke ribs, I don't place in foil at all, I mop them during the smoke or grilling and then eat them right away, I guess it's the way I like them.
  8. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My advice is skip the last 1. First 2 is for smoke, Second 2 is for braising. Once braised, (tenderized) leave them uncovered or into a cold fridge, and finish on the hot grill with some sauce.

    Continue to use the water, It helps keep temps constant in the smoker.

    Hope this helps.

    Basically, that's similar to the method I used in the restaurant only we did them in the oven. We would cook several cases at a time and put them in the cooler. When ordered we would sauce them and put into preheated oven or the Salamander or under a hot broiler.
  9. camocook

    camocook Meat Mopper

    I love listening to people.Some speak and some talk without saying anything.And some speak just to hear themselves.
  10. To get my ribs crusty I use a good amount of dark brown sugar in my rub mix. The crust is caused by the caramelization of the brown sugar. I use the same rub for all my ribs be it smoked or grilled.
  11. norrell6

    norrell6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    A good way to get a nice crust on baby backs is to drain the liquid out of the foiled ribs and reduce it in a pan to about half. It will become syrupy and thick after cooking. Take ribs still in the foil and open them up so that you can brush them with the sauce. Place them under the broiler for about 4-5 minutes, Have to watch them so that they dont burn. Wish I could take credit for this method, but it is all Alton Brown. I have done his method of ribs before I had a smoker. They are good, buy hey, smoked meat is always better. The broiler trick works real well though and now I save my rib juice and make basting sauce from it. Even use it to flavor BBQ sauce.
  12. daddio

    daddio Meat Mopper

    i like to take mine from the foil and throwem on the gasser on high heat mopping them with daddio's finish sauce to get a really good crust on for me anyway[​IMG]

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