Preparing Ribs

Discussion in 'Pork' started by pacedawg, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. pacedawg

    pacedawg Fire Starter

    Long story short, bought a rack of ribs last minute and have never smoked or cooked them before. I had actually wanted to do a Tri-Tip but the grocery store only had a package of pre-cut tips. Anyway, I watched the video how to make St. Louis style ribs and hopefully, I didn't butcher the cutting of the brisket bone too bad (no pun intended). My question is, when making ribs, do you have to cut the brisket bone off or can you cook it all together? If so, would the meet stay tender? What does everyone do with the brisket bone if separating/ how do you cook it? 
  2. flyboys

    flyboys Smoking Fanatic

    Hey pacedawg.

    1. You can leave it attached if you want, it will still come out tender.

    2. I always remove it from mine simply to make more meals out of it. I treat it the same as the St. Louis cut rack in that I season it the same and throw it on the smoker with the rack. It cooks a lot quicker than the rack will. When it's done, I usually take the meat off the bones, vacuum pack it, freeze it and bring it back to life when I'm making chili or baked beans. There are tons of things you can do with it though. Do a search for rib tips to get some more ideas.
  3. pacedawg

    pacedawg Fire Starter

    Thanks Flyboys. They came out great.

  4. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We take off the brisket.  It works great later for tacos, enchiladas and any dish with pork if you don't mind fishing out all the little pieces of cartilage.  It is great meat!

    When cutting our ribs, we take out the silver skin/membrane.  But we leave the diaphragm meat in for a meatier rib.  Others don't.

    However you do it?

    Ribs are great, aren't they?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I remove the meat but save the strip of cartilage along with chicken carcasses, beef bones, ham bones and such. When I have a few pounds I make Chinese Wonton Soup or my all time favorite... PHO!...JJ
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Guess I should have said to fish out the pieces of cartilage AFTER it is cooked?   [​IMG]

    Good luck and good smoking.
  7. pacedawg

    pacedawg Fire Starter

    Thanks Venture, I was following you. . . Ribs are great all the time but even better when you make them yourself!
  8. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm kind of the oddball in the group as I think the Rib tips taste better than the actual ribs.   When doing Spares for get togethers, I'll section them out St. Louis style and throw everything in the smoker.  When it's time for everything to come off, I slice the rib bones up for everyone else, while reserving the tips for the "chef's table"   :)

    Pacedawg, it's kind of hard to tell from your pics, but did you still have some cartilage left in the slab ?
  9. pacedawg

    pacedawg Fire Starter


    I watched a you tube video on cutting the ribs St. Louis style. I believe I did leave some cartilage left on there as I was not 100% sure about how much you could cut down and risk drying out the meat, etc. I think there were only 2 small pieces that I could not get out and I just cooked them and pulled them out after they came off the grill. I did a modified 3-2-1 more like 2.5-2-1 and put sauce on the ribs after foiling in brown sugar, honey, squeeze butter and a hot and tangy sauce along with a cup of apple juice. I also foiled the rib tips but left it alone with only the rub. Both were great. I loved the rib tips. I couldn't stop picking at them as I was prepping the rest of the meal while my wife cut the ribs! the rub really penetrated and the flavor along with the hickory and cherry wood I used really came out. I have never been into cooking or grilling until recently. I think as I have grown older and have small children I like the idea of having a hobby that I can do along with my other priorities like watching my children. lol. Thanks to this forum my food has been extremely well received and my wife looks at me like I have 2 heads as I would never cook dinner before. My father-in-law is a restaurant chef and quite good. He has made ribs many times before and my wife raves about them. Now, she thinks that the ones I made were the best she has ever had and told her father that he has been bested. . . Definitely put a smile on my face.
  10. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Pace, that's awesome, especially the part about besting the FIL in your wife's eyes, and the smile on your face.   Congrats and welcome to the world of smoking.

    WRT the Spare Ribs, yes, you can just leave the rack whole and smoke it that way.   What you end up with is a rib section that looks like this:

    As far as the rib itself is concerned, there's absolutely nothing wrong with doing it this way.    What comes into play is the personal preference of those who are eating the ribs.  They might not want to mess with the cartilage, the additional fat, or the brisket bone.  Hence, the St. Louis style trim.  Basically, it's to make the Spare ribs more like baby back ribs, where all you have is a rib bone and the meat that goes with it.
  11. pacedawg

    pacedawg Fire Starter

    Do you feel that the taste stays the same if you keep the brisket bone attached? Just wondering. I am probably going to try it this weekend to see what my preference is as well. My first thought is that I will prefer to cut them St. Louis style due to the fact you can prepare the sections differently and eat them both at the same time!

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