Question about brown sugar and ribs!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by gitaryzt1985, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. gitaryzt1985

    gitaryzt1985 Fire Starter

    I saw a unique recipe online for "marinating" ribs.  Basically, you put your rub on and then slather with brown sugar and let rest overnight.  The sugar is supposed to liquify and create a glaze.  My main question is, does this seem like a good idea or a mess waiting to happen?  Would I be better served just putting the brown sugar on the ribs as they go on the smoker?
  2. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Your rub might have sugar in it. I make my own from Jeff's Rub recipe and it is loaded with it. You should see. I would not as there is really no reason to let it sit overnight in pure brown sugar. You could add it at the foiling stage of your ribs with some butter but I prefer honey for this as the rub already contains brown sugar. What recipe will you be using for your ribs if you don't mind me asking?
  3. gitaryzt1985

    gitaryzt1985 Fire Starter


    It's more of a technique I guess than a recipe.  I use McCormick Pork Rub because I really dig it for some reason.  The video I saw basically said to put a healthy amount of brown sugar over the rub and let it liquify to create a glaze...whether that is overnight or not I was unclear.

    I thought about putting on the rub and letting them sit overnight and then putting a bunch of brown sugar followed by a bourbon spritz on the ribs about 20 minutes before I put them on the smoker.  I am probably going to foil with my apple juice and maple bourbon spritz.
  4. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Gitary, this technique sounds more like a dry brine.  If you have too much sugar too early in the cook, your meat will be a nice shade of black and probably have a nice burnt taste.  Bourbon spritz is good, but I prefer to drink the bourbon and just spritz with a combo of apple juice and apple cider vinegar.  When I foil, I put the usual brown sugar, more rub, butter, apple juice in with the ribs.  I have also put BBQ sauce in the foil and it comes out pretty good, but will tend to darken them up a bit too.  You can certainly put your rub on overnight, I don't typically rub until about 1 hour before I put them on to cook.  But this is one of the great things about BBQ, everyone has a different method, a different flavor profile, different smokers, different woods of choice, but it's all good!

    Happy smoking!
  5. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I concur with Bruno. Caramelized sugar is great but burnt sugar is not so great. You can add it in the foiling stage and when you pull them out to go back on for the last hour it will be better. I have tried what you are contemplating and found that you get better flavor and smoke penetration by doing it this way. I also think spritzing is overrated and extends the time of your cooking as every time you open the door to your chamber you let all the heat out. I don't notice any difference in bark with spritzing, mopping etc.... That said, they are your ribs and if you have all the time in the world go ahead and spritz. Happy smoking. Timber.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I agree with spritz and mop for a 6 hour cook gains little. A 24 hour whole Hog...Yes I mop. Anywho, Brown sugar does not burn until a temp of about 320°F, so a 225-250 smoke will not burn the sugar. Going thru the trouble of first making a Brown Sugar Glaze and then foiling is like putting on Sunblock then taking a shower before a day at the beach. Do one or the other. If you like Sweet and foiling, add a butt load of Brn Sugar in the foil. When you remove the ribs for the last hour, save all the foiling juices, Reduce them down to a syrup and glaze the ribs during the last 20 minutes or so...JJ
  7. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Several people have posted this "technique" on this forum, did you read about it here?

    It's been a few years since I have seen one of these posts, I don't think anyone has done it recently. I may do a search.
  8. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    OMG that thing at the end made me gleek. you know when you are trying to hold back a salivation but it sneaks out between two teeth. Got the monitor. Anyway....
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Give the foiling juice reduction a try. Most of my family does not add any additional BBQ sauce to their ribs. Below is what I add to my ribs...JJ

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice. Cola is good too

    1T Molasses


    2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Style Glaze.

    Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice, again, over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  10. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I have used your recipe since I first saw it. Done some variations for Beef too. thanks man. Your PP finishing sauce with my own smoked chipotle peppers is a mainstay in the refer.
  11. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Since the very first time I smoked ribs I have done it that way.  I've always made my rub and used a fair amount of brown sugar in it.  After sitting overnight in the fridge, it does turn into a slight glaze.  In my experience, I have yet to find that the sugar burned.  I always get a very nice bark that is full of flavor from the rub.  Good luck  to you!!
  12. If I'm not mistaken I don't think sugar starts to burn till 300 +

     I think  so if you smoke at 225 or 250 you don't have a thing to worry about

  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do my spices usually just ground ancho pepper with Papricka for color, except for salt and light brown sugar then wrap for over night. Just before I actually put the  pork in the smoker I massage the salt in and re-spice if needed. You can smell it thru the plastic wrap after the second night! Anyway, just before putting in the smoker I rub with a very very light coating of light brown sugar.

    You can't taste it, but its like salt, you'd miss it if it wasn't there.

    The sugar like salt, is a dehydrant, sucking up all that moisture. Its why it liquifies. Once its in the smoker that sugar caramalizes. Its like a big M&M, and like the M&M it helps hold all that moisture in so that the butt when done melts in your mouth.

    Thats just my ideas of sugar and pork.
  14. No need to let ribs set overnight with brown sugar on. I'll put my rub on first then wait a few minutes spray down with Budweiser then put brown sugar on wait a few minutes spray again and ready to smoke.
  15. paul72

    paul72 Fire Starter

    I did this exact thing that you're asking about , and they were the best ribs I've ever had

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