ribs::bone side up or down?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by johnnyreb, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. johnnyreb

    johnnyreb Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    was at the book store and was looking at the Neely's book and they say they cook theirs bone side up to let the juice pool in the concave and that constantly bastes them. I have been cooking mine bone side down. What say you?
  2. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well firstly I would say NEVER trust The Neely's when it comes to BBQ, anyone who boils their ribs at their restaurant is mighty suspicious as a Q cook in my book.

    As for the ribs, I have always done mine bone side down.
    thebattman likes this.
  3. pepeskitty

    pepeskitty Smoking Fanatic

    I do bone down, the juice may keep things moist but when it pools it will not allow any smoke penetration where it is pooled up. Even with bone down, I have never had a dry rib.
  4. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    i start mine bone-side up - i don't give a dang where that information comes from - the neely's the pitmasters, the japanese parliament - myself, i read it on the BBQFAQ.

    anyway, i do it for exactly the reason stated, becasue of the basting effect and the retention of the juices. i baste it a couple of times across the ribs during cooking to prevent the problems that pepe mentioned. somewhere in the cooking process, i flip them over, and i ALWAYS finish and glaze them bone-side down for a nice presentation.
  5. johnnyreb

    johnnyreb Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    the smoke will not penetrate the meat side ?
  6. johnnyreb

    johnnyreb Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    it does seem like that the juices sitting in there would baste the meat
  7. bigdale

    bigdale Fire Starter

    Bone side down here but I also use 3-2-1 method so basting is not a problem
  8. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I sometimes start mine for the first hour meat side down per the book Low and Slow. Other times I go bone side down the whole time. Depends how I feel that day. today will be meat side down for the first hour, then flip. No foil for any part of the smoke
  9. johnnyreb

    johnnyreb Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    i used to do the 3-2-1 thing to but for ME it makes the meat to mushy
    i have graduated to the no foil method
  10. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    PK tells it like it is...Bone down, so the smoke will penetrate the membrane side too...[​IMG]

    If there is a pool of liquid sitting in the concave portion of the ribs with the bone side up, then smoke will never get to the meat, as the liquid will block it.
  11. johnnyreb

    johnnyreb Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    i have 2 racks of baby backs for today...i will do one up and one down to compare!! [​IMG]
    thebattman likes this.
  12. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    What he said, I second!
  13. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I stand mine up on end so I get the best of both worlds. [​IMG] Just kidding.

    What about the meat facing down? Won't the smoke penetrate that surface? [​IMG]

    I don't know about all your smokers but it seems that in my SnP, the smoke pretty much wafts all around inside the chamber and pretty much touches all surfaces of the meat. Plus on the UDS, the smoke is coming up from the bottom. I do them bone side down and have no problem getting smoky flavor.

    And what I really want to know is if there is a pool of liquid sitting in the concave portion of the ribs with the bone side up, how the hell is it going to baste anything?? If it is in a concave area it isn't going to go anywhere. It will just sit there in a pool.

    I sense another "fat cap up/fat cap down", "foil/no foil" discussion with no real definitive answer so my recommendation would be to do it both ways and see if you notice any difference. Then do it the way you liked best.[​IMG]

  14. jamminjimi

    jamminjimi Meat Mopper

    Make sure you report back. I am putting my first rack ever on at 1:00 PM. It will be bone down.
  15. My ribs spend most of their "being smoked life" bone side down. But I do flip them over for a bit just to darken up the top side. I've found that they get a better bark when they get the more direct heat for a bit. I also foil them after a few hours too so they don't need to baste because they braise instead.
    Potato Poetato. Let's call the discussion off!

  16. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I do my ribs bone side down because, well because that's what I do [​IMG]
  17. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Always bone side down and leave them alone and let the smoke do its wonders and then they have always turned out yummo.
  18. pepeskitty

    pepeskitty Smoking Fanatic

    If the meat is facing down leaving the meat "cupped" up as the juices pool up, that liquid will set in the middle of the rib and as the smoke circulates around the meat it will touch the meat everywhere except the meat under the liquid. That pool of juice creates a water barrier from the smoke therefore that part of the rib will not get smoked. The rib still may taste plenty smoky overall but if you took a bite of the rib where the juice was pooled, it won't be as smoky as the rest. This is just my opinion, I am not saying definately that bone down it the only way to go. By trying different things and doing things differently is how we learn new things.
  19. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    was going to put the slab of BB's I am doing today meat side down for an hour like i sometimes do before flipping. forgot, bone side down just seems more natural to me.
  20. old poi dog

    old poi dog Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I agree that if there is enough smoke in the smoker, it'll find its way into the meaty part of the rib. That said, I smoke my ribs no foil, bone side down, from start to finish.

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