What is a Shiner and how is this prevented if it is undesirable?

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by subvet, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. subvet

    subvet Fire Starter

    I was under the impression that a shiner is when your rib tips are sticking out of your rack of ribs.  But at a recent KCBS contest, someone referred to them as the bones that stick out of the bottom of your rib slab. Coincidentally, it was at this very contest that I have developed a case of the “Shiners”, in that my rib bones occasionally come through the bottom of my rib slabs.  Is this due to wrapping them in foil after 2 hours of cooking?  Or is it that the bottom layer of the ribs merely melts away due to it only being fat and no muscle there to hold the bones in?  The ribs taste great with the bone in or out, but if you are turning them in for a contest, the judges want a handle to hold on to, I think…

    What do you know and think? 

    Many thanks for your help and advice.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  2. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm sure a competition expert will be along soon to give you an opinion.

    My understanding has been that shiners are caused by:

    1.  The ribs being cut too lean so bones are showing, not at the end, but along the bone.

    2. Ribs that are cooked too hot causing meat to pull off the length of the bone rather than the minimal "pull back" you will see on the end.

    You will get other opinions, and possibly more informed opinions, but I have given you my understanding of the subject.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Be interested to hear the answer to this.

    I've had it happen to me too.
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I thought they where the guys that ride the little cars and motorcyles while wearing funny hats in parades  [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  5. I thought it was a black eye. Or a Texas brewery.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011

  6. that would have been my guess to Al
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    This might help:

    [font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]What To Look For When Buying Ribs[/font]

    [font=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Choose slabs with good meat coverage over the bones and no large areas of surface fat. Avoid "shiners"—slabs where the meat has been cut too close to the bone. These exposed bones may fall out during cooking.[/font]



    subvet likes this.
  8. miamirick

    miamirick Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    you mean these guys al?


    this one scott?


  9. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's great advice Bear, the only problem is most of the time the ribs where I but them at Sam's are cryovaced in a 3 pack & you really can't see what your getting. But at least I know what a shiner is now. I used to think they were bait fish.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---Great for Bass!!
  11. subvet

    subvet Fire Starter

    Thanks for all of your input.  I too but my ribs at Sam's Club.  They come cryo-vac'ed with three to a package.  It is hard to tell exactly what you are getting.  Living in New jersey has its limitations on meat purveyors. 

    As far as preparation goes, has anyone experimented with the 3-2-1 method, wrapping in foil, verses putting them on a rack in a pan and covering with foil, or just leaving them unwrapped the whole time? 

    I have done all of these several times.  I have probably cooked at least 150 racks of ribs.  I know it is not a lot but I'm working on it.  I am still on a quest to turn out the best ribs I can. 

    What tips do you have relating to the fine art of rib cooking?  The whole shiner issue came up after I started wrapping them individually with apple juice, brown sugar, and honey.  The ribs turn out great with the exception of the bones on the ends on the rack coming out.
  12. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Wish I could be more help subvet.  My ribs come out the same way , we love em.  I don't believe the best tasting food is presented in these competitions.  I like mine fall off the bone, comps like them with a bit of pull, I like mine with pullback on the bone, not so sure about the competitions.  I aways wrap mine with foil, sometimes I lose a bit of liquid because the foil isn't tight enough but they still  come out delicious.

    I would think people winning competitions are not buying ribs at Sams unless they are buying multiple packs and picking through them.
    subvet likes this.
  13. subvet

    subvet Fire Starter

    That is an interesting point to consider.  "Not buying Sam's ribs for competitions."  I spend about $150.00 for Wagyu brisket and consistently come out in the top 6 but when it comes to pork...I am only spending about $30.00 for my ribs and about $25.00 for my Boston butts

    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  14. alaskanbear

    alaskanbear Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Hate to burst all your bubbles, but I AM A SHRINER..  and dad-gummed proud to say so..  Opps my eyesight aint what it used to was, it said shiner not shRiner  my bad--my bubble is bursted//


  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Awesome Brisket, Subvet !!!

    Little pricey though.  [​IMG]

    Thanks for the View,


    PS:  Who woke that Polar Bear Up ?!?!
  16. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I too have had a problem getting ribs that we all like & doing it on a consistent basis. I have finally found the way we all enjoy them & I put them in a pan without a rack inside & cover the pan with foil for the foiling stage. All of the tips for ribs have been gone over & over. All I can tell you is you have to keep experimenting until you find the right combination for YOU, YOUR FAMILY & YOUR FRIENDS. For some reason everybody like ribs prepared differently, but I have found that for the most part they like FOTB the best. The good thing is the worst ribs I have cooked were still better than you can get in a restaurant around here.

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