Baby Back to BBQ
I started this blog to talk about BBQ and how I would create award winning food. So, let's get back on topic. Today I experimented with Baby Back Ribs. I usually cook Spare Ribs, but they didnt look so good at the butcher, so, today it's baby backs.
I bought a 10lb cyrovac package of Swift Baby Back Ribs from Costco. A lot of people I know think baby back ribs are from young pigs. Not so. They're just a different cut of meat from traditional spare ribs and usually cost about 3 times more.
Part of my experimenting today was foiling my meat. I usually don't foil my meat. I'm not dependent on the "Texas Crutch" but I noticed a lot of people doing this at BBQ contests. So why not? Let's give it a shot. The other was using a rub sent to me by Solid Kick of the BBQ-Brethren. He sent me a bottle of Blues Hog Dry Rub.
So I rubbed the ribs with Blues Hog after a slather of French's mustard. Let sit for a few minutes, till everything was tacky.
Temp: 64 at 1:00 pm when they went on to 60 when they came off at 5:30 pm
Wind: 12 to 18 mph
Fuel: Charcoal and Cherry wood chunks. No water pan.
Cooked the ribs standing vertically in a rib rack.
Rub: Blues Hog Dry Rub
Slather: French's Mustard
Mop: Apple juice, some rub, Chiptole Tabasco sauce and spices.
Cooking Temp: About 275-300. I don't know exactly as I don't use a thermometer.
Finishing Sauce: Mad Dog original, meat drippings and left over mop.
I put the ribs on the fire about 1:00. I added some cherry chips and let cook till about 2:00 pm. At 2:00, I mopped the ribs for the first time. Continued mopping every half hour after that. After smoking for 3 hours, removed the ribs and wrapped in aluminum foil (EEK!!! THE TEXAS CRUTCH!!!) with some honey and a little of the mop. Returned the ribs to the grill and cooked for one hour more. Mixed the meat juices from the foil packages with the sauce.
Took the ribs out of the foil, 2 of the three slabs were breaking apart as I moved them. One I thought was a bit over cooked.
I slathered them with the sauce and put the ribs over direct heat to carmelize the sauce for about 10 minutes turning often. Let them sit for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving. How'd they turn out?
Appearance: 2 (The meat of two of the slabs was falling off the bone and the slabs broke apart. All of the slabs were very very dark. I prefer a more red. The remaining slab appeared very dry when viewed from the side.)
Taste: 6 (The best tasting slab was the slab that I thought was a bit overcooked. Overall the rub and sauce combo was a little hotter than I was looking for and would not do well in a northern competition.)
Tenderness: 6 (Again, this is based on the "overcooked" slab. Every bite was very very tender, but a bit dry. The other two which were falling off the bone, were way too messy for competition cooking. However, they were excellent eating!)
Well, if this is any example of how I'd do at a contest, I have a long way to go to win one. There are a few tricks I would have used to present that "over cooked" slab. It probably could have done pretty well. But today was an experiment. I'm learning. And out of 10 lbs of meat, between 4 people, there were NO leftovers.
How did I rate this? Check out the Kansas City BBQ Society for their rules.
CD playing as I wrote this: Joe Jackson's greatest Hits