Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pork Rib Experiment

Let me start with an apology - I had my camera, knew which pictures I wanted to take and didn't take the first shot, but still wanted to tell you about the experiment.

Wednesday was BBQ day at Almost Heaven South and I needed to cook some things for us and I’d been wanting to do a little rib experiment.  I cooked 11 slabs of BB’s and a choice beef rib roast for friends and a pork butt, a few chicken breasts, and the ribs for us (Bev was pulling the pork butt as I typed this during a little break).

I nearly always cook loin back ribs (pork back, baby back all mean the same in the grocery store) and I do it for the best of all reasons – that’s what Bev prefers and I’m getting much wiser in my old age.  But for today, I wanted to see how I would do with spareribs and try three different rub/sauce combos to boot.  I’d seen Jenn’s post for Spice Rubbed Ribs with Chipotle-Honey Glaze over at Jenn’s Food Journey and while she grilled hers, I wanted to try the flavor profile in the smoker and finish on the grill, so I did a whole slab.  I split the other slab between Mike Mills’ award winning Magic Dust rub and Apple City BBQ Sauce and my current formula of Head Country Championship Seasoning and The PioneerWoman’s sauce.

Both slabs were cooked the same and spent about 6 hours in the smoker at 225*- 240* using Stubbs Charcoal and chunks of hickory.  At the 5 1/2 hour mark, I applied a coat of sauce to both sides of all ribs then another coat to the top upon removal.

I then wrapped them in foil and we headed to the lake for dinner.  Since I don’t normally finish my ribs on the grill and neither does Mike Mills, I laid that slab on the grill warming shelf, still in the foil, to keep them warm while I cooked Jenn’s slab over direct heat for a couple of minutes per side.

The remainder of the meal included some fresh from the garden boiled corn and some broiled tomatoes from a recipe I’d just seen from Mary over at Deep South Dish and knew we had to try – Bev handled this part and I loved them.  Check out the recipe and pictures at Mary's site.

We all agreed that my normal and Jenn's version were the best and I preferred Jenn's but would modify my process next time as they came out too salty.  Since they spend much longer cooking in the smoker than on the grill and less of it washes off, I will use  much less of the rub and only put it on an hour before cooking as is my norm, but I will definitely use it again, maybe on pork chops, as the flavors worked very well together - good job Jenn.

Bev is always hounding me to cook ribs to a falling off the bone state for her, which I did with these and the best part of the day was when she said "these ribs are a little dry."  I'm guessing she has seen the light and the whinning will stop.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago:  Broken Bradford Pear



  1. sounds like a fun experiment even if you weren't thrilled with the results!

  2. Yeah, I want to try Jenn's grilled rib experiment too just to try it on the grill. You make great points about changes needed if smoking it.

    Funny, I had just read Mary's post about the tomatoes before reading this post, literally the very last post I read before coming here.

    Man what is going on with the price of Baby Backs? I was going to buy some but it's hard to spend that $$ when I can get way more from two butts for less $$.

  3. I've finally decided that I'll learn to smoke when I'm retired.

  4. YAY! Glad you enjoyed them Larry.. and that you preferred mine! Thank you :) I think next time I make these I want to do them in the smoker too... I've only done ribs in my smoker twice!!! I know, I know, that's sacrilegious or something!! lol


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