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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Who smokes ribs here?

I did it last Memorial Day, with pretty good success, but I want to make sure I have GREAT success this year.

I'm only using a charbroil charcoal grill, that I do heat on one side with wood chips on the charcoal...on the other sides I have the rack with ribs and a drip tray under it, full of apple juice. I then had a sprayer of apple juice and ACV that I sprayed once in a while.

I did St. Louis style ribs, as I find them meatier than baby backs.

Not a true smoker, but it does the job, and I think they were dern good.

I made a rub of what I had on hand, but I wonder if maybe you could share your rub recipe, as well as which BBQ sauce you've used?

Also, if you have suggestions to make this smoker work even better, let me know!

My heat got a little high last year, so I need to control this more, but it's a PITA, trying to fluctuate between not enough heat and needing more charcoal...and too much heat!

Oh well, as long as the beer is cold, and I can relax all day, I'm a happy man.

Thanks for any help!
 

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Remove the silver skin membrane on the bone side of the ribs before cooking.

Follow the 3-2-1 method. IMO I think it works well.

Careful with smoke, not too much white smoke, ribs can get bitter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

How do I cut the smoke? Last year, I simply put a handful of wet apple chips in an aluminum foil ball and put it on top of the charcoal.

I've always been told bone side down...is that the way you guys go?
 

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Get a rib rack, it'll make your life easier and let you get more ribs on the grill.

For an off the shelf sauce, look for Dinosaur brand. They make a good sauce that finishes nice, Saltherin' something. Creole honey mustard is good too.

If you aint using propane(which you shouldn't) it's all work. No real way to prevent watching that thing. Come on over when I have to do a brisket cook, people wonder why I am not in a party mood after one of those.

And I'm not trying to be a jerk, but good luck getting anyone to give up their rub recipe unless it's already out there somewhere. Basics though are garlic & onion powder, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper...
 

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I use salt, pepper, sugar, light brown sugar, granulated garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne. I pretty much eyeball it until it's the color and taste I like. A rib rack works wonders like mentioned before, baste every half hour with apple juice by the end don't need much sauce. I will wrap in tin foil towards end, I have basted ribs before with a little bacon grease and that worked well. I find it hard to make ribs the exact same way each time because I don't cook them often enough but can put out a quality rib each time.
 

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For my rub, I use garlic powder, homemade wild ramp powder, adobo, smoked salt, seasoned salt and some mesquite seasoning. I use whole lump charcoal instead of briquettes. Like Possum said, remove the membrane. I also put a little liquid smoke in a spray bottle with water and spray them periodically. I use my own sauce from a recipe I got from a now deceased friend. Sorry, you can't have that recipe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys.

I figured most rub recipes are locked away in a vault somewhere. Just figured I'd ask.

I did the 3-1-1 last year...3 hours just ribs and basting, 1 hour wrapped, 1 hour unwrapped.

Anyone alter that?
 

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I go real light on the rub with ribs. I think they have such a great flavor why cover it up. I use grill mates applewood rub you can get at giant eagle or Wally World.

Temp control is the most important thing. If you don't know your temp your really at a disadvantage.
 

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Why do you have your drip tray full of apple juice?

Try this, dry rub your ribs and let them stand in the fridge overnight or longer. Then heat your grill up and add the ribs and cook them indirectly like you're doing. Keep the apple juice bottle and spray them when you first put them on and halfway and then before you finish them on the grill. If you want to add barbecue sauce brush it on a few minutes before you take them off for good. Let the meat rest 5 minutes or so.
 

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One thing about ribs is everyones perfect rib may not be yours. I don't like a mushy rib, I like it to have alittle pull to it. Most are to mushy for me, but again that's just me.
 

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TATERDAVID said:
One thing about ribs is everyones perfect rib may not be yours. I don't like a mushy rib, I like it to have alittle pull to it. Most are to mushy for me, but again that's just me.
If its mushy and falls off the bone, it's over cooked. The meat should be firm but pull off of the bone with a little pressure.
 

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Yes I agree. Most at a restaurant are to mushy for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again guys!

I honestly can't tell you y I did the apple juice drip tray...that was suggested to m last year, and I just did it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The rib rack...does it allow the ribs to cook all the way through to give the bark throughout?

Sorry, I know it sounds stupid, but it now looks like I need one. We're doing 4 racks, where I thought we'd be doing 2. The grill only fit 2 racks last year, and I'm using a char broil barrel grill without the offset smoker box. That means I have to use 1/2 of it for indirect heat.

The rib rack holds the ribs on the sides, right?? Or at least the ones I've seen do.
 

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They hold them sideways. I have one but haven't used it as I haven't ever cooked more than my smoker could hold laying flat.
 

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PossumBackstrap said:
Remove the silver skin membrane on the bone side of the ribs before cooking.

Follow the 3-2-1 method. IMO I think it works well.

Careful with smoke, not too much white smoke, ribs can get bitter.
This is what I do. I tried some St Louis ribs with Carolina rub and sauce last Sunday and they turned out great
 

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TATERDAVID said:
One thing about ribs is everyones perfect rib may not be yours. I don't like a mushy rib, I like it to have alittle pull to it. Most are to mushy for me, but again that's just me.
I'm with you, I'd rather have to tug a little to get it off the bone rather than have it just slide off.
 

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The only thing you have to watch out for with the rack is that the meat isn't touching. May take a little flipping and shuffling, but they turn out just as good.

Last year for my buddy's 4th party I cooked 8 racks on one offset smoker and 8 chickens on the other. Only way to fit that much is with a rack.
 

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TATERDAVID said:
Yes I agree. Most at a restaurant are to mushy for me.
Agreed. I think it completely changes the flavor (for the worse) when they get mushy like that.
 

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The way I determine my ribs are done is I hold them in the middle with tongs, bone side up so the bend. When the meat looks like its just starting to pull away from the bone, they're perfect.
 
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