Friday, August 3, 2012

How to slow smoke ribs!

So you want to learn how to smoke ribs, but are concerned with the learning process and how long it will take you to learn? HERE is the biggest key: -Enjoy- the entire process! If you don't have some level of interest or curiosity about it altogether, you'll never make it and you can also quit reading this. However, if you are still interested in learning to do ribs the right way, buckle up and enjoy the read. 

What you need for basic ribs!
1. Charcoal
2. Vinegar (apple cider form) and bottle spritzer
3. EVOO
4. Ribs
5. Whatever dry/wet rub you want for flavoring
6. Wood like hickory, cherry, or mesquite for smoke flavoring (soak in water for 30-45 minutes before use) If you use chips, they will burn up fast and may use a metal box to put them in on top of coals. If you use wood chunks, they go slow enough to put directly on charcoals, but they can spike your temp if they light on fire.
7. Yellow mustard to hold spices on rib racks while smoking (mustard flavor will be burned off and it will leave a nice little crunchy outer layer!)
8. Meat thermometer 
9. Beer (for drinking during the process ;)
10. 4-6 hours

Cooking Instructions! 

Once you have put your mustard and flavorings on the ribs, go ahead and get the grill/smoker heating up between 200-220 degrees. Every 45 minutes you can quickly flip/rotate the ribs and re-apply the vinegar and oil mix if you want. However, it's best to not open though because the temperature decreases really fast in a grill and takes a good bit of time to get back to 200. It's preferable to flip a total of 4 times and keep the grill shut if you want to get the job done in less than 5-6 hours.

Rules of thumb for smoking ribs:

1. TRY NOT TO PEEK at the ribs!
2. The ribs need to be at an INTERNAL temperature of at least 165 before they are safe to eat.
3. Relax and enjoy the process! 
4. Have a friend over and maybe a casual sports game on tv that won't distract you too bad ;)
5. The longer you smoke at a lower temperature the more it absorbs smoke flavoring and gets tender.
6. Be aware of the temperature gauge. If you have a set-up where fat can drip on the fire or you have too much wood, it can spike and over-cook your ribs.
7. Every grill behaves differently, so know where to put your ribs and how to use your own set-up. ALSO, ribs are supposed to be cooked on in-direct heat if you are doing a slow smoke cook.
8. If you hang your ribs, hang with fat at the top so the flavor of the fat drips down the ribs as they cook.
9. You can't really over smoke with hickory, but you can with mesquite!
10. ***never tried this one*** But you are supposed to be able to wrap your ribs in foil for the last bit of time to make them moisten up and fall off the bone easier. I'm not sure how long to wrap them in the grill, but I think I remembered hearing somewhere in the 5-10 minute range.
11. POST cook sauces shouldn't be necessary if you flavored it during the cook, but everything is all about YOUR preference. We love Dreamland BBQ sauce that can be bought in grocery stores around where we're from. 

That's it. You're a damn pro! IF you aren't excited and you actually got through this.... well, you're just not Amurican! ENJOY!

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