RIBS : HOW COMPETITION COOKS PREPARE RIBS
of all understand, we use "smokers" when we compete, but
I will give directions for cooking ribs in the oven. The
only thing missing will be that nice smoky flavor . . .
that can be added by simply putting a small amount of liquid
smoke into your sauce.
secret to great ribs is to cook them at low temps
for long periods of time. In competition, we cook all of
our meats at 225°F and it takes 6 hours for ribs, 10 - 12
hours for pork butts and up to 18 hours for brisket. Not
to worry, I will show you how to do it in around 3 hours!
let’s explode a few myths about ribs:
Ribs Myth Number 1
secret to great ribs is to boil them first!
. . . Never, ever boil your ribs!!!! I don't
care what your mother taught you or what a famous chef on
FoodTV did. Never, ever boil !!
let me explain what water does to meat. There is a certain
degree of osmosis that takes place when you boil meat in
water. This is accelerated if you use even a little bit
of salt in the water or on the meat. In essence, what happens
is . . . the water goes in and the flavor of the meat goes
out. If you doubt this, taste the water after you have boiled
something in it. This is the whole concept behind making
soup. So, when you boil your ribs, all that wonderful pork
flavor comes out (notice how greasy the water is?)
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I do agree you will get a tender cut of meat. But, what
does that meat taste like without any rub or sauce.
Does it look good? Would you even eat it? If you were blindfolded,
could you identify what type of meat it is? ( Most people
have failed this test! ). Next, a simple question . . .
would you boil your steaks or burgers or chops? I will gladly
share the secret to making tender and flavorful ribs.
By the way, a truly great rib can be tested by using
simply salt and pepper . . . what is called a 'dry' rib
( a 'wet' rib has sauce on it ) ! I suggest everyone try
their ribs this way first . . . then start experimenting
with various rubs and sauces.
Ribs Myth Number 2
/ steaming gets all the fat out.
it will get rid of some of the fat. But very rarely
will it get rid of all the fat. This is the single
biggest problem that folks still have with ribs . . . even
after boiling, there are still pockets of fat.
quick technical lesson ( for cocktail party banter! ) .
. . . .
can only be rendered in a dry cooking environment over a
long period of time and at low temperatures. Here is what
happens . . . the meat must attain a temperature of 160º
- 170º to start the fat rendering process. At these temps,
the meat temperature will 'plateau' . . . that is, it will
stay at these temps for up to 2 hours on ribs and 4 and
5 hours on butts and briskets. What is happening is, the
collagen (connective tissue) starts to break down . . .
this process releases water, which in turn causes a cooling
of the meat. So the temps stay steady. This collagen breakdown
is what makes meat so tender.
this collagen completely breaks down, the temps will start
to rise. It is this process that allows all of the
fat to be rendered from a rib.
. . . on with the lesson!! The night before you should choose
your favorite rub . . . a combination of spices . . . and
apply it to the ribs. Then wrap them in Saran Wrap and refrigerate
overnight. Here is a very good rub I will share . . . .
T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 T. salt
1 T. cayenne pepper
1 T. black pepper
1 T. white pepper.
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. paprika
mix all the ingredients together. This may be a little hot
for some folks, so simply cut down on the cayenne.
day you are to cook, take the ribs out about 1 hour prior
your oven to 275ºF. If you have more time, you can
set the oven at 250ºF, and it will take about 4 hours
a cake pan of hot water on the lowest rack. You may need
to add water to this near the end.
the ribs in the oven bone side down . . . you will
not turn these over (this allows the fat to 'travel'
through the meat and leave all that flavor behind)!! Place
them on a wire rack directly above the water pan and going
in the same direction…you want to catch any drippings in
this water pan.
1 1/2 hours of cooking ( not before ! ), spritz or
mop the ribs with a mixture of 3 parts apple juice and 1
part oil. Do this every 1/2 - 3/4 hour until done.
test for doneness, you can look at the bones and watch for
the meat to pull back from the ends or you can use
the toothpick test . . . insert a toothpick between the
bones and if it goes through easily they are done.
. . . always apply any sauces 20 minutes prior to
eating . . . this will avoid the sugars burning and turning
black . . . and believe me, there is loads of sugar in every
it! You're done! Like I said, this whole process will take
around 3 - 4 hours depending what temp you cook at. It may
take a little practice to get to your desired doneness but,
hey, that's half the fun!!
Team Double Smoke
Taylor is know as the BBQ Guru on the RecipeGoldmine website
for his expertise in the art of the Barbecue and Smoking.
Over the last twenty years barbecuing has caught on fast in
the UK but for most of us it is still an unexplored form of
cuisine - a few chops and some sausages.
With the help of Kevin Hub-UK
is hoping to bring to you a series of articles and recipes
over the summer which will change your way of life and bring
great pleasure to you, your family and friends as you enjoy
the long summer evenings.
Taylor is a regular contributor at RecipeGoldmine - click
here to visit the website.
Hub-UK : firstname.lastname@example.org