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
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?)
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 to cooking.
your oven to 275ºF. If you have more time, you
can set the oven at 250ºF, and it will take about
4 hours to do.
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
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
. . . 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 BBQ sauce!
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
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 -
here to visit the website.
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