Sunday, April 3, 2011

Smoked spare ribs

I just recently returned from a trip to memphis.  While there, i certainly ate my fill of bbq, B.B's, Rendezvous, Germantown Commissary, interstate, and central bbq (the best!!) just to name a few.  So with the taste of Memphis ribs still fresh in my mind, I wanted to make my own version to see how they compared.  Here's how they turned out:

First I started out with a simple sweet brine of:
1 gallon water
1 cup salt (pickling)
1 cup sugar

I brined three slabs of spare ribs for about 1 to 1 and a half hours.  Since ribs have much more surface area compared to other meats, shouler, turkey, etc, they do not need to brine as long.  So about 1 to 2 hours should be enough.  After brining, I put on my usual texas rub, same as in the shoulder and brisket.

Then put them onto a 230 degree smoker.  I usually use apple wood for ribs, but I was already smoking a brisket and use oak for that so this time the ribs were oak smoked, but given the choice I would prefer apple.  The ribs take about 5 hours depending on the rib.  The key thing is to look at the bones.  When the meat begins to pull away from the bone then they are done.  It isn't as exact as with brisket or shoulder that should be cooked to 195, it more touchy feely.

After the ribs are cooked to tenderness, you can either serve them as is, apply a dry rub on them (memphis style) or my personal favorite, glaze them with a sauce to caramelize the outsides.  This time I opted for the dry rub, since coming back from memphis I wanted to get the whole experience of dry ribs (referring, of course, to the seasoning not the juicy delicious insides of the ribs themselves) So I just added the same texas rub to the cooked ribs and served.  Simple.

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