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How do I get my ribs to taste like ribs?

I've got a gas grill. My wife has come up with a pretty good sauce recipe. The problem is that when I cook babyback ribs on my grill there is something missing. In my opinion the best part of the ribs is the smoky flavor that is in the meat. By cooking the ribs on the grill using indirect heat it is almost like I am just cooking the ribs in the oven.

So, I am asking for suggestions and techniques for making ribs on a gas grill. I have seen the wood chips that are available, Do they work? How do you use them?
 
What you need is a cast-iron smoker box. Like this.
http://www.barbecue-store.com/castiron-smokerbox.htm

Then you buy a bag of wood chips, say hickory or cherry wood, and soak them in water for 20 minutes. Then place them in the smoker box and the smoker box in the grill about 10 minutes before you start cooking your ribs.

The chips will emit a large amount of smoke for your ribs to soak up. Cook them for nice long time at a fairly low temp. I'd also suggest adding a small metal pan of water or apple juice to the grill. This will help keep your ribs nice an moist while they cook.

Good luck!
 
Time and only time. Technically you are looking to create barbecue. When I BBQ beef brisket, boston pork butt, or ribs it is over wood with the temp always between 200 and 225 for usually no less than 14 hours. The clue to genuine BBQ is the pink smoke ring around on the outside 1/4" of the meat. No smoke ring - not real BBQ.

My BBQ is from the Texas region of using a rub before cooking, a mop mixture during, and very little sauce - gets in the way of the smoke flavor you worked so hard to create.

If your gas grill will stay in the 200-225 range (make sure you have a reliable thermometer), then you use indirect heat and wood chunks for smoke. BBQ the ribs for 4 hours with the wood chunks. After 4 hours the pours of the meat will have closed preventing the absorption of any more smoke. You can then wrap in heavy foil and move them into the oven for the remainder of the cooking process. They are done when the collagen has melted and the bones can be rotated easily by hand.

Take out of the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes, make your sauce and be prepared for heaven. If you need some good rub and mop recipes, there's an excellent book titled "John Willingham's World Champion Bar-B-Q"

Be forwarned, BBQing is very addictive but oh so good!
 
i prefer the charcoal wood chip method myself....

wood chips are soaked for an hour or two and placed on the coals, however, i have heard of placing woodchips in a metal container and placed near the flame of a gas grill. i have never tried this.

i have a regular weber kettle that i have placed two bricks to one side. this is where i place by briquettes and then my hickory chips on top....i place a drip pan full of some liquid and usually my meat has some sort of a dry rub on them. i keep the top vent wide open and the bottom vent almost shut...this gives me that magical 250 degrees for slow cooking...plus the vent is at the side where the meat is.

regular ribs probably take 4 to 6 hours....slower if possible....pork butts could take 12 to 14....

i have other various smokers and grills, but the basic weber can be so versatile for the beginner to learn on....i love gas grills for fast hot cooking...but i will take a few minutes and do charcoal when possible.

i love to cook...and many others here, do too, so ask anyquestions that you have...

mark tssb
 
S

Sam

Mark, Rik and Rob all have it right. Charcoal and slow cooking is preferred by any bbq'er. However, using the wood chips in a metal container is a must. And as was said, no pink ring, not BBQ. It may be good, but the snobs will sneer at you with no pink ring. John Willingham is from Memphis.

I have a gas grill where it just has a metal pan that I can close up and use water. I add liquid smoke to the water and that helps. I also will soak wood chips and just lay them flat on the metal pan. Hard to get in Memphis but worth it is apple chips

Dry rub marinade is in my thinking critical. Some like dry ribs and some like wet (sauced) ribs. Only add the sauce the last 20 minutes on the grill. The post about finishing the ribs in the oven, that was done by Alton Brown on good eats. He likes to add juices to the ribs when he places them on the grill and then he will pour the juices out when he puts them in the oven, reduce the juices on a stove top to make his BBQ basting sauce.

Sam
 
Sam, Sam,Sam.....here is a guy that is in the middle of bbq heaven....with "Interstate BBQ" in his back yard...which has been features on the food network or some other show as the premiere bbq in memphis....

however, if you catch alton brown's new show about his motorcycle journey across america to find the best roadside eateries...he came across madison bbq...where they use thin flat pork shoulder steaks and bbq over an open fire with hickory wood....

alton thought it was pretty good ...most diehard think you have to cook it rreal slow...but around st louis, we cook "pork Steaks" and for years other parts of the country did not know what a pork steak was...

i am not trying to hijack the thread, but once again, there is more than one way of cooking ribs/steaks and etc...

mark tssb
 
S

Sam

Mark, I saw that show. My wife and I prefer local eateries when we visit cities over chain restaraunts, though some chains (Tony Roma Ribs, Cheesecake Factory) are ok. We have Gus's Chicken, which GQ said was one of the 20 places you had to eat at if you could go anywhere and get a meal. I love the chicken breast, fried to a deep golden brown, juicy and the skin is full of peppery seasoning.

Hey, St. Louis ribs are good as well, but not the most flavorful cut of rib to buy. Babyback all the way for me. I eat dry, wet and a combo. All BBQ to me is good. Now, say at Chili's, they boil them and baste sauce on and broil them, but still, it is good.

When you are in Memphis, I can take you to Interstate, or his nephew's place call Neely's which is about 2 miles from my office, or even better, a place that is a hole in the wall but has meaty, smokey ribs

Sam
 
Sam said:
Mark, I saw that show. My wife and I prefer local eateries when we visit cities over chain restaraunts, though some chains (Tony Roma Ribs, Cheesecake Factory) are ok. We have Gus's Chicken, which GQ said was one of the 20 places you had to eat at if you could go anywhere and get a meal. I love the chicken breast, fried to a deep golden brown, juicy and the skin is full of peppery seasoning.

Hey, St. Louis ribs are good as well, but not the most flavorful cut of rib to buy. Babyback all the way for me. I eat dry, wet and a combo. All BBQ to me is good. Now, say at Chili's, they boil them and baste sauce on and broil them, but still, it is good.

When you are in Memphis, I can take you to Interstate, or his nephew's place call Neely's which is about 2 miles from my office, or even better, a place that is a hole in the wall but has meaty, smokey ribs

Sam

HELL, LET'S GO TO ALL THREE !!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I have been to Interstate and it was very good...but I'd go again...


best offer i have had all week !!!!


mark
 
I'm feeling hungry after reading this thread. To answer the first question about RIBS I agree with all the advice of using wood chips in a metal smoke box if you are cooking your ribs on a gas grill. I agree that slow if very important, I agree that 200 to 250 degrees is very important. NEVER use direct heat. The one thing that no one else mentioned is this. You must remove the membrane that is on the underside of the ribs. You will see this thin membrane and with a sharp fillet knife get under it and then pull it off. With that membrane removed your ribs will cook so much better. The meat will just fall off the bone and the smoke flavor will soak into the meat better. I have a Weber gas grill, but I make ribs on my smoker. I do anything that is BBQ on the smoker and use the gas grill for steaks, chops, and hamburgers and brots. I did a pork shoulder last Sunday that took 12 hours. Four hours with smoke and the rest of the time just good slow cooking. I use a dry rub on my meat the night before and then set it in the fridg and let the rub sink into the meat. I made this shoulder into pulled pork.

HMMMMM I am so hungry just thinking about it.
 
BGog said:
What you need is a cast-iron smoker box. Like this.
http://www.barbecue-store.com/castiron-smokerbox.htm

Then you buy a bag of wood chips, say hickory or cherry wood, and soak them in water for 20 minutes. Then place them in the smoker box and the smoker box in the grill about 10 minutes before you start cooking your ribs.

The chips will emit a large amount of smoke for your ribs to soak up. Cook them for nice long time at a fairly low temp. I'd also suggest adding a small metal pan of water or apple juice to the grill. This will help keep your ribs nice an moist while they cook.

Good luck!

Easier, cheaper, cleaner, and more effective at low heat (IMHO): You don't need a heavy smoker box, instead wrap your soaked wood chips in aluminum foil and poke just a few tiny holes in the foil with a fork. Place the foil packet directly on the grill rocks over the flame. You can make up several packets and when one is all done smoking just throw in another. No trying to refill a hot iron box! Clean up is a snap, just grab the foil bag with tongs and pitch it into the trash. My father-in-law's gas grill does not get hot enough to get a wood chip box smoking, his rocks are too far from the flames, and if you're going "low and slow" (which is recommended) your rocks might not get hot enough for a heavy smoker either, but a foil bag heats up much more easily. Also, some people marinate or even boil their ribs in vinegar before cooking, helps tenderize and moisturize them. I usually don't, but at least one guy I know who does gets "fall off the bone" tender ribs every time.

Orest
 
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