Secrets to SMOKING RIBS
Guys and Gals,
Smoking ribs has many variations but we should all agree that the best smoked rib is one that is both tender and smoky. Tenderness and smokiness combined are the goal, but each in moderation is better. If you want to smoke ribs like the professionals, then you will need to learn this balance. Lets talk about how to achieve this illusive combo.
Achieving Smokiness in your Smoked Ribs
Many people make the mistake of cooking their barbecue ribs or smoked ribs completely indoors. Folks, this is against the constitution and might be illegal in some states. I see all sorts of smoked ribs recipes that use fancy rubs or marinades that direct you to cook the ribs in the oven. LOL. If you are cooking the ribs in the oven, then where exactly, may I ask, is the smoke coming from? A dirty oven, perhaps? The point is that you don't want a rib that is cooked solely in an oven because it will not have a barbecued or smoked taste. You can add all the liquid smoke or barbecue sauce that you want to but it won't fool anyone. An oven is good at achieving tenderness but not so great at the smokiness.
On the opposite extreme are those that sit by their smokers from 4:30am till 7pm awaiting that perfectly smoked rib. Again, LOL. You do not want a smoked rib that is pink all the way to the bone. It will be too rich and will not taste like pork. Besides, if you are lazy like me, then this all-day thing is just too much work. A smoker is good at achieving smokiness but not so great at tenderness.
Do you guys see where I am going with this? The best method for smoking ribs is combining the two cooking types. A good smoked rib will have approximately 1/4" of smoke penetration into the pork or brisket. After this, then the oven is your best friend for getting that perfect tenderness into your smoked ribs.
Please see my formula in the other post for the absolute best guide on how to smoke ribs. It will work for either smoked baby back ribs or smoked brisket or the classic smoked ribs.
By the way, If you do not have a rib smoker, then consider investing in one. It serves as a regular charcoal grill as well so I believe it is a good investment. Build yourself a good portable charcoal grill because it you will need it when cooking for those tail-gaters. If not and you are trying to smoke a lot of ribs for a party or a crowd, then you may want to use a water barrier.