Hey guys, welcome back. I appreciate all the emails and kind words. Just wanted to post some quick and random thoughts here about smoking ribs.
There has been a lot of debate about whether or not you should remove the membrane underneath the rib rack. Many argue that it stifles the smoking process because it basically blocks the smoke from getting to the meat from the underside. I think the jury is still out on this one. Let me know your thoughts. My personal opinion is that it simply depends on what type of smoker you own. What I mean by that is this: If you are setting up a smoked that smoked from the side, such as one with a firebox that is lower than the meat section then I do not think the membrane will make much difference. I say this because in this type of rib smoking, the smoke completely surrounds the meat and penetrates it. It really doesn't need to penetrate into the underside as there isn't any meat there. However, if you are smoking on a vertical unit and your smoke is rising through the ribs, the yes, the membrane could impede the smoke penetration.
New prep method: A friend of mine turned me onto this nice variation for marinating. You guys may already know this one but it was new to me. After putting your normal mustard coating and your favorite dry rub onto the meat, try putting thinly sliced pieces of oranges on the top side of your rib racks. Leave about 1 inch between slices. Wrap the whole thing gently in plastic wrap and let set over night as usual. This will give you a much more pronounced citrus flavor than the traditional squirt of lime or lemon juice and is a nice variation if you are in a competition. I understand it is good with lemon and lime too but that it can be over-done with these so space them out more than the one inch. This type of smoked ribs tastes especially nice with a good scalloped potatoes recipe. Happy rib smoking all !