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Cook #1 - Beef Ribs


ExclusiveBBQ
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I uploaded a video that you can view by clicking here - your feedback is much appreciated, especially as it's my first video and I plan on making many more!

 

I thought I'd document my first proper smoke on a kettle BBQ. I've smoked meat in the past, but only using a little smoker box on a propane grill and whilst it was easy to maintain a constant temperature, it didn't give the smokey 'punch' that i was after.

Some members were kind enough to recommend the 'snake' method for smoking and so I did my research, got my meat and rub ready and got to it. As I'm typing this, I'm about 1 hour 30 minutes into the cook and the temperature is maintaining really nicely - especially considering the typical British weather (rain)!

Unfortunately, the ribs I purchased were from a local butcher and came precut. I wasn't too bothered as it meant that I could rub them slightly differently so I rubbed half with a salt/pepper/organo/garlic powder/celery salt mix (got the recipe from a book) and the other half with a premade beef rub from a fantastic London butchers called Turner & George (They have a beautiful selection of meat and do some interesting cuts that you won't get from your standard market.)
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After rubbing, I prepared the kettle BBQ and let it come up to around 230 (as good as it was going to get while it was raining) and popped the ribs on. I was unsure how I should arrange them for good heat distribution so any tips would be much appreciated!

About 1hr30m into the cook, this is what they look like - I was hoping for something darker but that may be the huge wood chunks I have that are burning inconsistently:
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All right, so the rain pretty much poured down for most of the outside cook meaning that the ambient temperature never really got above 230. Despite that, they were looking pretty good at about 3hr30m in (about 160 internal temp) and so I brought them in to wrap:
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I wrapped all 4, and added a watered down mustard-based BBQ sauce to 2 of them; this was really an experiment to see if it did anything to the texture, rather than add flavour and so I added a small amount to the foil and then brushed a layer on the outside of the rib after placing it meat down:
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Following this, I didn't want to take any more risks with the weather but I put them back in the barbecue. The temperature of the barbecue started to drop to around 220 as it poured with rain and so I pre-heated the oven to 250 and brought them in after 30 minutes:
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When they went into the oven, the internal temperature at this point was actually showing as 189 after 30 minutes in the barbecue (thanks to the tight wrapping, I think) and it only took about another 30 minutes in the oven to reach 200. I pulled them out at 200 and let them rest for a further 30 minutes.

Now, time for the final product...
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I was really happy with the final product but I definitely learned a few things along the way:

  1. The flavour was a bit too smokey and/or it was too salty. The oak I had came in massive chunks which didn't help and the salt-based seasoning I used was too salty (or I used too much). The other seasoning I used contained paprika and sugar and, despite having plenty of salt, was a lot easier on the tastebuds.
  2. I should have bought a 'rack' instead of settling for pre-slices individual ribs. The meat on the ribs varied so much that half of them were soft and juicy and perfect for me and the other half were drying out in places.
  3. I need to find a way of making the barbecue hotter on cold days. This may not be a problem if I upgrade to something more suited to smoking (like a WSM or PBC) but it wasn't that cold however the rain was bad today and it only really peaked at about 230. All vents were open and even leaving the lid off didn't do too much.
  4. I prefer wrapping the ribs with sauce. This might be somewhat controversial for beef ribs (as it seems commonplace with pork) but the watered down mustard sauce gave a mild flavour but kept the ribs quite 'wet' - which doesn't sound too appealing, but was actually something that I preferred.


All things considered, I didn't make too many mistakes but that was only due to having read up on all the tips and tricks I could on these forums so I have to say "thank you" to everyone!

If you want some video content, keep an eye on the links in my signature - I uploaded plenty of content to Instagram and will compile all of the above into a video as I also recorded quite a lot of the process.

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Edited by ExclusiveBBQ
Added video link
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