Pork Ribs

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Pork Ribs Yum
This recipe is started with the excellent " Last Meal Ribs" recipe from AmazingRibs.com (a great site). I'm putting it here as a starting place to experiment with changes.

So, yeah, ribs. Baby backs lie near the spine. Spareribs attach to them and run all the way down to the chest. St. Louis Cut Ribs are spareribs with the tips removed so they form a nice rectangular rack. Some call them "center cut ribs". They are the meatiest and most flavorful ribs. Baby Backs are a bit leaner, smaller, and cook faster. If you get spare ribs you can always cut them into St. Louis style yourself and use the trimmed-off parts as secondary "scooby snack" ribs. Serving size? Depends on your audience and what else you're serving. A minimum of 2 ribs per person, but if they are as good as they should be some folks will eat a whole rack.
Servings
Slab of ribs
Ingredients
Salt by weight (best) OR...
  • to rib weight grams salt — 1.6g per gross lbs of ribs
Salt by volume. NOT BOTH!
  • to rib weight tsp Morton Kosher Salt — 1/2 tsp per lb/meat (subtracting bone weight). For ribs, gross wt * .6 = meat weight. Salt amount by volume varies significantly by brand & form factor - so more accurate to go by weight than volume.
The rest:
Servings
Slab of ribs
Ingredients
Salt by weight (best) OR...
  • to rib weight grams salt — 1.6g per gross lbs of ribs
Salt by volume. NOT BOTH!
  • to rib weight tsp Morton Kosher Salt — 1/2 tsp per lb/meat (subtracting bone weight). For ribs, gross wt * .6 = meat weight. Salt amount by volume varies significantly by brand & form factor - so more accurate to go by weight than volume.
The rest:
Instructions
  1. Prep. Trim anything that looks gnarly, cut away any remaining portion of the diaphragm, and remove the membrane from the bone side. Make it look nice.
  2. Lightly rinse and pat dry. Peel the membrane off the bone side then and trim excess fat from both sides - no need to get crazy with it.
  3. Provided you will be using a salt-free rub (recommended) sprinkle the salt over the rack. You can simply eyeball it by sprinkling on the same amount of salt you would sprinkle on the ribs if they were served to you unsalted. About one-third on the bone side and two-thirds on the meat side. Don't miss the edges. Let absorb at least a couple of hours up to overnight. Wrapping well in cellophane, or vacuum sealing is best. This is called dry brining.
  4. After the brining step is complete, pat dry, then treat the rack with something that gives the rub something to stick to. A little oil, or yellow mustard, or a spritz of apple juice or apple cider vinegar.
  5. Sprinkle enough salt-free rub to coat all surfaces but not so much that the meat doesn't show through. That's about 2 tablespoons per side depending on the size of the slab.
  6. Pre-heat your smoker to 225, with a water pan, leaving damper wide open.
  7. Apply smoke. If using an electric smoker 225 should be plenty to keep the smoke rolling unless it's absurdly hot sunny weather — in which case try to keep your smoker in the shade.
  8. Apply smoke for 3 or 4 hours then close the damper.
  9. If you don't have a fan in your smoker, swap the rib locations in the smoker every couple of hours.
  10. No need to do the Texas crutch unless you are in competition. Just let it roll.
  11. Cook 5 to 7 hours for St. Louis Cut (SLC) Ribs or Spare Ribs, and 3 to 5 hours for Baby Back Ribs. If you use rib holders so they are crammed close to each other, add another hour.
  12. To check for done-ness use the bend test (a.k.a. the bounce test). Pick up the slab with tongs and bounce it gently. If the surface cracks it is ready.
  13. Add the sauce unless you intend to serve them "dry" like they do in Memphis. Go easy on it so that the meat can shine through. Paint both sides of the rack with your favorite bbq sauce and cook for another 15 minutes or so. Don't put the sauce on earlier than that. It has sugar and there is a risk it can burn.
Recipe Notes

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