“It’s an awesome pork bone with smoked meat and a little sprinkle of Heaven.” – Alex Maker, age 9
Alex’s top two favorite meals are sushi and ribs. I’m not sure which is #1 – I think it changes periodically. Right now, I’d bet it’s the ribs.
I asked him a few days ago what he wanted to eat for dinner on his birthday, and when he asked for ribs, I wasn’t all that surprised. Best of all, his birthday was on one of my days off, so I’d get to man (or woman) the smoker.
I wrote about making ribs a few months ago –
– and if you want to read more about the actual how-to, you can do so there.
I started heating the coals about 10:30 yesterday morning, after hitting the Farmers Market and the grocery store to get everything I’d need. While the coals heated up I peeled the membrane off the back of each rack of ribs and applied a dry rub (actually it was a mixture of two unlabeled rubs we had in the cupboard. Whatever they were, they were yummy.) to the meat. The ribs went on just after 11:00.
The ribs in my previous posts cooked for six hours and twenty minutes, and as I mention in the second post, the temperature fluctuated between 100 and 300 degrees F. Ideally, it should have stayed around 225-240.
This time around, I figured it wouldn’t be AS difficult to keep the temperature where I wanted it (or nearby) because the weather’s warmer (80s yesterday) and I wouldn’t be waging war with cold air. And as it turned out, I was right about that – for most of the time I kept the temp between 220-250.
It dropped down to around 200 for a bit, and I realized (well, no, Bill brought this up) that some of the wood I was using was still wet from the downpour the night before.
But other than that bit of stupidness, things went well.
Here they are after about four and a half hours:
The other difference with this batch was that I smoked these ribs for close to 7 and a half hours. (“7 Hour Ribs” just sounded better, so that’s why my post title reads the way it does.)
Here they are, about ten minutes before we pulled them out:
The resulting meat was tender, smoky, and it fell right off the bone.
I can’t claim total credit for these – Bill helped some with keeping the temperature where we wanted it once he got home from work – but I am happy with my decision to add an hour or so on to the smoke time. And Bill made the sauce.
Bill said today that these were among the very best ribs we’ve ever made. Possibly the best, though it’s hard to know, since we don’t have samples of every batch lined up to compare.
Still – when people are groaning with joy and toasting “To Mommy!” with denuded rib bones, it’s a good sign.