Too Low and Slow Piggy Ribs
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Welcome to the next edition of Colonel Tom’s BBQ Adventures. He’ll be the first to say that - as he’s learning to cook legit BBQ on his Weber Kettle, he sometimes ends up having mis-adventures!
Here’s his latest outing as he preps ribs. Remember. Tom is in boot-strap learning mode. If you have suggestions on where he can improve, please chime in. Maybe you have a tried and true recipe he can use to get on the right track? If so, post it in the comments below!
Too Low and Slow Piggy Ribs
Its 0940 hrs and I’ve been up since 0300 trying in vain to coordinate my attack plans for Smoking some ribs. I thought I had another day to get it all set up for smoking on Sunday, but that seems to have been countermanded by my commander, the Wife in Chief.
In other words, I’m cooking today and don’t have time to put into practice the lessons I learned about planning ahead.
As of now I have the Weber kettle, the charcoal and the sauce.
We may be eating late tonight, but right now I’m going rib shopping.
I’ll be looking for nice, flexible (read ‘fresh’), St. Louis cut slab of pork ribs to smoke in the 3, 2, 1 method.
More about that when I get back.
And we’re back in 3 ~~~ 2 ~~~ 1 !
Its now 1207 hrs, and I just lit the charcoal. I’m using Kingsford briquettes in a chimney starter.
My shopping trip netted me with a big rack of porky ribs, a new 22” “Weber Hinged Cooking Grate”, a bag of Cow Boy brand hickory chunks and makings for the swabbing sauce. About that swabbing sauce; I’ve never used any before this and I’ll be keeping a page open on the computer while doing all this.
Part of the “All This” I’m doing is prepping the ribs:
I washed them up (without soap, thank you Kevin), dried them off and rubbed them down with my first attempt at making my own rub: 1 cup Lemon Pepper, ½ cup Goya brand Adobo all purpose seasoning.
I’ve used Adobo spice for everything else; it lends a certain Caribbean flavor.
I’m letting the rub spices settle in a little while the charcoal heats up and I’ll be putting the swabbing sauce together after the ribs are on the fire.
Getting the Fire Started and Setting Up the Weber Kettle
For the fire, I’ve got the good ol’ 22.5″ Weber Kettle.
I’m using indirect heat with the coals on one side and a stainless drip pan on the other of the bottom section. On the top cooking grate section, I’ll put a pan of water over the coals and the ribs above the drip pan. I’ve got it all set for the light wind to draw the smoke out from the down-wind side.
For right now, I’ve got both top and bottom vents wide open just to build up the heat.
I’ll move the top to halfway and the lower to most of the way closed when I see how it’s going.
I just put the ribs on at 1240 hrs. Mark! 3 hours to go @ 225 degrees F.
Estimated time of serving: 1900 Hrs. That’s 7:00 PM for all you civilians.
My Weber kettle did not come with a thermometer in the lid; or anywhere else for that matter.
Not a problem. I’m using a remote thermometer with no brand name. You can find a few good ones here .
Setting The Remote Thermometer Up and Starting the Cook
I stuck the probe through a raw potato with the tip sticking out and set this on the cooking grate next to the largest part of the slab. I hope that the probe will register the cooking temp at the grate but right now it shows no temp.
A little devil on my shoulder that doubts everything I know is true is saying I won’t know if the ribs will be done. My guardian angel is telling me that the ribs are cooking for close to six blinking hours, for crying out loud. Done temp for pork ribs is around 165* for medium well and 170* for well done.
Cooking for six hours; 3 hours to smoke, 2 hours wrapped in foil and 1 more hour grillin’ with the sauce is called the 3-2-1 method. Or 3-2-1 Penguins according to my Sunday School kids. It’s how you can get those ribs really tender. These ain’t Cheater Ribs from the oven. I learned my lesson the hard way.
It’s 1302 hrs and still no temperature showing on the remote.
Too soon to panic but not too soon to tell about the swabbing sauce:
The theory is that the swabbing sauce helps keep the meat juicy and adds to the bark.
You can find enough swabbing sauce recipes to fill a book and I suppose that’s already been done.
I made mine by combining half a bottle of my favorite BBQ sauce, granulated garlic and apple juice.
I’ve read about using ketchup and sugar and Winchester ~er~ War-Chester-shire = Worcheschezchter sauce but I figured that it’s already in the BBQ sauce.
So I mixed the three together and put it back in the sauce bottle with my screw-on sauce mop attachment.
Who’s the wise guy who just said it’s pronounced “Woos-ta”? I heard ya.
1335 hrs and no temp reading. Now I can panic.
Wifie says she borrowed the batteries from the transmografier. ???
Temp reading now at 172*. I need to get more heat in there so I’ll fire up some more briquettes in the chimney and add them through the hinged access flap of the new grate.
Did I plan for this subconsciously or what? Sometimes I get it right.
WWKD: What Would Kevin Do? (He’d Call JW of Team Unknown, That’s What!)
Adding more coals and I got the temp up to 210*. Fiddling with the vents doesn’t seem to make any change. It’s 1442 hrs and it’s time to stop the smoke and add the swabbin’ sauce. “Swabbin” sounds better than “swabbing” or “mopping”, don’t you think.
1452 hrs and I’m reading 180* ambient temp and the darn transmografier keeps beeping. How do I turn the bleepin’ thing off?
Wifie has her batteries back now.
I’m going to pull everything apart, spread the coals around, grilling style, swab on more sauce and wrap the ribs Texas Cheater style. I hope I can get the temp up enough to actually cook.
I’m supposed to cook them wrapped for two hours but If they aren’t done enough now, then what?
Y’all can write leave suggestions below… but it’s gonna be too late for this time ‘round.
Sorry, My Southern accent comes out when I’m feelin’ all crunched up. Know what I mean, Vern?
Well it’s almost four hours on the heat but I’m callin’ it three.
I just wrapped the slab and little slablets in foil and put more coals on. Heat is now reading 140*.
I don’t understand this thing. And its starting to rain. That’ll help.
I may be in trouble deep this time. If I have to use the oven I will but I’m having a hard time deciding if I’m going to write about it.
The Monsoons hit early today. It only took 3 seconds for my Weber to drop heat from 190* to 145*
Come on now. This isn’t cooking its warming.
I have reached the point where I have to decide
1) If it’s even worth getting wet. I mean really, really, Biblically WET.
2) If I get wet, am I trying to save supper or save face.
3) How hot do I set the oven?
Apparently not a blessed thing.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different result.
Sure, I’m absolutely nuts.
Until next time,
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