Given that this is a repeat of both food and beer, I won’t call this an official beer review. I think I’ve done pretty good not to repeat foods or beers too often, but it couldn’t really be helped this time. The good news is that I learned something with this round of ribs and they were arguably my best yet.
I spent last Saturday with my father-in-law and brought us some Bombshell Blondes to enjoy while I smoked some baby back ribs. For those that may be new to this blog, Southern Star’s Bombshell Blonde ale is my new favorite blonde ale and a fantastic summer beer. If you haven’t tried it, you have to go pick up a six pack asap. See beer review #7 for more detail on Bombshell Blonde.
I stepped it up and bought the baby backs from Central Market this time and that was a clutch move. I’m now thoroughly convinced that the quality of the pork is a key factor in your success in smoking meat. I also tweaked my rib rub just slightly and added some jalapeno powder to the mix because I like the hot spice.
The ribs were a little fatty, so I did my best to trim the right amount of fat off so just enough was there for flavor. Then I rubbed some mustard all over the ribs as a base for the rib rub. Then as usual, I liberally applied the rib rub to the ribs and let them marinade for almost an hour. I don’t think the ribs were allowed to marinade long enough because the rib rub flavor wasn’t quite as strong as I like it when I smoke ribs. I was short on time, but I will make sure I get at least 2 hours of marinade before I start smoking from now on. I smoked the ribs on a fire of kingsford charcoal and pecan wood. I love using pecan wood to smoke because it’s not overly smoky and it burns at a nice temperature. I checked in the ribs about every 45 minutes to an hour and different than last time, I mopped the ribs with apple juice at each checkin. I think this was a nice add to my process. Then about half an hour before I planned to pull the ribs off the fire, I slathered them with Stubbs BBQ sauce. I ended up pulling the ribs off the smoker at about 3 hours and 45 minutes instead of the full 4 hours. This was because the fire hovered sligthly above 225 degrees the whole time, so I didn’t want to overcook the ribs.
The timing was perfect. The ribs tuned out ridiculously tender and juicy. I believe three things drove my success with these ribs: 1) Bought the ribs from Central Market – quality is key; 2) I mopped the ribs with apple juice during the smoking process; and 3) I pulled the ribs off the fire to account for the above average temperature. If I make sure that I let the ribs marinade for at elast two hours next time, I think I’ve almost got my ribs perfected. Of course, I washed it all down with a refreshing Bombshell Blonde – it was quite the culinary expereince.