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Jun 16, 2012 07:42 AM

Lot o ribs

I have been selected to be pit master at a wedding.Need 100lbs ribs. Thinking of baking this weekend
And putting them on the smoker prior to serving, help!

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  1. I'm no Barbecue expert, but I think you have your process smoke first, then finish in the oven. If you are holding them for any amount of time before serving, then you can fire them up on the grill or smoler.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      4under you've got my approach to ribs on target. It is a texas 4step that has plenty of opportunities to interrupt for optimal timing.

      Step one; clean them up. Trim to shape, pull off silver skins, notch 1/4" between bone ends, smudge them up with rub, dizzy dust and jacks old south about 50/50. Let them mellow for overnight in the fridge.

      Step2; fire up the big green egg to a zillion degrees had have at least two logs of hickory wood or maple to generate heat plus smoke. With cold ribs straight from the fridge the racks go on direct heat to char the racks maybe 4 or 5 minutes per side.....not cremated, just a healthy char. Remove the ribs and let them cool down again. Meanwhile transform the BGE from direct high heat grille to an indirect smoker.....which I do by shutting all vents to 5%, throwing a handfull of lump charcoal on the hot fire (sort of smothering effect) along with a couple wet chunks of hickory (not logs this time ). Place the plate setter in position along with a 12" aluminum foil pie tin filled with apple cider and cider vinegar(75/25 ratio). Close the lid and within 10 minutes the egg is down to around 250 degrees and smoking like a champ.

      Step3; place ribs above the liquid in vertical racks (capacity is maybe 4 or 5 good sized rackd) and let them smoke for anywhere from 2 to 4 hours turn them each hour (rotate end to end and flip vertically). Visible smoke will begin to die off after a couple hours but them logs still have some life. So depending on just how smokey we want, I pull them ribs and bring them to room temp before I wrap them in heavy stuff aluminum foil sealing the ends tight. Each rack in its own package. If you cheat and wrap while they're still warm, they sweat and steam.= not good. After an hour they get wrapped and then refrigerated; overnight, over a couple nights, I've even held a pack or two for a whole week before finishing.

      4th to finish I fire up the oven to 200 to 225 degrees and once hot, I put the cold wrapped packs of ribs into the oven to finish. Timing is based on what is still owed from a total countdown. This approach needs 6 hours for baby back ribs and 8 hours for spare ribs and 10 hours for country style if they spent 2 hours on the smoker then the baby backs need 4 hours in the oven. If they spend 4 hours on the smoker then spare ribs require 4 hours in the oven. Etc.

      When I'm down to the last hour of oven time, I unpack the ribs (save the rub rich dripping liquid) and place the racks onto SS cooling rack placed above cookie sheets and brush on a BBQ sauce that I cut in half with cider vinegar or water or both to start a glaze on them during the final hour of cooking. Also a perfect way to chek on done ness and final temperature....sometimes they need an extra boost of temp and sometimes only need 30 minutes to finish.

      Pull them out and try to let merest for 30 minutes while lightly tented. Process offers flexibility but offers very reliable results

      1. re: ThanksVille

        Sounds good for a backyard BBQ, but for 3 cases of side-ribs?
        3 cases of side ribs would barely fit in a home fridge.
        Whatever method, you gotta pre-cook them somehow (smoke/boil/bake) plenty time before and finish day-of.
        However, its been a week and not a peep from good ole honeycut...wondering where this is going?

    2. I put on my favorite rub, put them in a 500 degree oven, then immediately turn the heat down to about 200 degrees covered or in foil. Long slow bake. I don't have a smoker but I finnish them on the grill. When the meat is charred to my liking, I add my sauce so it has a chance to carmelize. You could simplify and serve sauce on the side. Do a test run with whatever method you use.

      1 Reply
      1. re: stymie

        If you cook the ribs for a short time and then smoke that would be ok, but if you go too far you will not be able to get much smoke flavor.

      2. How many racks will your smoker hold?

        What kind of ribs are these?

        1. Are you doing spare ribs or baby back ribs?

          From what I remember from back in the day, a case of spare ribs (untrimmed) was around 35 lbs and contained about 8 or 9 slabs so that gives you about 25 slabs to work with.

          Based upon your description, it sounds like you want to precook all the ribs and use the smoker to heat the ribs. Precooking is probably the best way for you to go since your home oven can probably only cook 4 to 5 slabs at a time.

          Another suggestion is renting a large smoker so you can smoke/cook all those slabs at once, the day off.

          Also another suggestion whether you precook or not is to season the ribs with a dry rub at least 24 hours before cooking.

          1. You have to know your crowd. If smoke is a priority as it can be depending on where you are then smoke first then finish in the oven as opposed to finishing on the smoker.

            I have a friend that has a very successful catering business in So. Fla. Does a lot of "bbq" hamburgers and ribs. Lots of ribs and doesn't use a smoker. Any smoke flavor is coming from the sauce. I've had them and they taste really good yet some bbq purest would poopoo them for not being real bbq. So Wes, this sounds like something that you haven't done much of at least in this capacity. What type of smoker, grill and or oven will you be using?