Preparation and cooking competition ribs Jul 5, 2005 17:39:47 GMT -5
Post by Wayne Copeland on Jul 5, 2005 17:39:47 GMT -5
Ribs can be the easiest of all meats to cook, but the biggest disappointment if you don't pay attention to what you are cooking. In competitions, I use St. Louis style ribs and not baby back, because a KCBS judge once told me that when he and the other judges open your entry, they feel slighted/cheated if those ribs are small and it only takes two fingers to hold it! Get to know your butcher and have them cut you a 3-3 1/2 lb. rack. Then turn it over and remove the membrane, and cut away any excess fat on the first three rib joints. The membrane is best removed by inserting a dull knife blade under it and grabbing onto it with a paper towel...any dull, blunt implement will do...but don't try to pull it away with your bare hands...it wont work! Season or marinade LIGHTLY, as rib is still pork and absorbs flavorings quickly. After 4-6 hours of seasoning or marinading, it's ready for the pit at 225-250 degrees...cooked meat side up! Pork ribs have a tendency to burn, so watch the temp and rotate the ribs around in your pit if they are getting burned on the end bone. After 2 hours, the seasonings should be sticking well to the crust and its ready for its first basting of apple juice...don't worry if the slab starts to look dry...spray it well and baste every 30 minutes thereafter. When the ribs are done, you will know it by the bone starting to pull from the meat. The meat should have shrunk about 3/4 of an inch from the end of the bone and the meat should pull away from the bone with just a little bit of resistance. The last one hour is the time to glaze with your favorite BBQ sauce, and this should be done on both sides every 10 minutes....5 times total. It is important to remember that tomato based sauces absorb smoke, so glaze over direct heat, not at the end of your smoker...that is the reason that most competition cooks bring a grill with them to cook-offs! After the glazing is done and the ribs have a dull reddish color, let them rest for 15-20 minutes before you cut them (meat side down) or the meat will splinter.