Ribs are delicious, but often times there are local restaurants that may not make them the exact way that you like them. It’s quite a talent to be able to get ribs down the right way when it comes to smoking them, and unfortunately, not everyone’s ribs are up to par with your expectations.
Have you ever had ribs that had a dry and leathery taste to them? Perhaps you’ve had the ones that were much too soft or mushy? There are many Barbeque joints that believe that dry ribs can be fixed by coating them with a layer or two of Barbeque sauce, but that doesn’t change the quality of them one bit. If they were dry and leathery before adding more barbeque sauce, then they will still be leathery; just with sauce added. This can be frustrating for many who are pretty serious about the taste and the quality of their ribs.
It isn’t necessarily the goal of chefs and cooks to get a leathery finish when they are smoking their ribs, but it does happen. The idea for most is to get that smoked finish that allows the meat to fall right off of the bone. Nice, tender, moist, but not too moist; this is said to be the perfect smoked rib.
The good news is that you can achieve the perfect ribs right at home if you have your own smoker. So don’t fret, if you are unsatisfied with the way that others have been preparing their ribs, there’s still hope!
The three key components that you should keep in mind when you are preparing your smoked ribs are:
All of these key elements of creating the perfect smoked ribs pay a huge factor in how your smoked ribs will turn out.
The rub that you use to put on your ribs is meant to give it a base flavor and add a nice tasty crust to the ribs. There are a number of different types of rubs to choose from, and you should choose depending on the flavors that you like. If you will be cooking for others you should consider the flavors that they like. You can choose rubs that are spicy, sweet, or salty. You can even get creative and mix your rubs with hot and sweet or sweet and salty. There are many people who do this to create their own unique flavored rubs.
So you have your rub ready, but don’t put it on your ribs just yet. You need to first remove the thin layer of skin that coats the ribs. You can use a small par knife or any knife that is sharp to cut the thin layer so that it just pulls right off.
Now, removing the skin isn’t a must, but it will definitely add to the tenderness of your ribs once you finish smoking them.
Once you have removed the skin, rinse the rib meat and begin to generously add your rub to the slab of meat with your sauce brush. Now, some people like a thick coating on their ribs while others prefer a thinner coating, so just add the rub to your liking.
Once your ribs are coated you will need to take a plastic wrap and tightly wrap your ribs up. Place the wrapped ribs inside your refrigerator and let them marinated for about 2-3 hours so that the flavors of the rub have time to penetrate the meat. After your ribs have sat in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, take them out and set them on a counter to let them become room temperature again.
So the rub will most definitely give your ribs a good amount of flavor, but your choice of smoke will also help to enhance the flavor of the rub. Cherry and pecan woods are a good option for pork and are commonly used to give a wonderful smoke taste that is just right without it being overpowering.
When your ribs have reached room temperature, it’s time to turn the heat on. Although there are many ways that you can cook ribs, it is much preferred by most to slow smoke their ribs. You don’t want to use temperatures that are too high because they can cause your ribs to become tough. You want to keep your heat between 215F and 225F in your smoker or your oven. Once the temperature is consistent you can place the ribs on the rack to begin cooking them.
You’ll need your thermometer to determine when your rib meat is done. At the temperatures mentioned above, you will smoke your rib meat for anywhere between 3 ½ to 4 ½ hours. First, start with 3 hours; if the bones are showing within that time frame and drawn back a bit, then your ribs are most likely done the cooking. Use your thermometer to check the internal temperature to be sure.