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Smoking relapse July 14, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff.

Made you look, didn’t I?  😆

So you didn’t really think I went back to smoking cigarettes, did you?  😯

Of course not, silly!  I was talking about smoking ribs – specifically beef ribs.

See, here’s the thing.  Peeps has been having such fun smoking pork butts and ribs and turkeys and all manner of other stuff that I wanted to give it a shot.

After all, if he can aspire to be a “Pit Master,” surely I can work toward “Pit Mistress,” right?  😯

Heh.  😆


Actually, what really happened was that, the other day, I stopped for milk.  I saw that Tops had a HUGE display of “beef back ribs” for $1.29 a pound.  😯

So I did a little research, and beef back ribs are the ribs that are cut from rib roasts.  A desirable cut, to be sure, though usually a little skimpy on the actually meat.

That’s OK, though – at that price, it was worth it for stock bones, actually.  And fortunately, we got those too, when all was said and done.  😀

So anyway, I decided that I wanted to try something a little different.  To take our smoky goodness in a whole different direction, if you will.   So I found a couple of websites that talk specifically about smoking beef, and I put together a rub.  Evidently you can’t actually smoke anything unless you rub it first, in some manner.  😕

So here’s what I came up with – and I apologize that I can’t remember the original website that I adapted this from – in order to avoid printing a boatload of ads and miscellaneous unnecessary stuff, and to edit before printing, I ended up copying and pasting the list of rub ingredients into a WordPerfect document . . . why yes, I do still use WordPerfect.  I prefer it.  😯

PhotobucketSo what we ended up with for a rub, keeping in mind that measurements are kind of approximate:

  • 3 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Old Bay
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

PhotobucketYeah, it’s a lot of stuff, isn’t it?  But it should mostly be stuff that’s already in the spice cabinet anyway, right?

And it kind of looks like sand art besides.  😉

So, since it’s a “rub,” we’re going to, well, rub it into the meat.

Logic, eh?

Once rubbed, I wrapped the racks in foil and shoved them in the fridge overnight.

PhotobucketSo then the next day (Sunday) rolled around.  I figure the ribs will take about 6 hours or so to get fall-apart done, so we started the fire at 10-ish.

PhotobucketThis was the first time I’d actually had a chance to mess around with the smoker – and the fire starter.  That thing is NEAT!    You just wad up some newspapers in the bottom, fill it with charcoal, then light the papers, and let it burn.

I had to borrow Peeps’s lighter, though.  😳

PhotobucketSo it took maybe 15 minutes, and the coals were hot – they were all gray and  burn-y looking, and plenty hot!

I donned a pair of welding gloves to protect my hands (and arms) and dumped the flaming coals into the firebox.  😯

That’s a good place for flaming coals, if you ask me!  😆

So the coals are hot – gray and ashy about the edges. . .

PhotobucketAnd the ribs go on the grill.

Yup, both racks.

See, here’s the thing.  😳

PhotobucketI had two choices – they had individual racks of ribs wrapped in styrofoam trays and saran wrap, and they had 2-rack packages still in their cry-o-vac.

Now I’m not sure what the deal, exactly, is with cry-o-vac, but I do know that it keeps stuff fresh for AGES.  I could have probably shoved a cry-o-vac package of ribs in the bottom of the fridge and left it there for a month with no ill effects.

And before scoff, you should be aware that when I used to cook professionally, we got 3 weeks’ worth or prime rib at a time and just shoved it in the back of the cooler until needed, and it was all cry-o-vaced.  The third week was actually noticeably better than the first week.

PhotobucketSo anyway, I also shoved a couple of handfuls of hardwood on the charcoal side of the grill.

Then we just closed the lids and walked away.

Smoking is all about walking away, I think.  At least in the beginning.

We had just enough time to run to Sam’s Club and get some shopping done, and Surly Boy agreed to, uh, keep the home fires burning.  😉

Nice how that worked out, huh?  😀

PhotobucketSo we got home from Sam’s, and the first thing we did, before we even went in the house, was check the fire.  Hey, I’ve got my priorities!  😯

Then I turned the ribs over.  I’d started them meaty side down, because we’re going to be “mopping” them, and I wanted the meaty side up for that.

Always thinking, I am.  😛


So, this mop stuff.  I rummaged around in the fridge and came up with a bottle of Dinosaur BBQ sauce.  I’m not sure how old it is – but I don’t remember buying it.  And I have a fairly good memory.  😕

I mixed about 1/3 cup of the barbecue sauce with a fairly equal amount of apple juice – I figured that with the aromatic herbiness of the rub, the apple juice would be a nice complement.  It might add a sweet hint of fruitiness that would work nicely.  And it can’t hurt.  😀


Every half hour or so, I basically just basted the meat with the BBQ sauce-apple juice mop until the meat is done – grab a rib bone and give it a twist.

At this point, the meat will easily pull away from the bone and the bones will twist around.

Then it’s time to take it off the grill.

PhotobucketSince it was still a little early for dinner, and any meat will benefit from a nice rest, we placed the racks on a half-sheet pan and covered it tightly with foil, then set it aside while we figured out what we wanted to do with ribs.  😕

We decided to make it easy on ourselves – I’d picked some lettuce for salad, Peeps put together an herby ranch dressing, and he dug a bag of Tater Tots out of the freezer. 😯

Yes, Tater Tots.  Who doesn’t like Tater Tots, anyway?  😆

By the time the potatoes were done, the meat had rested, and we were all ready for dinner.


And it was delicious.  I’d rather the meat wasn’t quite so dark – but I’m not at all disappointed in my first attempt at rib smoking.  In fact, I wouldn’t mind trying something like this again!

The only thing – I’m not really thrilled with the bottled BBQ sauce – even though the Dinosaur sauce is not bad, well, it’s not from scratch.  Anyone have something homemade that they’d like to share?  ❓


1. I swear I had nothing to do with it « Dark Side of the Fridge - July 15, 2009

[…] we weren’t even smoking anything.  It was a weeknight – who smokes stuff during the week?  […]

2. On Spanish Food, Pie Crusts and Leftovers « Dark Side of the Fridge - July 30, 2009

[…] the filling.  The whole thing here was that we had some leftover rib meat from our most recent smoking session, and I’m not about to let that go to waste!  So while the crust was chilling, we had also […]

3. Lisa - November 11, 2009

brown sugar
liquid smoke
worchestershire sauce

mix together, taste and adjust the flavor to your liking!

– Thanks – I’ll definitely keep this in mind for next year!

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