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Kansas City style ribs, no foil verses foil test


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#1 Savannahsmoker

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 02:39 PM

Two racks of spare ribs both prepare the same way. Will foil one and not foil the other during the smoke.
My wife applying butt rub and oranges.
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Wrapping in plastic wrap and into the fridge overnight.
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#2 Savannahsmoker

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 02:42 PM

Next day take out of the fridge and allow to come up on temperature. About a hour and a half. I spread a thin coat of yellow mustard and more rub to the ribs.
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The pit is running at 225 degrees so in go the ribs.
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Three hours in and I foiled with a mixture of apple juice, apple cider and oil.
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Five hours in, time to remove rack from the foil. The top of the rib look fine but the bottom look mushy.
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Now put on the finishing sauce and turn up temperature to 300 degrees and set the sauce. This should be 15 to 30 minutes
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#3 Savannahsmoker

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 02:44 PM

Ribs been in the smoker for six hours, time to pull, cover and rest for 30 minutes. The rack in the rear is the foiled rack. Both look good but the foil rack shrunk more losing more meat and was really limp when I pulled it., I like some texture in my ribs like competition ribs. Taste test coming up.
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I went to heavy on the sauce but that is what the grandchildren like.

Now for the family judging.

First, the non-foiled ribs. Cut like butter, has a smoke ring and looks like it is moist.
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Second, the foiled ribs. Cut like butter, has a smoke ring and looks like it is more moist than the non-foiled rib
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#4 Savannahsmoker

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 02:45 PM

Now test for how easily the ribs pull apart.

First, the non-foiled ribs. Pull apart easily but did not fall apart and moisture ooze out.
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Second, the foiled ribs. Pull apart easily but did not fall apart and much more moisture oozed out.
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Taste test by the family of six adults and three grandchildren were 7 for foil and 1 for non-foil. The foiled ribs seem to have more moisture and were not completely falling off the bone as I expected. The taste of both were equally great. The non-foiled ribs, while tasting as good, was a little dryer.

Bottom line I am now a convert to, on my Traeger, smoke three hours, foil two hours, pull from foil, apply a finish sauce, turn up the temp to set the sauce for one hour. I guess this is the Standard 3-2-1 method I used in stick burners.

Foiled Ribs Win 7 out of 8 but it was very close. So close that maybe it was a difference between the butts.

#5 cuskit

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 03:01 PM

You are a GOD!

'nuff said... :lol: :lol: :lol:

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#6 shelly

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 03:17 PM

This is the kind of test for knowledge that we all appreciate around here.

Although I use fruit in almost all my dishes and sauces, it never occurred to me to use orange (I grow them as well) slices as part of the rub. Great idea.

Interesting results results. I suspect that the added liquids in the foil helped contribute to the more moist texture. Personally, I have never foiled my ribs and they come out just fine for me.

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#7 richlife

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 03:31 PM

Wow! Yes, I'm really impressed with the pictures ( :lol: ), the testing and the tasting procedures. I don't think you commented on the outside texture of the ribs, Savannah. Did you find them similar, or were the non-foiled any crisper, or less "bite-able", or whatever? I would have expected the foiled to be "softer".

Regardless, you da man! Let me know when you do this again and I'll be down (Savannah is one of my absolute favorite cities!). :lol: Rich
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#8 Sink

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 07:38 PM

Nice job on the thread, Savannah! Like Shelly said, this is so helpful to others!

I've also done the side by side and I came out liking the non foiled ribs. I usually do 3 racks when I do them and stack them instead. They get some steam but not like foiled. I also cook my ribs a bit less. When I bit them the only part of the meat that comes off is the part I bite. Bones are just starting to show outside of the meat. If you cook them a bit less they will be a bit more moist. I don't use time to cook. For ribs, I use the look of the ribs. The bone showing just a little bit, then sauce if I want sauce. They will be more moist at this point. The stacking is a great thing to do. Give it a try if you are doing enough ribs at once.

Again, thanks for the great write up!
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#9 Mama's Smoke

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:24 PM

The stacking is a great thing to do. Give it a try if you are doing enough ribs at once.

Again, thanks for the great write up!
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Okay, Sink, what do you mean by stacking? Is this a Duh? question?
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#10 Bacardi

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 03:17 PM

Okay, Sink, what do you mean by stacking? Is this a Duh? question?


Guessing he means put two or more ribs in one wrapping of foil. I cut mine into half racks and will stack half racks when foiling...

Savannah, a method I've been using is to keep the temps the same all the way through (I use 250 on my MES, doing the 3-2-1 method). Once your done with the sixth hour of smoking put them aside until you're ready to eat. Assuming you have a broil where heat comes from above, just before serving...Turn the broiler on high, place the ribs on a baking sheet, brush onto the ribs, put the ribs as close as possible to the broiler, probably your first or second oven rack. The important thing is to not walk away no matter what, broiler greatly differ in power and preheating quickness. I will venture to say it could take 10 seconds to 60 seconds. You're looking for the sauce to start to bubble, as soon as that happens, count to three Mississippians and remove. That will set the sauce and warm up the ribs. ;)
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#11 raceman

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 07:17 PM

I'll bet he says lay them on top of each other(stack) with no foil.. I use this method all the time.. No foil for me
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#12 Cain

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 11:49 AM

if you don't mind me asking, Do you have instructions on how to make the rub you used?




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