Sunday, October 17, 2010

Can't Make a Bad Rib, Trust Me I Tried This Time.

Hi all, I have to start by apologising for my long hiatus from smoking and blogging, though I would prefer to think of it as more of a siesta, as my friends in Sarasota would put it. It has been a busy late summer/early fall.  Aplogies nonwithstanding, for a while I was thinking I should try to smke something with the worst possible ingredients and components, to find out if it was truly possible for something bad to come off of my smoker. For those of you that have been regular readers, you know that I have been experimenting with various brands of lump charcoal and higher-quality natural or competition grade briquettes. I got the perfect first piece of material to test my theory when my brother gave me something well below where I have recently been in the charcoal-quality department, a free 18 lb bag of regular Kingsford charcoal, and if that in and of itself wasn't bad (or good) enough, this stuff has been sitting in his trunk for two years! Nothing better to test my theory than a two year old bag of Kingsford briqs with all their standard chemichal binders and who knows what else to give me some funky pork. I started with two chimneys puored into the remnants of the last lump I used in the WSM as yo can see below.

Now for the preparation of the meat. In keeping with the theme of making something that should be barely edible, I decided to make a crappy rub. This by the way happened a day prior. I went into my wife's spice shelf and put whatever we had around into a bowl. I think this consisted of some of the normal stuff like sea salt, pepper, cumin, parsely, garlic and onion powder, etc. Whenever I read about Texas BBQ, I always hear about people putting coffee in their rubs. Maybe it's something that goes back to the cowboy days, when it was all they had out on the open range at the camp fire. I threw in a handful of coffee and a little brown sugar for good measure.

I always hear about the Kansas City Cut and things like that. I didn't have time to research hopw to do that, so I was pretty fast and loose when trimming my meat. I trimmed the flap, some crap off the top and bottom of the rack. I think I'll call this The Bloomfield Cut.

The trimmings and ends made it in as well.

Everything went well. For those of you who have been reading, you know that in the past I had a stash of failed homebrew that I usually use in my waterpan. This time to go along with my theme, I was thinking about going to the liquor store and seeing what malt liquor was in fashion. The waterpan today is filled with none other that Old English. These ribs are going to stink up the place.
 This stuff rubbed up nicely. More on that later.

A few hours in, so far, so good. Cheap Home Depot Mesquite chunks on my ribs (yes, mesquite on my pork. I already threw coffee grounds on these things so I thought 'what the hey').

A quick mop. I think I used cider vinegar that had been in the house since we moved in.

A quick refresher.

Though this was not going to be my best creation ever, I packed it up in the cooler to rest and brought it to my mother's of all places to get her back from her hippy days feeding me bean sprouts and who knows what else.

Close up of a burnt end.

Hmm... this is a close up of a piece of the nice cut. Does not look too bad if I do say so myself...

Please don't make fun of my sideways pictures.

Ok folks, the verdict is in. Despite my best efforts to produce some terrible Que, this was not my best but still pretty decent. There was no acrid flavor, no 'oversmoked' flavor, no evidence of a malt liquor taint, or anything all that negative. The pork flavor was still there and stayed with me into the next day. The biggest complaint I think was that the coffee grounds gave it a weird, gravelly sensation and made it more weird texturally than in a flavoring effect. In my view, these ribs were a 6.25 out of 10, with my usual being an 8.5 and restaraunt ribs being a 4 at best, at least here in New Jersey.   I have to say that pieces of the nice, large, trimmed slab came out perfectly cooked and moist. I can't pat myself on the back too much for that one.

For those of you who read this far (if any), I have decided to take requests. Does anyone have anything they want me to put in the smoker? Give me some fresh ideas in my 'comments' and we'll make it happen.