Originally posted by blanning
It seems as though no matter how long I cook pork ribs in my oklahoma joe the ribs are not edible until they are finished on a grill.The temp is right around 200-225.I have tried mopping,spraying apple juice etc..They are not raw,but do not have any crust on them.What am I doing wrong?Thank you.
Biggest problem is your cooker. Indirect smoke just doesn't work. A direct fire is the proper way to cook ribs. The ribs should be far enough above the fire not to burn. The grease must drip on the fire and burn for the best flavor.
Before I opened my restaurants I BBQ'd in a pit that consists of two open top 55 gal drums welded end to end to make a vertical stack about 6 ft tall. Cut a suitable hole in the side at the bottom to fire the thing. Put in an inch or so of sand or cement as a fire base. Save the cut out part to make a door. Cut out about a third of the side of the top drum and weld or bolt on hinges to make a large door. Weber grill replacement grill fit perfectly inside a 55 gal drum and can be suspended on 3 or 4 bolts stuck through the side. Stack 'em as close together as you wish, closer for ribs, farther apart for shoulders. Cut about a 2" hole in the top to let some smoke out. The access door should seal rather well. I tack-welded strips of 1"X11 gauge steel on the edges of the opening so that the door edges would rest against them.
Two keys to good ribs. The fire and the temperature. The fire must produce blue smoke. IF you smother it too much and produce white smoke it will make bitter meat. Use hickory (much preferred) or fruit wood. Don't wet it or soak it, simply build the appropriately sized fire and let it burn. IF you find the fire smothered and emitting white smoke, open the pit and wash the meat with water to get the bitter off. I use a water hose on my big pit but for a drum pit a squirt bottle will do.
I start off with the temperature at the top of the pit about 275 deg. I keep it there for a couple of hours, then let the fire burn down to the 180-200 deg range. I run this for a minimum of 8 hours. When the ribs are ready the meat will pull back, exposing the ends of the ribs. The bones will come loose from the meat with just a little wiggle. The meat should be very intensely red from the smoke all the way through. (at least an inch in for boston butts)
Don't apply goops, rubs or other adulterants. God designed the pig to put everything needed for good flavor in the ribs!! Cook 'em just like they come out of the package and sauce 'em when you eat 'em. I know some folks will argue with this advice and I'll listen when they get up over about a thousand pounds a week in sales :-)
My favorite store-bought sauce is Sweet Baby Ray's. I make my own rib sauce, of course, that is tomato, pineapple and apricot based but you have to come to my place to get that :-)
If you're ever near Cleveland (I-75 just north of Chattanooga, TN), come on over and try my place, John G's BBQ. I have two locations, one on each side of town. The downtown one, 220 S. Ocoee St is the best for atmosphere.