The first time I used it was on some chicken breasts. It definitely lived up to the busting with mustard and vinegar tag line on the label. I couldn't wait to use it again on some ribs. And I knew just the occasion, the last day of vacation.
For the cook my wife managed to pick up a nice slab of baby back ribs from HEB.
The morning of my cook I rinsed them under cold water and blotted them dry with paper towels. I then gave them a nice coat of olive oil and rubbed them down. The ribs then went back into the refrigerator for a several hours looking like this:
For baby back ribs I am a big fan of the 3-1-1 method. That's uncovered for three hours, wrapped in aluminum foil for one, and then one hour uncovered to firm up the crust (the last one is usually less than an hour). I think this method allows ample time to develop a smoke ring while still managing to be moist and tender, but not fall of the bone tender. If you want fall of the bone ribs you should opt to spend more time in foil.
My prefered temperature for ribs is 250°F along with some hictory chunks.
The cook went down like this:
- Put on at 3:15PM @ 225°F (I had problems stabilizing the temp). I kept the smoke going for the first hour.
- At 5:17PM the ribs seemed pretty soft using the tooth pick test so I skipped the aluminum foil.
During the cook the egg temp got as high as 300°F (like I said, I had a hard time stabilizing).
Here is what they looked like at 5:40PM. (You might recognize these ribs from the mainpage of my blog).
I ended up pulling them at 6:10PM. Here is the final product.
I was a little curious as to why these ribs finished faster than expected so I took another look at the rub ingredients and noticed two possible culprits -- vinegar and yeast extract. After doing some crack googling, I suspect that these ingredients might have tenderized the meat while it was resting in the fridge.
As for the taste, the ribs were excellent but I didn't get the same tang that I did on the chicken. For that matter, I couldn't really discern the rub. This seems to be corroborated by one amazon reviewer. In the future I am probably going to use this rub for quicker cooks with less resting time after rubbing.