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Ok so I have tried ribs on my 500 several times and they always seem to be a failure. I always use St. Louis style ribs to start. I wash them, pat them dry, pull the membrane, and the apply the rub. I have used all different kinds of rubs. I have also used different brands and flavors of wood. Once I apply the rub I let them sit on the counter until the rub melts in. Then I throw then in the smoker. I have tried temps of 225 and 275. I have even tried getting them go at 180 for the first hour and then bumping them up. The n I use the toothpick test to see if they are done. I don't like my ribs all mushy. I like them to have a nice bark with a little pull and to be tender underneath the bark. I really like the way Cal's look in the rib contest photos. That is what I am striving for mine to look like.

Now I know he said he used the JT method but when I read through that post there was no specific recipe posted.

Cal, if you would be so kind to walk me through how you do it from start to finish it would be very much appreciated. I would like to try your way to see if mine come out looking like that(almost a red candied like shiny finish). Mine always come out an ugly brown . I am having an end of shift party at the beginning of January and having about 10-14 people over. I would like to impress them. I am going to look for recipes for smoked beans and cornbread as well to serve on the side.

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I believe the JT method Cal references can be found here. JT being Johnny Trig's method.

That said, this is a thread where several folks give input to the recipe, so you'll have to read the whole thing to get what you need. But it's there. I use RibDog's method for making and setting a glaze on my ribs. They come out looking similar to Cal's, but I've got to admit, Cal's ribs are pictured in the dictionary as part of the definition for "Perfect Ribs".
You must understand that what one guest thinks is excellent another may find not so good, with that said, we will try to teach you how to cook ribs that you and your family likes.

reference "color red"....I believe that Cherry wood does something magical to the color of meat, so I use a mixture of Cherry pellets and Hickory pellets for smoking. The key is to smoke until you get the color and texture/bark that you want before foiling with goodies.

I cook my ribs with a setting of 15/65 and a temp of 275* and not worry about the temp swings that you see on the display.

I rub 30-6o minutes before smoking and make sure the rub looks like a paste. I like a rub that has a little kick to it, since you'll be putting a layer of sweetness on. At home, we use Smoking Guns Hot rub.

Since I don't like blood spots on the top of my ribs, I start them out meat side up on zone 4. You will need to decide how much jerky/grill like texture you want on top of the ribs before turning them over. I'd recommend starting with 2 hrs and adjusting to your liking.

I then cook them until I see some pull back on the bones, I'd guess maybe 1/4" and then they get the foil with sugar, honey, and a small amount of juice(you'll have to decide for yourself on flavor profile of juice, most any type works, but most folks use AJ)

The time in the foil will depend on how tender you want your ribs, I've practiced with times between 1-1.5 hrs.

Like Pags, I use RibDogs way of making and setting a glaze. If too much glaze is put on, you won't see the pretty ribs.

This should get you a fine start on cooking "Texas Rib Ranger" ribs. I do believe Bill and Barbara was the one that taught folks this method?

I took Johnny's class. But like he said why pay to take the class then give away the seceret.

But, the method is one thing and the seasonings are another.

Prep your meat, apply the rub you like, smoke at 250 for about three hours, pull and wrap with foil with a few thing you like,and then smoke some more. Thie timing here I have found is very important. Some say go 2 hours, but when I have the meat is over cooked and very soft. It will be steamed. I go about an hour. Unwrap and put back in smoker, it will dry the meat back out. Then add your sauce and let cook in or set, about 30 minutes before being done.

Johnny's method is set in stone. But you can take it in sooo many directions to get any number of results which will make you happy.

The first question I have for you, is have you read Smokin's Ribs 101? If not, stop everything and read it first. You'll learn a great deal right there. Then start out simple, rub em, smoke em, sauce em. Once you get a good feel for how to cook them, then you can start to try out the other cooking techniques. But get the basics down first. Learn how to cook a rib properly, it's not that hard, especially with the equipment that you now have.

Any questions, ask away, that's what we're here for.
Ok so I am doing 3 racks that I bought from Costco today and am going to bring them to work tonight for the guys(good testers). One of the racks I only put fresh ground salt and pepper, as well as granulated garlic. The other two I used a rub that I had in my pantry. I decided to see how they turn out. I am using a mixture of 1005 Hickory pellets mixed with 100% Cherry pellets.

I have them in there at 250 degrees. I don't know if I should bump them up to 275? I was going to throw one of the slabs in the Amerique but for some reason it just clicks and doesn't turn on. I guess I will have to figure that out later so all 3 are now in the PG500.

Here are a few pics of before going in.

Oh and the ribs I used are St Louis style. It was weird because there wasnt much of a membrane to pull off. I trimmed some of the fat off as well. I will try to post more pics of the final product. So from here should I put them in foil after 2 hours or should I just do the full 4 hours as is?

The one thing about the PG500 is that it doesnt consistently smoke. If I could get it to smoke the whole time how it does when it is first starting up, I am sure the food would have alot smokier flavor profile. I think it just burns too efficiently to smoke much.
Smokin' taught all of us a couple basic principals.

1....take good notes of your smoke and what you do, be terrible to cook the perfect product and have to rely on your memory to do it again, yep, my is bad...LOL!

2...He taught us to start out with a basic baseline, so you would have something you could change one thing at a time and something that you can always fall back on.

3...on ribs, he preached that knowing the weight of the rib was the MOST important thing, because a few ounces makes minutes difference in cook time.

4....on ribs, cook until a toothpick will pass in and out between the bones like the feel of butter. Then they are done. I've learned the ends will get that feel before the middle, so when the ends feel like that, it's time for the 20 minute sauce period.

It won't matter if you cook at 250* or 275*, as long as you cook until the ribs are properly done. this is something you can experiment on later!

I would cook for 2.5 hrs, take a toothpick and check, turn over and cook for another hour and check again with a toothpick. weight will matter on finish time, this is not a cake recipe.

Good luck and keep us informed on out come. OH, NO FOIL THIS TIME.
Originally posted by Tom:
John and Trish like to cook a slab of trimmed out St Louis,and a couple,or at most three when they really must.

I doubt you'll ever find them doing a dozen slabs with all that work,even if his two boys and their wives come by. Smiler

Yep. Once in awhile, I take the time to fancy them up like folks are talking here. Most of the time it's rub 'em, smoke 'em, glaze 'em. None of the fancy tricks and foil. They turn out real nice.
Here are the results..they took about 5 hours total..I might have left them on a little too long but they still turned out pretty good. The plain ones were not really my style, just a little to bland. They rubbed one's with a glaze turned out pretty tasty. Everyone at work really liked the glazed ones. I need to taste someone else's ribs who knows what to look for texture wise so that I will know where I need to be.

Originally posted by BQnCali:
I need to taste someone else's ribs who knows what to look for texture wise so that I will know where I need to be.

Not really, you just need to decide what texture you like. That is the point Tom was making, as a comp cook we have standards to cook to. You need to take a bite to the bone, it has to pull clean from the bone with no meat left attached to the bone. It then has to leave a perfect mouth bite with no other meat coming free.

Now most folks at home might like it a little more tender. Now that you have something to compare too. The next batch, at about the 3hr mark, wrap them in heavy duty aluminum foil. Make sure you do it twice, but in the first layer add some of JT's goodies, cook for a period of time and follow your glazing schedule and see how you like them.

By the way, good job, they look like they would taste good.

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