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Oh yes! Beef ribs are, without a doubt, one of my favourite things to cook up low and slow.
I’ve made these a few times and now I’m fairly comfortable I thought I’d create a new article covering my end-to-end process on the good ‘ol ProQ.
‘The Village Butchers’ are located in Brentwood (Essex) although you can order online from their website – https://thevillagebutchers.co.uk/
I decided to purchase a small rack (2.1kg) which cost me £27 (including delivery) and arrived via DPD.
The ribs arrived fresh (not frozen), nicely insulated in a foil bag with an ice pack.
Once I had removed from the packet, here is what I received.
. . . pretty happy so far it must be said!
This is an area where you get a difference of opinion depending on who you talk to. Personally I like to trim the majority of fat from the top of the rack and also remove any silverskin . . . this wont break down during cooking.
Do not remove the membrane from the bottom of the ribs as this could result in the meat falling off the bone during cooking . . . instead I just score diagonally producing a diamond pattern.
Top Tip: Place the trimmings in a small skillet and smoke alongside the ribs . . . just before you wrap pour over any rendered fat.
I like to dry brine my beef ribs for at least 4 hours . . . but preferably overnight.
I simply scattered over some good quality salt from ‘Sea Crack‘ on the top and sides, covered, and returned to the fridge until the morning.
P.S If you want to know what variety of salt I used . . . this time I went for Blue Persian Salt
I set up the smoker the night before just to save time the next morning.
Using ProQ Coconut Shell Briquettes I prepared the fuel using the ‘Minion method’ and added a couple of blocks of both whisky oak and cherry for the smoking.
Not sure what the ‘Minion method’ is all about? Check out one of my other articles – ‘SNAKE, MINION . . . HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD!‘
Firing up the BBQ
I placed some cocoshell briquettes into a chimney starter and once hot enough I poured into the central area of the fuel basket.
If you’ve been following my journey you will know that I do NOT use the water pan in the ProQ to hold . . . water . . . if you want to know why, quickly read this article:
Anyway, instead I placed a small pan of liquid (in this case, some awesome cider) on the rack above the water pan . . . under where the ribs were to go.
Let’s get Smoking
Once the temp was hitting 200f it was time to get the ribs added and the cook started.
I placed the ribs on the top rack, added the thermometer (I rely on the Inkbird IRF-4S BBQ Thermometer at the moment) and added an extra sprinkle of ‘Angus & Oink’ magic.
A small block of cherry added to the hot coals in the centre and we are away . . .
2.5 hours later and I was hitting an internal temperature of 160f so it was time to pop out and take a look.
I gave the ribs a light spray with a mixture of apple cider vinegar, water and bourbon whiskey (40/40/20 mix), checked the fuel and put the lid back on.
An Hour Later
After an hour it was time to give a quick spray again and check how things are.
Internal temperature currently 167f and looking at the other side you can see we’ve got some nice retraction of the meat, exposing the bones.
Another Hour Later
174f internal . . . time for a quick spray.
Another Hour Later
We’re at the ‘true stall’ now . . . ribs have only climbed up to 176f internal over the last hour . . . time to wrap!
OK, after wrapping it took another 3 hours before the internal temperature hit 205f and the ribs were probing beautifully.
The final step was to wrap in a towel and place in a cooler to rest for 45 minutes.