Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pre-Reunion BBQ

Pork ribs one hour in the smoker
 A few weeks back, we had a pre-reunion get together. With my grandparents back "home" to their native state, we decided to host the big family reunion for my grandmother's side of the family. It was a Saturday noon event so most could come and return home the same day. However, my uncle and his family were coming the night before and staying in a motel in town and so we thought it would be nice to have a private dinner for just our immediate family the night before the reunion. The independent living facility where my grandparents live have a room downstairs that people can "rent" with lots of tables and chairs so that bigger parties than can fit in the standard tiny apartments can be held. We decided that it would be better for all 13 of us to just meet there instead of trying to cram everyone into our house, the only alternative besides eating out in a restaurant which is daunting on a Friday evening. The rent is free as long as we clean up after ourselves so the price was right.

We opted for the room at the independent facility and I was volunteered to provide pork ribs, corn and lemonade. Others are bringing cornbread, potato salad and desert. Because it was supposed to perhaps rain that day, I decided to get a jump start on the ribs and smoke them the day before and just finish them off on the grill before the party. I'm glad I did because it ended up taking about six hours just to smoke them.

We normally just cook ribs inside in our oven for a few hours but as hot as it has been, I really didn't want to do that. Plus, I've learned over the years that smoked meats always taste better on the following day than hot out of the smoker. My smoker is gas fueled which means I have quite a bit of control on it so I put it down to simmer never letting the temperature get over 220 degrees to prolong the cooking as much as possible. Never having smoked them before, I didn't know how long it would take and it ended up taking about six hours for them to reach between 190 and 200 degrees. They are technically done at around 145 degrees, but with ribs, you want higher temperatures to melt the collagen which will actually make them more tender and moist.

Below you can see the finished product off the smoker and it is all I can do to not rip off a rib and start chewing into the meaty goodness while it cools. Tomorrow I will remove them from the refrigerator and let them come up to room temperature before quickly charring them on the grill with some of our secret BBQ sauce. It really isn't a secret but being a local company to our state, I find not many people know about it until after they try some of my ribs and taste how incredible it tastes. I have eaten a lot of BBQ all over the U.S. and it is by far my favorite.

Pork ribs removed from the smoker six hours later


Bob said...

Wow your family is certainly in for a treat and you're awfully kind to do that for them -- that's definitely a time commitment!

I don't eat much pork, but I do like ribs done just right, falling off the bone. I'm certain these would meet my requirements! They look great.

Ed said...

Bob - They were great and with a gas smoker like what I have, it really isn't too much work. I just have to go out about every hour to put new water soaked chips in the hopper to create the smoke. These ended up taking about six hours and yes, they were falling off the bone delicious!

Ed said...

I should also note that I smoked four racks of ribs for my family, my uncles family and my grandparents thinking I would have a rack left over. They were so good that I think I made it home with just two ribs that didn't get eaten!

Susan said...

OMG, those ribs would never have made it into your refrigerator if I was there. I have a smoker, but it's a small, charcoal one. I have not used it and would like to launch it with a smoked duck. If I could only get two weekend days in a row off...sounds like a great party - I know the food will be fabulous!

Kelly said...

I am so glad to see that you used pork rather than beef. While I always enjoyed a good beef brisket, I honestly think pork makes the best ribs and "pulled" sandwiches. In fact, I won't even cook BBQed pork anymore since it's too tempting! (though I'll still make pork chops, ham, and a few other pork preparations) (and for me the word BBQ indicates the sauce, etc. rather than where it's cooked)

I'm drooling!

kymber said...

i have to feed cats and then i am on my way! jambaloney has already left! start cooking more ribs right now! those things look delicious!

sending love. your friend,

Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

Oh those look delicious! What a fun time visiting with family and eating good food.
Growing up my dad had a rotisserie/smoker and I have fond memories of the smell wafting through the house anytime he used it. Just wonderful! I hope you all had fun and enjoyed the food!

Vince said...

There was a Smoker in the local store this year. But it seemed to be an annex chamber to a barrel type BBQ. Where the charcoal sat in the annex and the food in the usual place. But I saw that you had your one going for hours to cook out anything. And I could see no way to feed the coals for you'd not be using more than for a usual BBQ. So I left it.
Secret sauce usually has lashing of booze in it here. May as well be called drunken ribs.

Ed said...

Susan - I've used charcoal ones before and I have come to the conclusion they are just too much work to maintain a low steady heat. I much prefer using a gas one.

Kelly - We almost always use pork ribs because they are the easiest to get at our local grocery store in large racks. The beef ribs are almost always in smaller chunks which makes them harder to deal with.

Kymber - They were delicious but would have been better with some Kymber kimchee!

Pumpkin Delight - We sometimes do rotisserie chicken inside the house and it is pure torture for over an hour!

Vince - Gas like what I use is definitely much easier to control the temperature and smoke in my opinion. Any margin of taste you give up is very minimal if at all. We too sometimes use booze laced BBQ sauce but forewent it for the reunion.