What am I doing wrong with my spare ribs?

Joined Jun 4, 2010
hi gunnar,
Originally Posted by Gunnar  

curious, why are you draining and reserving juices? and I would say , yes, a bit over fussy but hey it's what you like to do.  I usually add my liquids in the front and retain juices under the tent during the first half of a dish like this and allow to roast off during the final phase. turning meat  at least twice. this helps even temp, moisture and flavor absorption. In the end I am left with a nice pan sauce that has been reduced either perfectly (IMO) or needs a bit of water (or wine , i'm not fussy) to loosen up.

otherwise, I am going to have to insist you ship me some of those ribs for further analysis. feel free to pm me for my address.
well, draining & reserving the juices because -- there's a LOT.  that was my point ...  not just a bit, but 'peeking' in the tent, my ribs were *swimming*.  i added NO initial braising liquid, and after 1 & 2 hour tent 'checks', i was darn near the 'cover to braise' stage.  i feared i was on the verge of boiling my ribs ...

perhaps, an overreaction -- but, honestly, surprised at how much liquid they gave up.  rather thirsty for the brine i guess.  i did not do a before/after "weigh in" to see how much the ribs picked up in the brining. ;-)  the reserved juices make an excellent mop (plus some bourbon & a little more liquid smoke ... ) during roasting though ...

and, i was swapping out the juices for an additional layer of flavor with a fresh/different braising liquid.  as i don't have the luxury of a 8-hour pitsmoke, depending on the various woods to add layer upon layer of flavor,  i'm, playing with different flavor components during the various cooking stages.

as for "what i like to do" -- i'd, of course, *prefer* to do nothing while sipping a margarita, AND have "perfect ribs" :-D  but that's why we quest for the holy grail!  it's all about the finesse, right? :)

next time around, i may try your technique and leave the juices then roast off -- and see where i get to.  although, that 'dry phase' still has me a bit flummoxed; i do want to get a better feel for it ...


p.s. re: 'further analysis' ... heh.  sorry -- all gone ;-p
Last edited:
Joined Apr 3, 2008
well, without a respective rib to review I will just blindly adivse then.  Try a very loose tent, if I suspect that a lot of fat is going to be rendered I usually leave big 3-4 inch gaps at each end of my pan allowing for more evaporation. course when I turn my meat I rotate the ends so they don't dry out. best of luck.
Joined May 22, 2010
Remove membrane.

Dry rub, let sit in fridge overnight

Bring smoker to temp (220) with full water pan.

I use a combo of apple and hickory

About 4-5 hours with a cider vinegar mop every hour or so

Nice deep smoke ring, tender, moist... absolute heaven.

But that membrane is key. Gotta remove it.
Last edited:
Joined Jun 29, 2010
This is all great advice. Absolutely smoke them on the grill FIRST! That is the only time the meat is susceptible to smoke and getting that pink smoke ring.

Latest posts

Top Bottom